Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Unforgivable Sin

In a little known news release, Biblical scholars (actually me and a couple of Amish friends) announced today that the "unforgivable sin" talked of in the Bible is the cell phone.

Who knew?

I had always figured the unforgivable sin to be littering (damnable scoundrels) or, even more likely, advertising. I know that, as a parent, I'll never be able to forgive the guy who decided to make Saturday morning cartoons an orgy of commercials.

But no, the unforgivable sin is the cell phone.

The three of us discovered this startling bit of theology in a revelation while up late one night drinking root beer and playing horseshoes. God appeared to us just as I had thrown the most amazing ringer any of us had ever witnessed. In hindsight, we all recognized this as surely a miraculous precursor to the Lord's arrival.

We fell to the ground and called out, "Lord!"

It seemed the right thing to do under the circumstances.

God then, in no uncertain terms, relayed to us how the unforgivable sin was the cell phone and that He (or She... it's hard to tell when you've thrown yourself to the ground) wanted us to get the word out that God was verily buggered by this whole electronic gizmo craze that has swept across our land. And, just so you know, we're talking plague-league anger here.

Not being a big fan of these ubiquitous phones myself, I surprised myself by asking, "But Lord, the cell phone? What about advertising, or littering? I mean, after all, aren't people just trying to keep in touch with their loved ones when they carry one? That doesn't seem so bad.

"And isn't it only responsible to carry a cell phone if you have to go downtown? It isn't as safe in the city as it used to be, you know. I've heard of a friend of my cousin's husband whose car broke down in a bad area of town in the middle of the night and we think the cell phone was all that saved her from near-certain scaredness."

The Lord grimaced, and then spoke:

"Why? Why do you wish to be Always Accessible? Do you think that you're just that indispensible, is that it? Are you so important that people need to be able to reach you all the time? My children, I wish for you to be at rest at times, for you to have some peace."

God was crying.

"You long ago gave up the idea of having a day of rest, now with these gadgets, you don't even have a minute to be alone and at ease. You are trying to be omnipresent and you're just not equipped, you know?"

"Gee, God," I said. "That's really touching that you care for us so."

"Well, I am God, after all."

"Oh, yeah." Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Then, as I stood there berating myself, God walked away. A bit sadly, in my estimation. I called out:

"What should we tell the people, God? What is your message?"

Then God turned and with a wave of the hand, was immediately accompanied by an angel band. God then proceeded to growl out a pretty cool cover of the Eagles' song, "Take it Easy."

Take it easy, Take it easy,

Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy...

And as God and the Angels melted away into the eastern sky, the echoes of the refrain were soon covered up, ironically enough, by the annoying and wholly unmusical ring of a stranger's cell phone as they passed by.

Who knew?

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