The Dream by Joe Dees

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If He became angry and sent me away, it would be what I had requested and desired. If, on the other hand, He refused to grant my request, I would be no worse off than I was already. So I told Him, all the while wondering why it seemed that He didn't already know.

"Before I was born I had lived a perfect eternity by Your side, Lord. Then You sent me to Earth. Pain, sadness and the presence of evil were my lot, and You took away my one possible consolation, my memory of You. I spent a lifetime in Hell, Lord. We ALL did, and NONE of us had done the slightest thing to deserve it. I could forgive You for THAT injustice, but NOT for the blasphemy of this Judgment Day."

His face was reddening, His teeth were bared, and the cords stood out on His neck. One blood vessel throbbed in His left temple. He raised a mighty hand to silence me, but I demanded, "Let me finish! His hand gestured as He nodded His Holy acquiescence and once again extended me the floor.

"Now I find that some of us shall have that Hell extended forever. You put us in a no-win situation, Lord. We all lost by being born into the world and separated from You; some of us simply lose more than others. This is not justice, but cruel hypocrisy!"

"Sweat beaded His mighty brow. He trembled with rage, and began, "Why you little --"

"And the last straw, Lord, is the existence of that damned Book," I overrode Him. "The souls to be blessed and those to be damned were already decided before we were abandoned, there was nothing we could do to change this, and we didn't even know who would be saved and who would be condemned! That, Lord, is nothing short of sick, twisted and demented sadism and pure and ultimate evil!"

He gritted His teeth, but stared at the cloudbank beneath me, and made no further attempt to interrupt.

"To relieve Your own boredom, You sent us who loved You to forlornly suffer through a Russian roulette game in boiling oil, with You knowing which chambers the bullets were in! For this I loathe You, You disgust and repel me, the very sight of You sickens me! Hell is Your Presence, Lord. That is why I wish to leave it."

He was not angry any more. He looked drained. Humbly, He raised His eyes to my face. His was still red, from embarrassment, I supposed.

"Very well, Mr. Dees, "He mumbled quietly, ""your request is granted. You may go to Heaven -- with the goats."

It was only then that I noticed His horns.

I awoke in the middle of the night in a pool of cold sweat with tears in my eyes, and could not go to sleep again. I squirmed and wrestled, but I could not find a logical fault with which to reconcile myself. I might be able to worship a hypothetical God, if He were good. However, I could not for the life of me bring myself to adore and abase myself before a deity whose very goodness was dubious at best. I still conduct myself ethically, as a gesture of care and affection for those with whom I must share this vale of tears. I cannot, however, prostrate myself before One who could be so evil and cruel. After all, why should I play His game if trying can't win?
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