NEWSFLASH: The controversy over God's alleged "loyalty gap" mounted yesterday when investigators discovered the Almighty's failure to register with either major American political party. What's more, God has not signed on with any minor organization either: Nothing resembling divinity was found on the mailing lists of the Libertarian Party, California's Peace and Freedom Party, the Liberal and Conservative Parties of New York, the current wave of Green Parties or the Vegetarian Party. God has not paid dues to any Socialist Party.
One radio talk show host accused God of "evasiveness" and called him to "come clean with the American voter." Others say they're weary of the Lord's "superior attitude" and "aloofness" amid the scandal. "God needs to climb down to our level," said a campaign expert. "The my-thoughts-are-not-your-thoughts, neither-are-your-ways-my-ways thing doesn't cut it. Isaiah 55:8 is so B.C.E."
This latest revelation arrives on the heels of last week's discovery that Jesus Christ was not even a U.S. citizen. Pundits now wonder if the INS would have turned him back at the border because of his trouble-making reputation and cronyism with society's rejects.
Such a cavalier attitude toward the United States harkens back to the scandal's beginning: Last year, federal authorities culled the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and discovered that America is not even mentioned. Not once. Not even in a footnote. The books zero-in on the Middle East, where civilization began and, apparently, will end. God even authorized the region's vast oil reserves, prompting accusations that the Lord is deliberately forcing the world to focus on the region. Poll ratings plummeted further upon the release of a physician's report showing that God thrived in the centuries before America's existence and would remain in the best of health if the nation vanished. God is not enslaved to this nation's alleged Christian identity or lack of it.
"It's as if God doesn't even need us," said a disgruntled voter. "OK, so the Lord is transcendent," said another, "bla-di-bla. Tell that to the focus groups."
The Bible's resilience is no help. Unpopular passages remain despite repeated editing attempts. Contemporary presidential candidates view recurrent prohibitions against lying as "impractical" ("How can we correct the record?"); "Atlas Shrugged" fans find 1 Timothy 6:10 galling ("For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs"); Health and Wealth advocates bristle over the story of the rich ruler (Luke 18:18-30). Verses forbidding taking innocent life are still there, with every indication that all humans are valued, no matter how primitive, dependent, or helpless - both inside and outside the womb. Verses implying stewardship and care for God's creation remain embedded.
"The Supreme Being refuses to adjust himself to our expectations," said a spokesman. "Is God a conservative? A liberal? God needs to figure out who he is and stop waffling."
And then there is God's naïve economic theory, which, experts say, flies in the face of market forces vested in self-interest. God commanded his people to practice what can only be called "reverse supply and demand": "When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price ... Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the LORD your God" (Leviticus 25:16-17). To top it off, the Almighty promulgated a strategy that would have eliminated institutional, generational poverty: all debts were canceled and land would revert to its original owners every 50 years. Provisions were made to prevent hyperinflation and deflation (see various verses in Leviticus 25).
"God needs to come off the mountain top and get real," said one expert. "Clearly, the Lord could have learned a thing or two from the managers of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG before He suggested an economy demanding such a stifling regulatory process." The expert was grateful that such utopian passages are tucked away in Leviticus. "Nobody reads that."
But controversies swirl more around what the Bible does not say. God endorses none of the economic models currently in vogue. He gives no opinion on capitalism; none on Democratic Socialism; and none on a mixed economy. God clearly had a burden for the poor (remember Leviticus 25 as well as other passages), but he did not specifically spell-out specific policies for a secular, pluralistic society. In fact, the Bible's over-riding theme is not systems or rules, but relationship: God is continually chasing after us, craving friendship, longing for a husband-wife intimacy even in times of wrath (see Hosea 2:16). Rules, systems and morality are an outcome of this relationship. God's motif is harmony while ours is competition. Even disagreements can be used as a means of getting together, pooling information, brain storming and achieving unanticipated resolutions.
The consequent personality shift of a divine-human bond enraged World Wrestling Association directors: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). One board member asked: "How does God expect us to go forward with our business plan?"
"God just doesn't get it," said a political advocate. "Love is great but unworkable. The Invincible Colossus should learn leadership techniques from today's movers and shakers. We'll schedule the Lord for an appointment with U.S. Senate and House leaders."