John 3:16--Millions of adult people believeth that in spite of the way it looks, this God of thine so lovethed the world that he sent his only son down to experience a brutal and senseless death, that thou should pay great attention to this particular brutal and senseless death and not so much to all the other brutal and senseless deaths inflicted on other sons (and daughters) every minute of every day, and that if thou accept the claim without reservation that this one guy is truly God's kid, then not only will thou get an eternal life out of the deal, but that now and then, He shall taketh a break from crushing innocent people in earthquakes, drowning them in tsunamis and eating them alive with cancer to help His most flagrant and ostentatious followers to win a football game or hiteth a home run.
--From "Badger" Bob Berzerquierre's The New New Testament
"Cope! What the hell you doing here? Thought I told you not to come."
"Well, gosh, Bob. When we talked last night, you sounded so, uh ... ah, what's the word I'm looking for? ... uh ..."
"I was thinking more along the lines of 'unbalanced.' All wild-eyed and wound-up and weird. If I didn't know better, I'd think maybe you were hopped-up on some kind of goof pills. So I came over to see if you're OK. Hey Bob, you're not hopped up on goof pills, are you?"
"Bulls***, Cope! I know why you're here. You can't stand not knowing what I'm working on. You're the nosiest sonova ..."
"No no, that's not true. I really am worried about you. You've acted so depressed lately, especially after you threw away all that work you did rewriting the Constitution. It seems like maybe you're giving up. Calling it quits. Throwing in the towel. Hey, Bob, you're not throwing in the towel, are you?"
"Hell, no, I'm not throwing in the damn towel! Fact is, I'm digging in deeper than ever. I'm going straight to the core of it, Cope. The heart of it all. I'm going to the source."
"The source of what?"
"The source of about three-quarters of all the dumb crud and nitwit nonsense going on in America these days. The source that all these stupid a**hole right-wingers dredge up whenever they have to justify their arrogance and greed and ignorance. The source they always spout when they're out to slap down gays or women or science or authentic spirituality or the common benefit. The source, Cope! Do I have to spell it out for you?"
"Bob, are you talking about Fox News?"
"The Bible, Cope. The Word of God, Himself. What every fraud and moron and dips**t treats like the end to all further conversation. The ultimate 'I told ya so' for folks who don't know what they're talking about. I'm rewriting the whole damn thing, and when I'm done, that'll be the last of these insufferable p***ks using it as an excuse for whatever self-serving scam jobs they've got going on. That's what I've been doing, Cope, if you just have to know. A new version of the Bible that'll make all the others look like fantasy fiction."
"You can't do that! You can't rewrite the Bible!"
"Who says I can't? They've been doing it for more than 2,000 years. Picking what goes in it and what doesn't. Choosing which words to use and which passages to stress. Ignoring this part ... preaching up that part. People have been making it say whatever they wanted it to say from the very beginning. I'm just getting in on a long tradition. Only I'm hoping my contribution helps put an end to the tradition. Savvy?"
"So, Bob, why'd you decide to stick your nose in this stew?"
"It came to me when that Christopher Hitchens fella died last month. On the whole, I always thought he was a pompous poop, but he did have some guts. Him being an outspoken and unabashed atheist got me to thinking how important it is for nonbelievers to speak up and call irrational, insupportable hogwash for what it is. We have to stop letting these fairy tellers run the world, Cope. How the hell do we ever rise up out of our diapers as a sapient species when we're being flimflammed by such mindless slop?"
"But Bob, you gotta know people will be furious. You're kicking a hornets' nest that stretches from the Vatican to Arkansas. Think about it, if your idea actually took off, they'll accuse you of all sorts of things. They'll be blaming you every time something bad happens. Can't you just hear it? 'Hurricane wipes out Florida? It's Bob's fault for horsing around with our Holy Bible. More teenagers getting pregnant? Well, what do you expect when you let a blasphemer like Berzerquierre rewrite the Gospels. Another Democrat in the White House? It's God's punishment for making that darned Badger Bob's Bible available at the Barnes & Noble.' "That's what they'll say, Bob. It'll all be your fault. You and the gays and women's libbers and Hollywood and Darwin. Are you sure you want to get into all that? Is that how you want to spend the rest of your life? Getting blamed for everything? Hey, Bob, do you really want all those hillbillies and hucksters praying that you burn in Hell forever?"
"You know what it says in Proverbs, don't you, Cope? 'Better to reign in your own private Hell than to serve in their idea of Heaven.'"
"Bob, that's not in Proverbs."
"It is now."