God Must Divest Himself of Earthly Holdings
or Dick Cheney Aux Enfers
By Tiger Tom
Your opinions are of no concern to us. —God.
There is a basic flaw in the way things are set up. I, Tiger Tom, say that it is absolutely unfair and detrimental to heathens and Christians alike for God to accept money from Christians. The practice creates an obvious conflict of interest.
Politicians, in theory, are required when they take office to give up control of certain assets in order to assure impartiality. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, for example, made $39 million from oil holdings the year he was elected. That’s an undisputed fact. He is required to place his holdings in blind trust to assure that he will not be influenced to make self-serving decisions that would add more fat to his already-bulging bank account.
I, Tiger Tom, understand, of course, that Dick Cheney is a poor example to use for the principle in question, since vested or divested, participating or non-participating, profiting or not profiting, he’s going to make decisions that favor oil companies. That’s because helping oil companies is hard-wired into his brain.
What I, Tiger Tom, am concerned about is not the smalltime $39 million-a-year chumps like Cheney. I am talking about God. Now, there’s Someone with a real vested interest in the prosperity of Christians.
Consider that the Almighty is currently taking in big piles of cash—often in the form of a tithe, 10% of the earnings–from U. S. Christians. This means that when they profit, He profits.
I, Tiger Tom, say that this sets up a very dangerous situation, both for God and His followers. Not only does God have a vested interest in the financial well-being of Christians, it also puts us in front of one of those brain-splitting contradictions that the Holy Scriptures are famous for. Just consider this. Clearly, Jesus taught, once and again and several times after, that the poor shall inherit the Kingdom of God and that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I am sure that there are those who will argue that camels were smaller in those days and that needles had bigger eyes and that if you grease the camel well with olive oil, etc., but Jesus was really crystal clear on the subject of the great advantage, nay, the absolute necessity of poverty if one’s aim is the salvation of one’s immortal soul. And when a certain specific rich guy came and asked Him directly how to gain salvation, Jesus clearly told him to divest himself of his belongings and give the proceeds to the poor. He did not say anything about putting his stuff in a blind trust. He said get rid of it.
Now I, Tiger Tom, do not know personally if Dick Cheney tithes, as it is called, by giving to God or at least to what are assumed to be God’s representative organizations, a tenth part of his net earnings. But let’s say that as a Christian man of high moral character, he does. And I, Tiger Tom, do not personally know if Dick Cheney as a tither is a netist or a grossist. Some years ago when I was a mere cub in Sunday School there was much heated debate about whether God intended people to give a tenth part of their gross or their net income, to wit, to give based on what you took in before or after taxes. The netists prevailed. It was decided that He meant pay a tenth of the net–what you have after taxes. Well, in Dick Cheney’s case, assuming that he is a netist, since he owed $13 million of his $39 million in income tax (demonstrating clearly the need for a tax break for the rich) and was left with a paltry $26 million or so, he probably owed God no more than $2.6 million for the entire fiscal year 2000.
Now I, Tiger Tom, to give everyone and Everyone the benefit of the doubt, ask you to put yourself in God’s shoes. There are countless heathens who need to hear the Word. Up or down, right or left—everywhere you look, from God’s viewpoint there are sinners who need to hear the Word. Now, let’s say that God feels compelled to launch an ambitious missions campaign to spread his holdings in Africa, the very heart of heathen darkness, which He calculates will save 1.13 million souls if only the money can be raised to implement the campaign. So God is faced with a choice. He can spend his time tweaking the market a bit to funnel, say, $10 million more Dick Cheney’s way, or He can spend a lot of time helping a teenage single mom in Houston get on her feet and get a job. The chick in Houston, let’s say, with a minimum wage job, is only going to owe God about $1,000 for the whole year. Let’s face it. Greed will likely kick in and she’ll decide to selfishly keep the whole ten grand for herself. But Dick Cheney, after taxes, is going to have to cough up at least two thirds of a million (a lot more if he can get another tax cut through). $667,000, God figures, will translate to at least 32,746 saved African souls, while the Houston girl’s thousand will barely buy a spare tire for one of the salvation buses.
