On CBS News Sunday Morning yesterday I saw a startling statistic: three out of ten Americans believe God determines the outcome of sporting events.
This is appalling. What is going on here? Why is it only three? I would have expected at least nine, if not ten. Just shows you that religion is on the decline here in Lilliput, I mean America.
I’ve done several interviews with religious figures here on longitudes, including the Pope and Donald Trump. Both were very enlightening. The Pope informed me that sexual harassment is no big deal, and Trump told me that Hawaii is not a United State (among other curious things).
I met with God later that day—his day off—and we had a wonderful discussion about sports while pounding Miller Lite and watching the Jets-Steelers game. In the course of our meeting I discovered God isn’t really an old man with a white robe and long, flowing white hair and beard. God is actually sexless, dons a New York Yankees jersey, and looks more like Truman Capote.
I was anxious to get his/her take on the above startling statistic. I also wanted to know why God hates the city of Cleveland.
Here, then, is my conversation with The Almighty:
longitudes: Thanks for meeting with me, God.
God: You’re welcome, my tiny speck of white sand.
longitudes: Pardon me for saying this, sir…I mean ma’am…I mean ma’am-sir…but most of us down there think you’re a man. Especially Mormons.
God: Yes, well, you folks down there have baffled me since I sent my son to straighten things out. Endless wars, murders, torture, greed, hypocrisy, stupidity, and GEICO commercials. And you keep adding letters.
longitudes: What do you mean that we keep “adding letters?”
God: You’re already up to six: LGBTQ and I. Actually, now it’s seven, I forgot the ‘A.’ Okay, I make gender mistakes once in a while, but you don’t need to rub it in.
longitudes: What should we do?
God: Try consolidating into one letter. Maybe, like, an ‘O’ for “Other.” I realize you’re having fun, but you’re stressing me out with the alphabet soup.
longitudes: God, I just learned that only three out of ten Americans think you determine the outcome of sporting events. Why is that statistic so low?
God: Yeah, that shocks me as well. I think it’s because organized religion is on the decline in your neck of the woods. I blame those damn atheists Christopher Hitchens, George Carlin, and Frank Zappa. It’s why I pulled them up here sooner than their time.
longitudes: Oh. Do you think if more people attended church, that statistic would rise a little?
God: Absolutely. Back in the days of Puritanism, and before that the Spanish Inquisition, you had to go to church to worship me. If not, you were burned at the stake or had your limbs torn off on what I affectionately called the “Wheel of Death.”
longitudes: But those things occurred long before soccer, Major League Baseball, and Jim Nantz. How were you able to determine sports outcomes back then?
God: Jousting duels. Gladiatorial contests. Chariot races. You know, garden-variety sports like that.
longitudes: I see. I remember watching Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd duke it out in Ben-Hur. That was real exciting.
God: Sure was. I hope you put your money on Heston. I pre-ordained him.
(Suddenly, the Jets quarterback is sacked. God lets out an audible “Oooh.” It is now obvious to me he likes New York.)
longitudes: Yeah, I figured Heston might win.
God: Right, but it’s a shame he became obsessed with guns later on. Maybe I should’ve given that movie role to Paul Newman instead.
longitudes: God, is there anything I can do to push that statistic up a little? Maybe get it up to forty instead of thirty percent?
God: That’s very kind of you, my shiny pool of phlegm. Well, let’s see. My records show you vote Democrat. Might wanna shift to Republican and encourage others. Also, I see you have three grandchildren. Try to convince their parents to forego the university education. Ignorance breeds superstition, after all. Lastly…why the hell are you a Cleveland fan? (Oops, pardon my language.)
longitudes: Actually, God, I wanted to ask you about that. You’ve been pretty harsh on the Browns, Indians/Guardians, and Cavaliers winning championships. Except for that one year when LeBron James helped the Cavs.
God: Yes, I have a special place in my heart for King James. Well, truth be told, the reason I’ve been harsh on Cleveland is because of that fire incident.
longitudes: “Fire incident?”
(At this point God offers me another Miller Lite, but I politely decline.)
God: Yeah. I’m talkin’ ‘bout the burning of the petroleum-soaked Cuyahoga River. That infamous incident came soon after the Browns won their last championship. That was no coincidence.
longitudes: So all these years you’ve been blaming the citizens of northern Ohio for an industrial-related environmental debacle they may have had nothing to do with?
God: Yes. Do you think I’ve been too rough on them?
longitudes: Well, yes I do, sir. I mean ma’am-sir. Heck, I lived near Cleveland and was only ten years old when it happened. Why should I have to suffer? I mean, I hope I’m not being disrespectful.
God: No, not at all. You have a good point, Peter. (By the way, I like your name.) Maybe I should loosen up on Cleveland. Not a bad city, despite producing Drew Carey.
longitudes: We Cleveland sports fans would appreciate any assistance, ma’am-sir.
God: It’s done. You can expect a Guardians World Series victory or Browns AFC Championship win any day now. (I can’t very well grant you a Browns Super Bowl win. That’s asking too much of me.)
longitudes: Thank you, thank you! And I’ll do my best to keep my grandkids away from higher education. But—and I hope you understand—voting Republican is a bridge too far. One last question, God.
God: Ask away, my insignificant fleck of wet clay.
longitudes: We screwed up with, er, your son. But why all the grief since then? I mean, it’s been a total horror show for two-thousand years.
God: That’s your doing, not mine. But it might help if you stopped worshipping the messenger and concentrated more on his message. And stopped living in the past.
longitudes: Good points. Thanks for meeting with me, God.
God: No problemo. And thanks for bringing the pizza, but I prefer coal-fired New York over Chicago deep-dish.
NOTE: This is not a real interview. God—if there is one (or more)—has never spoken to me verbally, and I’m okay with that.