Train Journey, 2065 (?) by William Lloyd

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SUMMARY: A conversation on a tube train in the future.

MAWWWP MAWWWP MAWWP, said the train, leaving behind another station and drifting onward at five hundred kilometres per hour.
"If I may posit just another question," she said, shifting in the grey plastic chair. "If God is not man, then why, if I may be so blunt, is he so often called it? The writers of the Bible weren't making any mistakes; they called him 'He' not 'He-She' or 'the Increate'. The word is 'His'- His wrath, His love, His grace. You know what I think? I don't think this nominal choice is about male dominance at all. I think that the Old Testament actively defames God.
"The text was obviously written by an idol-worshipper to show to his fellows how tyrannously awful the rule of any monotheist's god would actually be- it'd be an oppressive, cruel regime with unforgiving rules about lust, life and love.
"No sex with animals, no masturbation, no coveting thy neighbour's ass- no fun! What's more, he'd probably drown you all for your ideas, or build orchards you're not allowed to eat from, and tell you kill you to slit your children's throats, only to cry from the heavens, "I was only joking! It was a test of faith, my son. But well done for trying- otherwise I'd have had you bloody stoned!"
"So don't elect Yahweh, not He, tribes of Zion! Don't choose cruel Man as your Lord, who plunders and judges."- That's what the writer is saying. That's what it's all about. And that's why I think the whole thing had to be devised by a woman. She was either rejected by a lover; I hypothesize, or more likely lived with an abusive husband. "WRITE THE NEW TEXT OF THE JEWISH FAITH!" He commands. "As you wish, lord," she replies. And so she uses her spouse as the basis for the new religious patriarchy, and fills her book with His Laws, His Judgement, His Wrath. Her plan follows thus: Unknowingly, he fails- too dumb to notice the intricacies of her profane rebellion- and she, knowingly and happily, succeeds, making The Old Testament a critical parody of male monotheism by way of an allegorical feminist essay. She, whoever she is, scribbling away at her parchment in the back of some Judean hovel, is the greatest secret propagandist of all time..."
"The bullet train whirled down the black subterranean corridor, filled with chuckles, guffaws and half-finished sentences.
"Have you presented this to the Paris Theology Institute?" said Hyman, smiling, a thirty-five year old in a ragged, black jumper.
"I'm working on my paper. They're going to love it," she replied jovially.
A crusty guy, with thick white sideburns and grey stubble, cried out from a few seats away, "Hey. I wrote something for that Institute once; it was a very long piece about the symbology of the pyramids, and they threw it out."
"How do you know?" Asked the lean twenty-something man beside him.
Bitterly, and looking to his feet he grumbled, "They never once looked at it. Not once. Or if they did; they read it and they didn't like it." He motioned now with his tough, worn hands that had seen a life pass restlessly.

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