Escape from the Pipeline

All Satan's Fault -- God At the Borman Trial

by R.C. Cooper

God has appeared on earth only once: during the genocide trial of the notorious Nazi Martin Borman after the latter had finally turned up on the Galapagos Islands hiding under the shell of an enormous tortoise. The trial took place under maximum security at Marlon Brando’s beach resort in Tahiti. This event verified once and for all that George Burns was not and never has been God in spite of his remarkable resemblance to that august figure, especially in his penchant for fine cigars.

God’s single appearance on earth came about as follows.

During the trial the wily Borman implicated God in the Holocaust, contending that He had created evil and was therefore ultimately responsible for the Nazi atrocities. The judge, one Chieftain Bora Bora, suggested that God be subpoenaed to testify. How the subpoena was to be delivered no one could figure out until a member of the jury, a Truk fisherman and former astronaut named Mworj, suggested the Space Shuttle—and it was done.

God said He would have visited earlier but no one had ever asked him.

Borman’s defense attorney, the world famous and flamboyant lawyer Flea Bailey, understandably tried to deflect the heat from his client to the Man Upstairs. Following are excerpts from the trial.

Flea: Did you, or did you not create all things on heaven and earth?

God: I did.

Flea: Do you, or do you not, have dominion over all things great and small?

God: I do.

Flea: And all things bright and beautiful?

God: I do.

Flea: War and peace, crime and punishment, the naked and the dead, the red and the black?

God: I do.

Flea: Then you are all-powerful?

God: I am.

Flea: And you are all-good?

God: I am.

Flea: Ah ha! I have caught you in a lie, Sir. How can you be at once all-powerful and all-good? For if you are all-powerful you must take the responsibility for evil, and therefore you cannot be all-good. What do you say to that?

God: That argument is as old as the hills, Flea. Why don’t you come up with something original? If this trial fails to amuse me, I’ll evaporate.

Flea: Please do not evade my question, Sir. I asked you?

God: Yes, yes. My answer is this: I did not create evil, but I created a being who created evil.

Flea: A being, Sir?

God: Satan.

Flea: Ah, yes—your scapegoat. But if you create a being who creates evil, are you not still responsible for the creation of evil?

God: If you break the atom, are you responsible for Hiroshima? If your son commits murder, are you responsible for that murder? I had a choice: either populate the universe with puppets or with beings who possess independent will. I chose the latter. I gave Satan the freedom to choose and he chose badly. If I should change the groundrules to rectify this situation, that is, terminate Satan and evil, then independent will would no longer be independent. I would rule slaves rather than free subjects. Among other things, Flea, this would considerably diminish your annual income.

Flea: Are you omniscient?

God: Basically.

Flea: Then you can see into the future?

God: No. I did not know that Satan would choose evil. Under the present groundrules I cannot see into the future any more than you can. If I could, the independent will would have no meaning—all surprise would be eliminated. I devised these groundrules in the first place precisely to allow for surprise—before then the universe was a colossal bore. It is true, however, that if I elected to change the groundrules I would be able to see the future. But I elect not to, for the reason stated.

Flea: So Satan is solely responsible for creating evil in the world?

God: He is.

Flea: Despite the fact that you designed the laws of the universe?

God: Not I personally. My science and technology advisor the Archangel Hitech designed them. Unlike Satan, he made many fine choices and overall did an excellent job. I gave him a near-perfect performance appraisal. Only one law got away from him.

Flea: One law?

God: Murphy’s.