Consider Believers

By Moe Lane


Yeah, I know who you are. Ask me if I care, you genocidal bastard.

What? You were expecting some granola-crunching, incense-burning flake ready to spout off gibberish about the healing power of crystals? Mother of All, you've been watching too much television - and gleaning the stupider bits. I thought that your kind were against that sort of thing.

Don't even think about telling me about the machinations of the Media. I already know about it, thank you very much - and not because Nybbas is friendly to my god. You look surprised that I know the name. Well, some sides to this War actually keep their servants properly informed: I know that your particular pantheon doesn't believe in that sort of thing, but why should I care about 'Heaven's' fetishes?

Keep my voice down? Or you'll do what, precisely? Thanks to your pantheon, I've already lost my job and custody of my kids. Something about 'providing an inappropriate home environment', if I recall correctly. No matter that someone had to plant evidence of illicit drug use first, then manipulate things until I faced a judge already in your pocket: after all, we can't have avowed high priestesses around and actually providing real miracles for the poor. Why, people might actually look at your racket with open eyes.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't help laughing. Such effrontery deserved it. What you don't seem to realize is that we saw through this artificial division between 'Heaven' and 'Hell' a long time ago. 'Demons' are just as much parts of your pantheon as 'angels' are. It's called dualism, and your Yahweh was quite clever to come up with it. It's certainly keeping your racket alive and well. Of course, it's also been directly responsible for most of the misery on the planet, but that's a small price to pay for all the Essence your kind get to batten upon.

That's really what bothers me most about you and your fellow spirits, you know. It's not that you obviously think that we're idiots, it's not that you're guzzling way more than your fair share of human belief, it's not even that you killed your cousins ... it's that you've even managed to delude yourselves that things have always been this way. Angel or demon, every single one of you is absolutely convinced that your god created this entire universe and everything in it - then you go to go through incredible amounts of mental contortions to avoid the question of why an omnipotent God would permit suffering and pain. If you would just admit that he isn't all-powerful or all-knowing, or even eternal...

Why do I bother? It'll just bounce off of the invincible armor of your self-righteousness. You're top dogs, you and your great powerful 'Enemies', and of course it's always been that way. Your precious Malakim ripped apart anybody who might be able to contradict you, after all ... except that they didn't, quite? The old gods are still here - weakened, but still here - and you didn't even exterminate the Hindu pantheon. Amazing how they never seemed to get attacked. Well, amazing to you. I'm not surprised that your Uriel never quite had the stones to take them on.

Oh, you can tell from my words that I'm not speaking 'Truth'? My, aren't you a funny fellow? Ever consider that you're getting your 'Truth' from your god ... and that he certainly would make sure that you'd get the proper responses to this sort of question? No, of course not.

Anyway, you've come here, apparently, to find out why I worship an ethereal god that isn't yours. Yes, I know that you didn't pose the question that way, but that's the one that I'll be answering. The answer's simple: because it's a symbiotic relationship. My god cares - you might call it enlightened self-interest, if you want to be snide, but the result is the same. My god dislikes seeing humans being unhappy or in pain, he has abilities that allow him to alleviate those conditions, and all he asks for in return is that we believe in him. If we don't, he dies. It's a fairer trade than either of your 'sides' has ever offered. If you've got the power to make life better, why not use it?

Because 'Hell' won't let you? Bah. My god has every hand against him, and he keeps fighting evil - and I can see his efforts. Can you see the efforts of yours? Don't bother answering - in fact, either go away or kill me. Your kind is good at that - although I'm amazed that you've never thought about why it's OK to interfere with Earth by killing things in carloads, but not OK to heal every case of AIDS in the world. Me and mine would do the latter in a second - if we had the power. That we don't is your fault.

Well, at least you're not muttering pleasantries about how nice it was to speak to me. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

What? You'll check into my legal case? Don't even think about trying to bribe me. You should be doing it, spirit: it's your pantheon's fault, after all. It won't make up for the crimes all of you've been committing for millennia, either. Just do it because it's the right thing to do.

Who knows? You might find it a refreshing change.


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