34. Bad people

I walked up to the door that said “G. Hovah”

As the Almighty swung the door wide, I had to admit, “Okay, I like that one.”

And yea how he smiled!

I looked around the room. The walls were psychedelic, the floor had a blue and black zebra-print rug, the couches were pastel colours. It looked like a clown had puked on every surface. “What’n hell happened here?”

“I figured now that I’m a musician, I needed a cool pad.” He said this hopefully.

“Oh dude, this is NOT cool.”

Yahweh closed his eyes and there was a flushing sound. Everything was back to normal. I was much more comfortable. “Now THIS is a cool pad, Jeff.”

He gave a disappointed smile, while we sat on our respective couches. “So what should we talk about today, Paul? Throw your worst at me.”

“Okay. As Tom Waits sings, ‘If God is good, and God is great, why can’t he change the hearts of men?’”

“Seriously? You’re gonna quote Waits at me? The guy’s a fucking genius. I can’t compete with him!”

“You’re right, of course. I’ll put it in my own words: Why are there bad people?”

The Almighty leaned back. “Free will.”

“What the fuck? You’ll have to explain yourself better than that.”

He leaned forward, elbows on knees. “Okay. Imagine you live all alone. Totally alone. You have nobody. Then one day you decide, ‘Hey man, I’m a fucking god, I can create whatever I want’.

“Now, that being the case, would you decide to create a bunch of ‘Yes’ men, or would you create humans who have free will, are able to carry on a conversation, argue about issues?”

“Okay. That makes a little sense I guess, but isn’t there some middle ground? Can’t you have a kill switch for when someone breaks through the arsehole barrier?”

“Believe me, Lucy and I have had many debates about that. What he always says – and I think I agree – is that there is no middle ground when it comes to freedom. You can’t be ‘a little bit free’.”

“But can’t your smiting guys just get a little quicker at the draw? Can’t they stomp out the bad guys before they do too much bad stuff?”

“Dude, I wish. The fact of the matter is that I sometimes have a hard time letting my smiters perform their mandate. Would you kill one of your kids because he did something bad?”