The Spectator
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 by Laramie Boyd
The Interview
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       A black limousine pulls up to the TV station back entrance and a security guard opens the back car door. The passenger gets out and the guard signals that it's time to open the rear door of the TV station. The passenger enters the building to what will be the greatest single event in television history, or any history for that matter. A man who claims to be God will be interviewed on a worldwide, even outer space, channel. The details of the program have been carefully guarded, so no one really knows what to expect, except that a person who has made the claim to be God and who has supposedly performed miracles that verify who he says he is, will hopefully answer questions that have been asked by a waiting world since the dawn of civilization. The interviewer has stated in the media that he hopes his questions are not seen as "I gotcha" questions, and that they will be answered in a "no spin" way, rather in simple, everyday language that most people can understand. Otherwise, he says, what's the point of the interview if vague, unintelligible answers and questions are given and asked that don't clarify the misconceptions, half-truths, and mystery surrounding the term God. And, the interviewer, who has yet to be identified, hopes that other details about some of the worlds religions are clarified. All eyes will be on TV sets tonight for this, the greatest talk show guest ever to appear on any program, anywhere. The ratings should be astronomical.
       The interviewer is in a room by a table where a pitcher of drinking water and two glasses are provided. The guest seats himself, alone, with, unexpectedly no body guards, cue cards, or any other paraphernalia on the table or in the room. The interviewer seats himself and begins, "For me to say welcome, Sir, might be the greatest understatement ever offered anyone. Or should I call you God? How would you like to be addressed, if I may ask? Or maybe better yet, can we begin by asking you why we should believe you are God, as many have come forward in the past with this claim. Why are you any different, if I may be so bold as to ask? What are these "miracles" you have performed that would verify that you are God? And if you are God, are you the only God?"
       "Young man, do you believe there is a God, one who created the universe and sustains it and more or less rules over it? And by the way, you may call me whatever is comfortable for you. What should I call you, then? How could I, or anyone, convince you or the rest of the world, that I was someone that you don't believe exists, as your questions might imply? It seems to me that my role here is to make you understand that there is a God, and then to hope you believe that I am that God by the words I speak. But even if you don't believe that I am God, it would be as beneficial to me to convince you that there is one. I would be satisfied if that is the outcome of this interview. Whether or not you ever believe that I am that God, that's up to you."
       "Sir, I'll call you God until it is clear that you are not. Sir is okay for you to call me. And believe me, no one on Earth would be any happier than me if today we could settle, once and for all, whether there is a God or not. And I would be doubly rewarded if you were that God. Maybe the first thing that comes to mind for this program to explore is the question of how you came into being. Some people find the statement that we sometimes hear, "I always have been and always will be" a bit disturbing and hard to get a handle on, let alone wonder how that could be possible. By what, or whose power did you come about? Are you so powerful that you created yourself? Are you the only entity in the Universe that has "always been"? Was there a beginning and will there be an end of all life, or even the universe? If you are God, wouldn't you know these things, and all other things? To say that you were never born, but just was, is hard for most of us to comprehend. Can you tell us how it all started, if it had a start, or for that matter if your existence will have no ending? What can you tell us that will make it easier for us to understand something that has no beginning or ending, that just is?"
       "Sir, today there is what is called a "Big Bang Theory", that almost every reputable scientist believes, that describes a time a way back, yes way back, when there existed only this little speck of matter, a small sphere somehow full of all the elements that make up all things that exist: space, time, energy, gravity, plants and animals. How this came to be is not explained. Nothing else, they say, existed but this sphere. And, the theory goes on, one day the speck of matter explodes, with a very noisy "Bang" perhaps, and as a result of this bang, all the atoms that exist today were released, and these atoms eventually, over millions and millions of years, gathered together to form all the galaxies, stars, planets and the Earth and its inhabitants. Now tell me, do you find this easier to understand than for me to tell you that I created the Universe and all its contents, in Heaven and Earth? Explain to me how the small speck of matter came to be, and how and why it exploded, and how from that Bang, all things that we know exist today came into being. Tell me that that's easier to agree with and understand than believing that I created the Universe. Whether I, or a speck of matter, created all things. In other words, isn't it just as easy to believe that someone created the Universe as it is to believe that no one created it, that it just happened? Or do you believe that I created the Big bang?"