I, Tiger Tom, say that God did not get to be God by being impractical or dense. He did not fall off of a turnip truck. He’s likely to think: “That girl should not have gotten herself knocked up. A little more time on the bottom will teach her a lesson. But Dick—that boy has always been a good and faithful servant. Look at the infidels he’s bombed! And he supports capital punishment! An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, as I once so eloquently put it.”
Well, the obvious conclusion to draw from all this is that God has a vested interested in helping Christians. It’s as if they’re buying Him off with tithes the way the corporations buy the Tweedledums and Tweedledees who work in Washington. He helps them, they help Him. The more they get, the more He gets.
The Gospel According to Dick Cheney
But if you think this is a sweet deal for Christians, it is because you do not know all the facts. I, Tiger Tom, must tell you here about a vision that hath come unto me. It was as if an Angel of the Lord opened mine eyes.
Tiger Tom’s Vision
God is sitting at the toll booth to the Kingdom. (I know, it’s St. Peter who is supposed to be there, but it was his day off and God was sitting in.) So there’s God, thumbing through the brand new list of the recently defunct, when up steps none other than Dick Cheney.
God: Hola, Dick. I see here that that last hunk of cow finally clogged up the old ticker for good.
Dick Cheney: Well, you did give us dominion over the cattle of the field. One would assume it was OK to eat them.
God: I gave you dominion over your children, too, but I didn’t expect you to eat them.
Dick Cheney: Whatever. Look, Man, I’m not feeling very well. Dying takes a lot out of you. Why don’t you just hand me my wings or do whatever it is you do so I can go on in and start my eternal reward with a good long nap.
God: I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong idea here. You’re carrying way too much baggage to come in here….
Dick Cheney: Hey, cut the comedy. I’m tired.
God: It’s no joke, man. You were way too rich to qualify.
Dick Cheney: Rich? What’s wrong with rich? And it was YOU Who made me rich!
God: That’s just a technicality. A rule is a rule. You know the one about the rich guy and the camel. And it clearly says in Luke 4:22: “Woe unto you that are rich!”
While they are talking, a pale, thin girl approaches the Gate, and God glances her way and waves her through.
Girl: Wait, isn’t this Heaven?
God: It certainly ain’t Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Girl: Look, I’m not going in. I don’t even believe in all this crap.
God: Your opinions are of no concern to us. Jesus said clearly, “Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” I thought it was a little strong when He said it, but said is said, and I have to stick by it. The place is yours. Mi casa es tu casa.
God: (He looks at his list and reads). “Died of pneumonia while living under a bridge. Not eligible for food stamps because of welfare reform.” That’s you, isn’t it?
The Girl nods and He waves her through.
Dick Cheney: This really sucks! I say let’s take a vote. I’ll break the tie. And I want to appeal to the Supreme Court.
God: I am not only Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. I am also the Supreme Court.
Dick Cheney: Let me get this straight. You make people rich, then you condemn them for being rich, and you make other people poor and reward them eternally for being poor.
God: Something like that. That’s what all the stuff about Alpha and Omega and the first being last and the last being first is all about, I think. I never understood it too well myself.
Dick Cheney: This place is more corrupt than the U. S. Senate.
God: Whatever. As I told the lassie from Houston, your opinions don’t matter around here. Adiós, Dick.
With these words, God slaps a button on the arm of His chair and the floor falls from under Dick Cheney’s feet. The hapless former Vice President tumbles screaming into the mouth of the fiery pit. When Dick Cheney is gone and all is quiet, God looks into the pit and, as an afterthought, shouts:
God: And thanks, Dick, for all those powerful tithes!
Gazette Columnist Tiger Tom tells it like it should be. See more of his work at the Best & Worst of Tiger Tom Page