Thursday, May 29, 2008

God and Moses in Creationism Defined (A Play)

[Scene] Mount Sinai circa 1200 B.C.

God [in booming epochal voice]: MOSES!

Moses: Ahh! What!


Moses [nervously hurried]: NO! What? No, of course not. God? Is that you? Where are you?

God [incredulously]: I am the bloody burning bush you ponce.

Moses [gears cranking, not comprehending]: Bloody. . . and . . . burning . . .. Ponce?

God: Oh, Jesus . . .

Moses: That's a good name.

God: . . . forget it. Turn around, see the fire. That's me.

Moses: Uh, O.K. Whatever you say, your highest holy burningness.

God [feigning annoyance at the superlative style]: Did you bring the tablets?

Moses: Yes, oh Great and Merci--

God: Good. Put them down, we won't need them for a while. Today, we are going to start at the beginning.

Moses: The beginning? Do we have enough time? I mean, that bush can't burn forever . . .

God [making whatever expression a burning bush can make to show that it is going to patiently wait for the realization that previous statement was idiotic]:

Moses: . . . uh God? You there?

God [flicking out a burning ember onto Moses' foot]:

Moses: Ow! I thought you were a merciful God!

God: Oh, just wait until I tell you about Job. [under breath] What I did to him is going to pale in comparison to what I do to you [returning to normal] I am eternal, all-powerful, omniscient, yada yada yada, the bush will burn for as long as I wish it.

Moses: What if I pissed on it?

God: Remember your foot? How would like that three feet higher and a hell of a lot hotter?

Moses: My apologies for my impudence my lord. So the beginning?

God: Alright, pay attention. This is pretty complicated. Do you know what gravity is?

Moses: Like degrees?

God: Um, are you referring to degrees of temperature?

Moses: Is that what you want me to be referring to?

God: Sort of, but not really. We are not quite there yet.

Moses: Then, no.

God: So what degrees are you referring to?

Moses: Um . . . gravity . . .[awkward silence] . . . like, um weightiness . . .

God: [excitedly] Yes, exactly. Like weight.

Moses [overly enthusiastic]: O.K.! [gives bush the thumbs up]

God: [dryly] You have no idea what I am getting at do you?

Moses: Sure I do. Gravity is like weight. The beginning is so very important and serious, so I should pay extra special attention.

God: No, no, no and no. But sort of yes, but more accurately, NO! Gravity is the force that holds you onto this earth. It is why things are heavy.

Moses: Aren't things heavy because they are big?

God: Not necessarily. Compare a rock with leaves balled up in the same size as the rock.

Moses: What's a leaves? Do you want me to go?

God: Argg. Fucking desert. Forget leaves. Compare a rock with balled up cloth. Same size. Different weights. But gravity pulls on both objects the same. Let me show you. Take off your frock and ball it up. . . . Good. Now pick up one of the tablets. . . . Nice work Moses, there may be hope for you yet. Now get up on that rock over there. Good. This is the tricky part. Hold out the frock in one hand and the tablet in other so they are at the same height. Good. Now, how much heavier would you say the tablet is than the frock.

Moses: Oh, about a third of a talent.

God: Good. So the tablet is much heavier than the frock. Because of this, you may think that the tablet should fall faster than the frock. But gravity exerts its force on all objects equally, so they will all fall at the same speed. Go ahead, drop them. They will hit the ground at the same time.

Moses: Uh, won't the tablet break? It is six cubits off the ground.

God: Do I have to give the all-powerful speech again? It won't break.

Moses: O.K. [drops objects. They hit the ground at roughly the same time] I think the tablet still hit first.

God: That is just air resistance. Next time we will use your head. Anyway, gravity is a force that is exerted from the very center of the Earth. At the center of the Earth is a huge mass that is tightly compacted. You know how when you pick up wet sand, you can crush it between your hands into your hands into a smaller denser ball?

Moses: Ayup.

God: Good. Now imagine all of the grains of sands across the Earth crushed into the same size ball.

Moses: [closes eyes. Sways back and forth] Hhhhmmmmmmm. I do not mean to offend you your eminence, but I do not understand how that is possible. I have been to Egypt, there is sand as far as the eye can see, yet you pile up all that sand, it is still much larger than the largest pyramids.

God: Yes, I know that it is hard to conceptualize, but I am trying to explain to you the power of gravity. It was gravity that created the Earth.

Moses: But, I thought you created it?

God: Yes, but only evanescently. You think I want to be a burning bush? I would much rather be a cougar, or a Tyrannosauruses Rex, that would scare the hell out of you, hell, I would rather be a camel. The world works according to certain rules that even I cannot change. One soul per body. I cannot push out the camel's soul for my own gleeful purposes. That is the essence of free will. [whimsically] But maybe, if I could have a son, a child, part me, with a tangible presence on the earth, carrying out my dreams, a messiah maybe . . . [trailing off]. But, that is a discussion for another day. I created the universe. I created physics. A nudge here, a nudge there is all it took once I figured out the math. Moses, I figured out how to get three atoms of oxygen to bond with each other.

Moses: Is atom like gravity?

God: Adam? We have not even finished the creation of Earth yet. Don't get ahead of me.

Moses: My deepest regrets at having offended you your illustriousness.

God: Don't do it again. The mass, at the center of earth is what exerts gravity. It is a force that goes off equally in every direction. And before you ask, the Earth is round. Just accept that as fact.

