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 people'."

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 crap.  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
upset 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
jerks 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 hard-line,
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
neighbours, 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 totally 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.

(transcribed from "The Onion", September 26, 2001.  * 2001 Onion, Inc.  All
rights reserved.)