Ecphonesis (ec-pho-nee’-sis): An emotional exclamation.
Me: Oh my God!!
God: What? What? This is a bad time. We’re on the edge of the apocalypse and I’m getting urgent prayers from all over your planet, not to mention a cacophony of “My God, Save me God, God help me, and even Goddamnit,” which violates one of my commandments. Idiots. You don’t earn salvation with vinegar.
Me: Oh God, PLEASE help me. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please,
God: BTW, did you try contacting my son? He’s been despondent, especially about the USA where the religion named after him has become the opposite of caritas, it’s foundational value. Love is nowhere in the air. In fact, it is nowhere.
Me: I called your son two days ago. His secretary told me he was busy spreading the Gospel message and wouldn’t be back until Tuesday. I waited and then called you. Thank-you for lending an ear when I yelled into the air.
God: Ok. I already know your problem. Tell it to me in your own words.
Me: Ok. I’m reading a book my girlfriend gave me titled Atheism Will Set You Free. It has shown me that a dependence on faith to underwrite key features of my life is crazy. I’ve been taught that everywhere that what is tangible, and therefore, knowable bears a truth, will set us free. In fact, it is possible that our conversation is a figment of my imagination. Am I talking to myself?
God: Yes, but it does not matter. Faith is operative all the time in your life. You don’t disparage making plans, encompassing a future that does not exist, that can only be conjured in belief. That’s all you can do, fully understanding that when the future manifests itself, what you believed was wrong. I’m like that. If you live with faith in me and my promise to you, you’re going to be happier than if you (ironically) don’t believe in me. It’s all a matter of belief, that’s what makes it special.
Me: Thanks God! Now I can tell my girlfriend she’s full of shit and then find a new girlfriend on the internet.
God: That’s a belief, or should I say hope, you’re vesting your future in!
Me: Ha ha! I can’t believe I’m doing this; sitting my couch writing a dialogue with God. Given my lack of theological knowledge, I must look like an idiot. All I can say is that the choice between being an atheist and a believer is not easy to make. Loosely, Pascal came to a pretty good place: if I believe in God and there’s no God, no big deal, but if I don’t believe in God, and God exists, big boo-boo. So he believed in God.
Oh well, as Ripley said, “Believe it or not.”
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
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