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God Declares "Atheism Is Dead" Sep 23, 2013 - 10:35
NEW YORK–In an exclusive interview with The New York Times Book Review, God declared confidently that atheism is "deader than the Dead Sea Scrolls" and atheists have only themselves to blame.
Although he was a few minutes late for the meeting—"I thought I was supposed to be at The New York Review of Books"—God had his A game with him. When he was asked to "talk a little bit" about a London-based movement to franchise atheist churches, he shook his leonine head majestically.
"I like the name Sunday Assembly. Sounds like a group of fundamentalists meeting on the cheap in a community room in a strip mall. I expect the lads who came up with that name were taking the piss out of religion, which is fine, but they made a fatal mistake with that franchising move.
"As soon as you franchise something, it's already dead. It's doomed to becoming a parody of its once-vital self—like the Rolling Stones, The Who, or Green Day. By moving into franchising, the lads who created the atheistic church are turning it into just another religion, one that's gonna die before it gets old."
After reminding the editors of The Times Book Review that he had "a much better track record at predictions than Jesus or John the Baptist," God, who was as shirtless as Vladimir Putin on horseback, predicted that atheists would need "a herd of St. Paul's" to put out all the fires that would start when franchise church owners got to fighting over revenue sharing and territory.
Equally troubling in God's eyes is the Sunday Assembly's “global missionary tour,” set for an October-November launch in twenty-two cities in England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, the United States, and Australia.
"That missionary approach—I call it the missionary position—works fine among the poor," said God, "especially the ones still wearing loin cloths; but the better educated, more hip demographic most likely to be drawn to atheism will be put off by squeaky clean visitors selling non-religion in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, just as much as people are put off by Mormons selling false gods from behind starched white shirts and gay-looking ties."
The Sunday Assembly atheist church was founded in January 2013. The East London community venture soon earned a reputation as “part atheist church, part foot-stomping good time." Now the house of non-worship with the 1960s motto, “Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More," lays claim to a 3,000-percent rate of growth and to the fastest-growing-church-in-the-world title.
God remains unimpressed.
"Christians have survived Buddhists, Rosicrucians, Scientologists, even Any Rand. I think we can survive the franchising of atheism, too, but I don't think atheism can survive the franchising of atheism. It sounds too much like Unitarianism, but with all the interpretative dancing cut out, and maybe not so butch. Who needs a clone of that?"
Before departing to set up a Skype conference call with Pope Francis, Pat Roberston, and the Dalai Lama, God chuckled and said we should get together soon and discuss the atheistic church again, "perhaps about the time atheism has split into orthodox, reform, and charismatic branches."
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The Pug Bus Interview
Enjoy the interviews nobody else has the sack to do. We aren't afraid to stop totally at the surface, because no matter how beautiful a person might be on the inside, you've still got to look at him or her when you're speaking to 'em..Read on.