"So, God, you're asking the world to believe that you are God and that you created all things, just because it's no harder to believe than the Big Bang? Because it's easier to believe that someone caused an event to happen rather than that some event just happened? God, just for the sake of argument, can you satisfy our curiosity a bit, here and now, and perform some even small act that might give us some evidence that you are who you say you are? Wouldn't it make sense to show us, once and for all, who you are, by doing something that no one else has ever done, or could do. Why keep it a mystery? Just show us, up front, then the naysayers would be put in their place, for myself and the rest of the people on Earth.
       "My boy, I'm hoping that after this interview you and mankind might believe a little more. How does that saying go? 'You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but .....', you know the rest. I didn't plan on creating a bunch of human-like robots who had no other choice than to blindly obey any and all rules I set forth, people who had no choice but to believe in me and act according to my laws. Aren't you glad you have a mind that can reason out what is best for you, to explore different paths of behavior, choose the way you want to live your life, to believe what you want and reject what you don't? Not to just be born, then die, with no initiative or say in how you lived your life? There are 3 or 4 billion people on Earth, increasing that number every year. Do you, or I, want that many human-like robots roaming the Earth? Which way would you pick, freedom to choose, or blind obedience? Some people would say I did all of you a favor to make it that way."
       "Interesting, very interesting, to say the least. God, not to change the subject, but which religion is the true religion, if there is one? Is Jesus your Son? Will only Christians who are chosen go to Heaven? Is there a Heaven? Is it a place, or rather a state of mind? If there is a Heaven, where is it? Are Islam, Shinto, Buddhism and all the other religions in the world legitimate? These are some substantial questions some Christians have about you on whether or not the alternative to leading a "good life", according to the Bible, will result in spending eternity in a place called Hell, a place that doesn't sound too inviting. Should we be leading a virtuous life just because we may be rewarded somehow after death, and punished if we don't. Is that fair, since no ever chooses to be born? Can't we all go to Heaven? Is the Christian Bible the source of your teachings, whereas the other books quoted by other religions are not? How are all these questions related? Are any of them relevant to your plan? Is your answer to these and countless other questions, 'You either believe or you don't, you either have faith or you don't?' I for one would think there would be more believers if a sign of your existence was revealed occasionally. God, so many questions, so few answers. Our boats are so small, and the oceans are so large. Where do we turn to sustain a reason to believe?"
       "Some of us, God, are having a hard time sorting out what religious scholars and priests and preachers and so-called holy men are teaching, with the scientific revelations that the space telescopes are indicating. Is it enough to say that the findings of these probes of outer space only prove there is a God who created the Universe? The pictures of the countless number of galaxies, each containing billions of stars and planets, extending literally endlessly in space, could make one think that for one person to have created all that, is so much to conceive of. How do we reconcile the apparent enormity and size of the Universe with the simple remark, "That proves that God exists"? "Young man, you have revealed questions that have been hounding humans for centuries. How can the answers to them be expected to come on this brief television interview? We should have more discussions, and soon. And that is not to say there are no answers, nor is it a copout, a spin to avoid answering questions that have no simple answers. I see the man behind the TV camera motioning that time has run out on this interview. Will you ask me back? Can we agree to meet again? My schedule is rather open, so let's get together and take up where we leave off now, and address some of your questions. And meanwhile, when I return, I will find a way to simplify my answers so it will be easier for you to believe. And I appreciate and thank you for the chance to visit with you and your viewers."
       The guest abruptly rises and leaves by the same door he came in. This startles the interviewer and he gets up and hurries to the door so he can say a fond farewell and say something that would truly let the guest know how much he appreciated the man giving his time to the TV station. He quickly opens the door, but finds no sign of the guest or the limousine outside. Just an empty back alley where the car had been parked. The TV host mutters, "Is it possible?"