Moses: Round? Huh. I mean, interesting your um . . . godliness.

God: So this dense mass formed, and it pulled lots of other matter to it through gravity. So, you understand gravity now right Moses?

Moses: Yes sir.

God: Good. Because your understanding of gravity is essential to the rest of the story. Gravity is how all the stars were formed, how the sun was formed, the moon, and of course the Earth. You understand this yes?

Moses: Yes. Crystal Clear.

God: OK. Now, we have to go back to before the Earth was created. Before the Universe was created. In the beginning, there was just me. And I had a thimble. And inside the thimble was all the matter ever created.

Moses: Wow. So, if the Earth fit in the thimble, then how big are you?

God: NO! It was a thimble that is the same size as a thimble that you have. Just an ordinary thimble. Like the one Aaron "borrowed" from Miriam. Remember the sand analogy? Same thing, just more matter in a tiny space. The power of gravity. Is this making any sense?

Moses: It is your divine word. I heard sometimes you speak in riddles. I am slow of wit. I know the riddle about what is more beautiful than your face, but I am having trouble solving how you can fit the Earth inside a thimble. Unless it is a very large thimble of course.

God: Oh, Moses smell the roses. It is not a riddle. Follow this. All matter was in the thimble. I exploded the thimble. All matter spread throughout the universe as space dust and gas. Some dust and gases formed clouds. At the center of these clouds, the dust and gases came together to form hugely dense areas. Like the sand. As they got more dense, its gravity increased. At the center, the core pulled in gas, and eventually became the Sun. Further out, more dust came together to become the Earth. Now this all happened over millions of years. It is a very slow, and lonely, process. But, eventually, all that swirling dust formed the Earth as you see it now, thanks to it being the exact right distance from the Sun, among other things. Understand?

Moses: I thought dust was created by dead skin cells? Is that part of the riddle?

God: Damn you Moses! One more mistake out of you, no matter how trivial, and you are barred from entering the holy land. Seriously. [muttering] I knew I should have waited for the Greeks.

Moses [crying]: Oh Holiest of Gods, I mean the one and only true God, I mean, my Master, I am your humble servant, please do not smite me down as I bow before you, on my hands and knees, I beg of you, for I am fallible, I falter in front of your brilliance, for I am weak, unfit to hear your divine prose, I am but one man, and you are all men, I am not worthy to appear in your presence, please, for I will let my people go, you can find them a new shepard, but spare my life, for even now, I will express unworthiness by kissing your feet, placing my face in the fire, to kiss the base of this magnificent bush, and--

God: Get up Moses. Sheesh. Have some dignity. That was a just a test. Yeah, a test. Or, a riddle. No, just a test.

Moses: [still weeping, wiping snot from his nose] Did I pass?

God: Oh yeah, you passed. Passed with flying colors.

Moses: I learn at your feet, oh great one.

God: Sure you do. You learn. Close your eyes. . . . Here is the lesson. There is no truth but the truth as I give it to you. There is no meaning but the meaning I subscribe. Now listen and listen carefully. This is my truth to tell. Memorize it. Share it. Spread it. For this is how I created heaven and Earth. On the first day, I looked at what I had to work with. Not much. Water. Some firmament. I moved across the Earth taking stock. On the second--

Moses: I do not mean to interrupt your sacred narrative, but was this during the day or at night?

God: Oh yeah, forgot that part. On that first day, I said let there be light. That made night and day. Certainly it had nothing at all to do with the Earth's rotation's rotation around the Sun. So that first day, surveyed the Earth, made night and day, and took a nap. That second day, I separated the firmament and the Earth, to make Heaven and Earth. Oh, and I made the sky blue. Do you want to hear about diffuse sky radiation?

Moses: [quizzical uncomprehending look]

God: Okaay. I put some water in the sky and left some water on the earth. On the third day, I called the Earth the Earth and the water the Sea. But when you retell this Moses, try to make this day sound, oh I don't know, busier somehow.

Moses: Like, you planted grass that day too?

God: Sure, that works. Thanks Mose. The Fourth day I made seasons and dabbled more with night and day. Night was too dark, so I figure out a way to reflect light to make most nights not so dark. The next day I filled the seas with all the creatures therein and the land with animals that were the size of 250 men put together.

Moses: No way. That is unpossible. That animal would be, well larger than the pyramids!

God: Yeah, sure, that was another riddle. No giant animals. Just birds. So what day are we on here?

Moses: Fish and fowl were the fifth. Did you take Shabbos on the sixth?

God: No, that is the seventh day. I still had one more day of hard work left. On the sixth I uh, shit, did I make cows yet?

Moses: No your excellency.

God: I made cows on the sixth day, and a bunch of other animals that walk on the land. Then I made man and said, Man, all this is yours. Enjoy.

Moses: Wow, you truly are a great god. Created all of this in only six days. An amazing Earth that provides us with sustenance and a temperate climate and a night that lasts justs as long as I can sleep. It is mind-boggling how perfect you got it. But God, why are the Egyptians so evil to the Jews?

God: Oh, Moses. I made man in my image. I have free will. Man has free will. And now, I shall tell you what a God does with his free will . . .

[scene closes on Moses sitting cross-legged, staring intently into the burning bush, as the Sun slowly sets in the background]

[fade out]

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