A Condensed Version of the Holy Bible
by Kane X. Faucher
In the beginning, God was floating about in the boredom of nothingness and thought to himself, “screw this—I need some action.” By barking out a command to nothing in particular in the middle of this particular nothingness, God invented the environmentally friendly, energy saving cosmic light bulb so that he could see this nothing a bit better to avoid tripping over it when he came back home Righteously Soused. Having invented day and night, this also invented happy hour. Seeing all this nothingness for the first time, God decided it would be keen to build a big place to store junk. This he called the world. To avoid being stuck with a big pile of mud, he divided the land and sea by putting dry stuff in one pile, and wet stuff in the other. An interior decorator our divine creator was not, and Feng Shui had not yet been invented. Such a large undertaking only took the Big Man six days, and looking at the result, we discern why hastily disregarding quality control is a bad idea. God decided to create junk to put in his new wet/dry closet. He put creatures who liked being wet in the water, and creatures not so keen on getting wet on the land. Seeing that the place looked a bit barren and boring, he added some fluffy green stuff for the critters to munch on when they weren’t munching on each other.
After awhile, God got bored again. Every time he tried bossing around or terrorizing his critters, they only responded with the same barks, roars, screeches and hissing. God decided to make a little version of himself to bully. Keep in mind that God had yet to invent therapy. This doll of him had none of his powers and so was easy to domineer. He called it Adam and placed it in a special place called Eden that had the greenest fluffy stuff. Therefore God invented landlordism. Adam (the first tenant of his verdant ghetto) was made out of mud and maybe a few sticks, which perhaps speaks yet again to problems with quality control in a centrally run state economy. Feeling lazy, he told Adam to go around and name stuff. This he did, fearing lightning bolts up his ass. Adam became a bit bored after naming everything and wanted something else to do. So, God put Adam under full anaesthetic, and since perhaps God was experiencing a material resource deficit at the time, decided to make a similar-looking creature out of Adam’s rib. This new creature’s name was Eve, and was lumpier in places that Adam was not, and seemed to lack the special ability of writing her name in the snow.
Adam and Eve hit it off right away. Because Eve was made out of Adam’s rib, Eve became both the first piece of indentured property and the first being with an outstanding debt. After being told to be fruitful and multiply, Adam and Eve devised a method (ever since being a very popular one) of manufacturing more of each other without the messiness of bone extraction surgery and the tricky business of full anaesthetic.
God was running out of places to put his junk, and unwisely decided to store his Tree of Knowledge in the same lush and fecund apartment as Adam and Eve. This had the effect of telling alcoholic house sitters where the secret liquor cabinet is, and then telling them not to touch it. So, when God wasn’t looking, Eve strolled nonchalantly by the forbidden tree with its unsurprisingly forbidden fruit. Meanwhile, Satan, having been already downsized from Heaven Inc. for trying to start the universe’s first labour union, persuaded Eve of the benefits of labour laws that grant more say to all of God’s employees by means of long negotiations with management and singing-in-the-rain picketing. And, like most shop stewards, Satan was a slithery, slimy serpent. Eve saw the benefits of full dental coverage and labour representation and decided to take control of the means of production. She then lulled Adam into signing up for the union, and they both took a big bite from knowledge production as empowered and enfranchised labour union activists. This really flew in the face of God’s innate cosmic Fordism. To this day we still blame women for collectivist utopia strategies that don’t work outside misty-eyed idealist texts that unite workers so that they can all live in drab concrete apartments with secret police and no meat at the butchers. Rather than arbitrating with the union, God asserted his corporate might and scaled back Adam and Eve’s benefit packages and had them evicted without the now common 60-day obligatory notice. God withheld their stock options. Immediately, Adam and Eve felt shame in their nude idealism, and took to hiding their Marxist texts under piles of fig leaves. Although God henceforth made childbirth an excruciating affair, he was at least decent enough to retain the pleasure in their manufacture. Adam and Eve were now freelancer creations left to become entrepreneurs of the land outside Eden, which was a harsh market to crack.
There were a lot of begats.
Cain and Abel were the first instance of ideological disagreement. While Abel was a soft-hearted liberal who believed in giving up the best share of his pay to the State in the hopes that it would be a good financial steward to fund social programs only losers need, Cain was more of a libertarian conservative who seriously distrusted government’s ability to manage his hard-earned dollars. Since Cain was not a minority, giving up the best 80% of his sheep, cattle, and crop to less than 20% of the citizenry seemed to him like a suspicious tax-grab. Besides, reasoned Cain, whenever government sought to interfere with social needs, it was always a disastrous reduction of individual freedoms. To him, government was rich enough, and to engage in an unfair tax strategy would choke the free market and cause less corporate investment. God favoured Abel over Cain, so Cain hired a mud raking committee to destroy Abel in the electoral polls, effectively demolishing Abel’s political career. God punished Cain by branding him a Republican and he was forced to wander from one evangelical community to another giving public lectures to Middle America.
And so begat more begats.
Adam and Eve did well to be fruitful and multiply, eventually causing a Malthusian population crisis. Rather than to sink endless money into aid programs that never work anyway, God said, “Screw this: I’ll just commit genocide and start clean.” And, lo, the first mass pogrom was instituted. God instructed the local halfwit, Noah, to get two of everything in what was the world’s first fire sale. He also told him to set up a safe account in Switzerland to store these riches. Noah set up a tax shelter and floated upon this for 40 days and nights while God single-handedly applied his Versailles Treaty. Afterward, Noah was given highly favourable contracts in reconstruction initiatives.
Eventually, Moses was born. Because of Egypt’s lack of abortion clinics or effective adoption services, Moses was entrusted to become a ward of the state. After a long series of abusive foster homes, Moses started his own special interest group by uniting all the menial wage earners to go with him to found a kibbutz outside of Egypt. The Egyptians were not pleased with this, and despite a few divinely inspired poor quarterly earning reports, a Chernobyl-like accident involving the Nile, many sons succumbing to cocaine abuse, and an outbreak of useless French ideas falling from the sky, the Egyptians pursued the AWOL employees to the Red Menace Sea. In a baffling act of derelict logic, Moses parted labour from capital, and bade his troupe of socialist yahoos across. The Egyptians were in hot pursuit, but were quickly engulfed by the non-resolvability and hopelessly circuitous logic of soft Marxist ideology.
Like most socialist and central planning programs, Moses’ Stalinist 5-year plan took so long that many of his devotees died before the Worker’s Utopia could materialize, spending a great deal of time in barren and arid arguments and go-nowhere policies. Eventually, Moses brought them to a big craggy Kremlin where he was to meet the head of the vanguard party for further doctrinal guidance. Meanwhile, around the Kremlin, Moses’ devotees were being swayed by an illegal influx of blue jeans and rock music. Moses spoke to God, and God printed out a manifesto meant to inspire communist morale. When God had his ideological change of heart remains a theological mystery, but it seems that he has had a lot of daft ideas and a quick-to-rise temper.
Moses saw that his people had been polluted by Western values and took a hissy fit, making a mess of a few pages of the new manifesto. However, half the manifesto remains, and all ten talking points can be reduced to “thou shalt have no fun,” which exactly captures the spirit of communism in any of its incarnations.
Kane X. Faucher is the author of several books, assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario, and recent winner of the Camera Obscura Outstanding Short Fiction Award. His most recent novel is The Vicious Circulation of Dr Catastrope. He lives in London with his wife and their three gifted cats.