Review: The Last Testament 58

The Last Testament: A Memoir by God (with David Javerbaum), Simon and Schuster, New York,  383 pages

God is a happily married divinity. He and his wife, Ruth (yes, she of the Book) have three children, Zach, Jesus, and Kathy.

Zach’s nickname is “the Holy Ghost”, H.G. for short.

Kathy begged for a sojourn on earth to enjoy some martyrdom, so God sent her to be Joan of Arc.

Jesus is “a classic middle child”. His frequent weeping irritates his father (“the kid was a pussy”). When Jesus wanted to be born as a human being, God was strongly against it.

“My son, a person?” I screamed at him.

However, after much cajoling by Ruth (“It might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to our little Jeez. Would you think about it, dear? For me?” ), God “softened somewhat”. He explains to the human reader:

At least insofar as accepting that Jesus was my son; and that as his father it was my duty to support him in whatever career path he chose to follow; even one as patently silly as dying for thy sins.

So for his sake, and Ruth’s, I swallowed my fury; and told him that whatever help he needed, I would provide; and whatever trials and tribulations he would face on his mission, I would help see him through. So that when it was all over, if Jesus’s time on earth ended (as I was sure it would) in some kind of nightmarish ordeal,

At least he could not accuse me of forsaking him, or leaving him hanging.

As we know from a previous Testament, he didn’t keep that promise. By his own account – confirming the information provided in two previous Testaments – he is a mischievous deceiver.

Far worse, he is a sadist. He candidly admits that he likes watching human beings suffer.

For lo, I had destroyed the world in a Flood; I had razed the Tower of Babel; I had leveled Sodom and Gomorrah [not for being gay-friendly cities but for being “the twin hubs of a massive international money-laundering operation”]; all manner of catastrophe had I already visited upon you, in the name of righteousness;

Yet it was only then – after finding myself enthralled by the slow silent agony of one I greatly loved [Abraham as he prepared to sacrifice his son];

I say, it was only then, that I first began to consider the possibility, that there was something seriously wrong with me.

He confesses the “real reason” why he allowed Job “to be so horribly afflicted”.

“It was not to test Job, but to test me.

I wanted to see if I could watch him endure his agonies without experiencing any of that same unnameable thrill I had derived from watching the binding of Isaac … and the countless other atrocities and tragedies that I had over the centuries allowed – or, sometimes, caused – to happen.

Such as the Crusades:

For pure spiritual entertainment, nothing compared to the Crusades …

There is nothing more gratifying than watching tens of thousands of people express their undying love for thee by running through tens of thousands of other people who possess equally undying love for thee with a pike.

(Especially knowing that in the end, the theological problems of two great faiths amounteth not to a hill of beans in thy crazy world.)

He’s also politically correct, and like any lefty he will boast of his compassion without minding that his deeds contradict his words.

How he feels for Goliath!  The giant had to be killed by David  – God guided the killing stone himself  – but the poor guy’s death caused the King of the Universe more than a pang or two. “Never have I felt more sadness about ending a life,” he says, because:

Goliath was a faithful husband; Goliath was a trusted friend; Goliath was a community activist; Goliath worked with troubled youth in inner-city Gaza; Goliath was cofounder of the Philistine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

He’s no deep thinker. He offers no profound analysis of why he created the universe or the way he’s run it. His tastes are not refined.

“No anecdote or commentary I provide [of the story of Joseph in Egypt] could ever improve upon Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

And when he effects, with difficulty, the conception of Jesus through a “miraculous act of asexual reproduction”, in order to show the world “from the start that he was both Word and flesh; Man and God; a subtle concept we knew would be difficult of comprehension”, he adds: “Indeed, I myself have never really figured it out.”

His Testament is a tell-all book that doesn’t quite tell all. He will not divulge the secrets of the afterlife. He doesn’t offer the least illumination of his “mysterious ways”. In  fact, he couldn’t do that if he wanted to:

I move in mysterious ways; and my reason for doing so is even more mysterious; and the reason for that reason’s mysteriousness is so mysterious, even I forget what it is.

Yet he craves understanding and sympathy (in addition to burnt offerings). After much boasting and gloating and wisecracking, a cri de coeur of existential doubt bursts from him:

For 6,000 years I have tried to be the kind of God people could believe in; but recently I have come to question the very nature of my divinity. …

What is wrong with me, me? …

I feel useless.

I feel like there’s no point in going on.

Maybe humanity would be better off without me …

So I’m turning to me.

I’m putting it all in my hands.

Yea, I made the universe; I made mankind; out of me spools the totality of all that ever was and is and ever will be.

But who am I?

Why am I here?

Do I even exist?

God knows.

I am the Lord everyone’s God, King of the Universe. …

I am he to whom people turn for comfort after being devastated by acts of me.

And I am he in whose name  hundreds of millions of people have given their lives, or taken others’; and they would not do that for just anybody. …

But I am the entity without whose constant presence all of humanity would plummet into reason.

And I amback!!!!

Still he needs to go into rehab, spending “a few months in a secluded fractal of the tenth dimension getting my head together”.

He returns with “a new self-acceptance”, in time for the run-up to Armageddon which he and H.G. and Jesus have definitely scheduled for December 21, 2012 – unless The Last Testament sells well enough to justify “a little wiggle room to leave time for a sequel”.

Unaccountably, he cannot foretell if his book will be a success.

He fears it may cause offense to Muslims, although he treats Muhammad gingerly, feeling “great apprehension concerning the writing of this section”.

I am Allah, the Wise, the All-Powerful, yet these days even I get a little nervous talking about Islam.

He indemnifies his publishers “from any and all outrage, fatwa, or all-out jihad that may result from the contents of the portions of this book pertaining to Islam.”

No doubt the old rogue savors the irony that the most appreciative readers of his Last Testament are likely to be atheists. He might even have written it specially for them.

Jillian Becker    November 1, 2011


Note to our readers:  The publishers of The Last Testament have let us know that “God could not be more thrilled” with our review. 

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Humor, Islam, Judaism, Reviews, satire by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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