Date: Mon, 10 Jul 95 17:49:14 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Dear God:
[Only very slightly out of date for being more than 14 years old... -psl]
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Dear God: Why?
-- by Mike Royko [May 5, 1981]
Address: Somewhere in the Universe
I know how busy you must be with a whole universe to worry about.
That's why it occurred to me that you don't have time to read our papers
and your TV reception might not be good. So I thought I'd drop you a note
about how things are going here.
Well, things couldn't be going any better, at least as far as your
image is concerned. You would believe how well loved you are on this
planet today, and how much is being done in your name.
I hardly know where to start, there's so much going on. So I might
as well start in Northern Ireland where you've always been very big. Ah,
what religious fervor can be found there.
The Irish Protestants are so devoted to you that they do everything
possible to make life miserable for the Irish Catholics, because they
don't think the Irish Catholics have the right approach toward worshipping
And the Irish Catholics do what they can to make life miserable for
the Irish Protestants for essentially the same reasons.
In their great love for you, they shoot at one another, bomb one
another, set one another afire, kill little children, bystanders, cops,
soldiers, old ladies, and some are now committing suicide by starvation.
Then each side buries its dead, goes to church, and gives fervent
thanks to you for being on its side. It is very touching.
And one thing about these people: Their devotion to you is unshakable.
They've been doing this for about four hundred years. So it's a good
thing that you have an entire universe at your disposal, because I don't
know where else you could find a room to accommodate the souls of all the
people who have died there in your name.
You're also highly regarded in a country called Lebanon, where just
about everyone believes in you, although they don't agree on what you
should be called.
In that country, there are Moslems and Christians, and they've created
different sets of rules for worshipping you. Naturally, they say you have
sent the rules down to them. I don't know if that's true or not, but if
I may make a suggestion: If it's true that you gave them the word, it
would really simplify things if there were only one set of rules. It
would cause less hard feelings.
But such details aside, they are expressing their devotion to you by
killing each other by the hundreds. I guess they figure that if one side
can wipe the other side out, it will prove their way of worshipping you
is correct, and you'll be pleased with them.
So every day, they lob shells at one another and blow up the usual
men, women, children, bystanders, old ladies, and stray dogs. And every
day, they take a few moments out to thank you for your support and to
promise that they'll continue their efforts on your behalf.
Now, not far from there are countries called Iraq and Iran. The
Moslems in those countries basically agree on what to call you, but they
disagree on some details concerning how best to worship you. So they're
killing one another, too.
It's more than a little confusing, though, because in Iran there are
people who call themselves Baha'i, and they, too, have their own way of
showing their respect for you. Unfortunately for the Baha'i, their way
doesn't include killing others who don't share their point of view. So
that makes them patsies, and the Moslems in Iran, in their love for you,
have been kicking the Baha'i around pretty good.
Just a short missile ride away, there's a lot of religious action
going on between a country called Israel and just about everyone else in
The people in Israel also have their own set of rules for worshipping
you, which they say you passed on to them. And they claim that you look
more favorably upon them than anyone else. This has always caused a lot
of hard feelings because a lot of other groups figure that they're your
favorites. (It must be hard being a father figure.) Israel's claim that
they're Number One has also made some people wonder this: If the Jews,
after all they've been through over the centuries, are really your chosen
people, what do you do to somebody you don't like?
Anyway, the Jews and their Moslem neighbors -- both of whom claim your
complete support -- have been going at it for about thirty years. But I
don't think they'll ever equal Ireland's record because they'll all
eventually have nuclear bombs. Boy, when they start throwing those
around, will you have a crowd showing up.
Oh, and I can't forget to mention this final item. Somebody just shot
the Pope. As you know, he's the leader of one of your largest groups of
followers here. A very peaceful, nonviolent man, by the way, although
his followers have been known to shed a few million gallons of blood when
their tempers are up.
Anyway, the man who shot him apparently did it because of his devotion
to you. It's not completely clear, but this fellow seems to think the
Pope was in some way responsible for somebody invading the sacred mosque
of his religion in a place called Mecca. That, of course, was an insult
to you, so he got even on your behalf by shooting the Pope.
Well, I know you're busy, so that's all for now.
P.S. I never believed any of those stories going around a few years
ago that "God is dead." How could you be? We don't have one weapon that
can shoot that far.
© 1995 Peter Langston