Bruce’s Dream:
Badgering the Almighty

by Keith Gilmour, Glasgow, Scotland

(used with permission; all rights reserved)

Bruce: What — ? Where — ? Is this a dream? Who are you?

God: I’ll take that last question first. I’m God.

Bruce: You’re God???!! You’re God in my dream?

God: God in your dream.

Bruce: God in my dream as in “God spoke to me in a dream” or God in my dream as in “Last night I dreamt that God spoke to me”?

God: Something like that.

Bruce: Well which? Which is it? Do you exist or don’t you?

God: What do you think?

Bruce: I think — probably not — too much evil in the world.

God: But what about —

Bruce [interrupting]: Oho — here it comes, “You’ve given us free will and we wouldn’t appreciate it if you interfered.”

God: Well, since you mention it —

Bruce [interrupting a second time]: Oh, yeah! We’d all be full a’ moans if you stepped in every now and then to save us from natural disasters — and disease and — I’m sure Superman wouldn’t a’ been the least bit surprised if everyone he rescued chided him for violating their free will! And how much free will do we have anyway? Its limited already by our genes and — the way our brains are and — we allow our politicians to limit our freedoms, for heaven’s sake — and why? Why do we do this? Because we know that certain limitations make for a safer and happier world! Good parents do try to stop their kids electrocuting themselves, you know, and breaking their necks! And another thing, your lot are always telling us that you do intervene — splitting the Red Sea and whatnot so you can’t have it both ways!

God: Finished?

Bruce: What?

God: You’re finished your little rant, are you?

Bruce: It wasn’t a rant — it was a harangue!

God: I think I know the difference between a rant and a harangue. And if you hadn’t interrupted, I was in the process of asking you a question.

Bruce: Which is?

God: What about all the good? Aren’t you impressed by all the beauty and complexity? By how much goes right?

Bruce: I am. I am impressed. Of course I am. Who wouldn’t be? But I’m impressed by all that because its natural. Its natural. That’s what makes it so amazing. When I try to imagine that its all the handiwork of some all-knowing, all-powerful God, well — its hard to be even half as impressed. What really hits me when I try to conceive of some supernatural cause is — just how very much goes wrong!

God: But you do have free will. You know you have free will and when you say that —

Bruce: [interrupting a third time] So — just — well, hang on — no — just a minute — let me ask you this — you don’t know what’s going to happen next?

God: What?

Bruce: If we all have free will, then — you don’t know — for certain — what’s going to happen next? What the next extinction will be — where the terrorists will strike next — uh —

God: I know all the possibilities.

Bruce: Sure. But you don’t know for certain?

God: How could I? You’re free — you’re all free.

Bruce: Let me ask you this then — you remember the crucifixion of Jesus?

God: Obviously!

Bruce: And you remember the dinosaurs dying out?

God: Of course! Look — where’s this going?

Bruce: He has to ask! Which is the older memory?

God: The dinosaurs — obviously! They died out 65 million years ago!

Bruce: So what’s your earliest memory?

God: What?

Bruce: What’s your earliest memory?

God: I don’t know how to answer that —

Bruce: I’ll bet you don’t!

God: I —

Bruce: And how did you get to be God in the first place? How did you — come by — all this power?

God: I’ve always been God. I’ve always been all-powerful.

Bruce: You don’t think you were “created” by some “higher power”?

God: No.

Bruce: That there’s something bigger — better — than — your good self?

God: No. I don’t.

Bruce: Then you’re an atheist!

God: WHAT!!???

Bruce: An atheist has deigned to speak to me in my dream!

Grace: For — WAKE UP!!!!!