A subtle modification made to a certain kind of TV set enables the set to pick up broadcasts from Hell–that part of it that’s closest to our world. We join such a broadcast already in progress.
“And welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, for another round of Mock the Scriptures. I’m your host, Sid Mephistopheles–and how about a helluva welcome for our two contestants? Mr. Foaming-at-the-Mouth Atheist, and Dr. Wishy-Washy Liberal Churchman!”
(Hysterical screeching in the background)
“Now, you boys know the rules because you’ve both played before–and both won, let me remind our studio audience. The prize for this round is an autographed picture of George Soros. Are you ready to play Mock the Scriptures?”
Both: “Ready, Sid!”
“Okay. Now, in this round, I’m going to give you three propositions taken from the so-called ‘holy’ Bible, and you have to decide which one is the most ridiculous. The three propositions are: 1) God created the heavens and the earth in seven days; 2) Jesus Christ was born of a virgin; 3) Sinners are saved by belief in Jesus Christ. Foamy, you’re up!”
Atheist (hissing): “Well, what can you say? One is more ridiculous than another. There’s no such person as God, and the whole universe created itself! But then it’s all hateful and contemptible, isn’t it? Superstition! Anyone who believes a word of it is just plain stupid! Stupid, I say!” (His pale face begins to turn red. Tendrils of smoke issue from his ears. By the time he’s actually yelling, he’s also levitating some 12 inches off the floor.) “Dirty, stinking Christians! Dirty stinking Bible! Ack, grrrr, yowf!”
Mephisto: “Okay, Foamy, okay–calm down now. Don’t you love this guy? He’s been here 40 years and still refuses to believe it! How about a hand for Foamy?” (Hysterical screaming in the background. Mephisto turns to the Liberal Churchman.) “Wishy, you’re going to have to go some to beat that! But go ahead, give it your best shot.”
Churchman: “Thanks, Mephisto. You know, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me no pleasure–well, maybe a little!–to make fun of the childish stories in the Bible. Decades of modern scholarship have proved conclusively that hardly anything in the Bible is factually true. Seven days of Creation indeed! Virgin birth–a fairy tale. And we all know by now that there’s no such thing as a sinner–and if there were, whatever he believed in, that would save him! Really, the only thing God asks of the Church is to acknowledge the inerrant truthfulness of Science, and to perform gay marriages–”
KRAAAK–BAM! A blinding flash of lightning, with a deafening thunderclap, and suddenly Mr. Wishy-Washy Liberal Churchman is no longer present. There is only a charred spot in the floor.
Mephisto: “Oops! Well, folks, it looks like Wishy has won the whole shootin’ match, hands down.”
Atheist: “Wait a minute! Where is he? Where did he go?”
Mephisto: “I think I can safely say he’s been promoted to a lower level!”
Atheist: “Well, then, how is he going to collect his prize–that picture of George Soros?”
Mephisto: “Oh, where he’s going, I think he’ll someday be able to collect Mr. Soros’ autograph in person.”