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What is an appropropriate response?
Political and philosophical considerations after the attack on the Word Trade Center

God Angrily Clarifies "Don't Kill" Rule

NEW YORK--Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient 
creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for 
more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against 
humans killing each other Monday.

"Look, I don't know, maybe I haven't made myself completely clear, so for 
the record, here it is again," said the Lord, His divine face betraying 
visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin
Towers. "Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to 
kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting 
sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to 
kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple 
terms that anybody ought to be able to understand."

Worshipped by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, God said His name has 
been invoked countless times over the centuries as a reason to kill in 
what He called "an unending cycle of violence."

"I don't care how holy somebody claims to be," God said. "If a person 
tells you it's My will that they kill someone, they're wrong. Got it? I 
don't care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it 
is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else's, ever again."

The press conference came as a surprise to humankind, as God rarely 
intervenes in earthly affairs. As a matter of longstanding policy, He has 
traditionally left the task of interpreting His message and divine will to
clerics, rabbis, priests, imams, and Biblical scholars. Theologians and 
laymen alike have been given the task of pondering His ineffable mysteries,
deciding for themselves what to do as a matter of faith. His decision to
manifest on the material plane was motivated by the deep sense of shock, 
outrage, and sorrow He felt over the Sept. 11 violence carried out in His 
name, and over its dire potential ramifications around the globe.

"I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you'd
get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important," said God, 
called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. 
"I guess I figured I'd left no real room for confusion after putting it in
a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to 
Moses. How much more clear can I get?"

"But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, 
somebody's spouting off some nonsense about, 'God says I have to kill this
guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it's God's will,'" God continued. "It's
not God's will, all right? News flash: 'God's will' equals 'Don't murder 

Worse yet, many of the worst violators claim that their actions are 
justified by passages in the Bible, Torah, and Qur'an.

"To be honest, there's some contradictory stuff in there, okay?" God said.
"So I can see how it could be pretty misleading. I admit it--My bad. I did 
My best to inspire them, but a lot of imperfect human agents have 
misinterpreted My message over the millennia. Frankly, much of the 
material that got in there is dogmatic, doctrinal bullshit. I turn My head
for a second and, suddenly, all this stuff about homosexuality gets into 
Leviticus, and everybody thinks it's God's will to kill gays. It 
absolutely drives Me up the wall."

God praised the overwhelming majority of His Muslim followers as
"wonderful, pious people," calling the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks
rare exceptions.

"This whole medieval concept of the jihad, or holy war, had all but 
vanished from the Muslim world in, like, the 10th century, and with good 
reason," God said. "There's no such thing as a holy war, only unholy ones.
The vast majority of Muslims in this world reject the murderous actions of 
these radical extremists, just like the vast majority of Christians in 
America are pissed off over those two bigots on The 700 Club."

Continued God, "Read the book: 'Allah is kind, Allah is beautiful, Allah 
is merciful.' It goes on and on that way, page after page. But, no, some 
assholes have to come along and revive this stupid holy-war crap just to 
further their own hateful agenda. So now, everybody thinks Muslims are all
murderous barbarians. Thanks, Taliban: 1,000 years of pan-Islamic cultural 
progress down the drain."

God stressed that His remarks were not directed exclusively at Islamic 
extremists, but rather at anyone whose ideological zealotry overrides his 
or her ability to comprehend the core message of all world religions.

"I don't care what faith you are, everybody's been making this same 
mistake since the dawn of time," God said. "The Muslims massacre the 
Hindus, the Hindus massacre the Muslims. The Buddhists, everybody 
massacres the Buddhists. The Jews, don't even get me started on the 
hardline, right-wing, Meir Kahane-loving Israeli nationalists, man. And 
the Christians? You people believe in a Messiah who says, 'Turn the other 
cheek,' but you've been killing everybody you can get your hands on since 
the Crusades."

Growing increasingly wrathful, God continued: "Can't you people see? What 
are you, morons? There are a ton of different religious traditions out 
there, and different cultures worship Me in different ways. But the basic 
message is always the same: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, 
Shintoism... every religious belief system under the sun, they all say 
you're supposed to love your neighbors, folks! It's not that hard a 
concept to grasp."

"Why would you think I'd want anything else? Humans don't need religion or
God as an excuse to kill each other--you've been doing that without any 
help from Me since you were freaking apes!" God said. "The whole point of 
believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can
you get?"

"I'm talking to all of you, here!" continued God, His voice rising to a 
shout. "Do you hear Me? I don't want you to kill anybody. I'm against it, 
across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don't kill each 
other anymore--ever! I'm fucking serious!"

Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the 
podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God's shoulders 
began to shake, and He wept.