Issue 4 TOC




By Travis Kraus 


O God, most all-powerful & supreme abstract concept; O, incomprehensible & indefinable “creator and ruler of the universe; Supreme Being”, as defined by Webster’s dictionary; O Lord, vague indescribable supposed semblance of man; O, builder & ruler of nations, dictator of fortunes, savior & condemner; O, king of Jews & Christians, Muslims & Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, possibly agnostics, yea, perhaps even Scientologists;

O God, receiver of gratitude, both first and foremost, whose metaphorical trophy case overfloweth with Emmy, Oscar, championship ring & numerous miscellaneous dedicated trinket, whose name appeareth ubiquitously atop the list of CD sleeve honorees; O, supreme  gesundheiter; greatest & most-referenced of semordnilap; O planet-making, fiery bush-talking, commandment-chiseling, virgin-impregnating, sin-forgiving, Satan-warring, Yourself complex-having, creator & savior figure to humankind;

O God, Almighty Lord, Heavenly Father, Yahweh, You Are That You Are, Allah, Vishnu, Shiva, Buddha, Jah, Lucifer, Alanis, George Burns, Morgan Freeman, Democrat, Republican, Nation, Church, Dollar, Euro, Yen, Black Gold, Texas Tea, Wal-Mart, Gap, Disney, Celebrity, Pop-culture, TV, Sensationalism, Fanaticism, Institutionalism, Escapism, Fear, Hope, Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Twinkie, Ho-Ho &, O, so forth;

O God, you who are all-powerful, you who are all-consuming, you who are everything & nothing, please grant us the wisdom to acknowledge your physical & spiritual nonexistence; help us understand that, in terms of real, you are not so, but, yea, are rather a non-divine interventionist fabrication of man’s imagination to pacify fears with regard to the mortality of body & personal identity, to rationalize inexplicable incidents of coincidence, to provide a template for everyday behavior; help us recognize, in all your power & glory, that you are a vehicle for governing & social engineering, that leaders & institutions appeal to our frail egos for self-propagation, that policy-making based on personal belief systems is an imposition on personal liberty, that we are paralyzed and/or distracted by inconsequential squabbling;  Lord, bestow upon us the perspicacity to recognize that potato chips resembling the Virgin Mary are accidental or, at best, delicious projections of our disquieted imaginations manifested by our inability to provide tangible evidence in support of our religious foundation;

O Father, who allegedly art in heaven, hallowed be thy name for an hour or so on Sunday mornings or when otherwise convenient; grant us the capacity to act according to what we purport to be pious, Jesus-ish, or any other comparable adjective (i.e. to practice what we preach), & not hypocritical delinquents of our own proclaimed diktats; thy metaphorical kingdom come, thy conventionally-interpreted will be done on earth as it is in imagined heaven; grant us the capacity to govern ourselves individually according to your principles of general goodness; guide us to be kind, fair, compassionate, selfless, generous & so forth for the sake of proper behavior & not for a reward of blissful eternal life in paradise;  guide us to reject  selfish & cruel tendencies toward others without fear of damnation-to-hell repercussions for such behavior; & forgive us not our trespasses as we should accept responsibility for the consequences of our actions without the luxury of absolution even as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us into only moderate amounts of temptation, but deliver us from ourselves; for thine is, currently, the kingdom, the power & the glory; for ever & ever; amen?