I apologize for contacting you in such a public manner but there is an issue here in Georgia I need to discuss with You pronto. I thought about bringing it up in my prayers but, frankly, I have so many sins teed up to apologize for that my knees would likely give out before I ever got to this matter.
I don’t claim to be a theologian but I know in my heart that You like Georgia better than any place on this planet, and I thank you for that. (There is some question about Malfunction Junction, aka, the city of Atlanta, where the sewers don’t work and neither do a number of its citizens. I’m not sure how Atlanta ended up in Georgia, but if You created the duck-billed platypus, I assume there is also some reason for Atlanta.)
Here is what I wish to discuss: Recently, a fellow by the name of Ed Buckner discovered Gideon Bibles in a cabin he had rented at Amicalola Falls State Park in North Georgia. He promptly complained to park employees, who removed the Good Book, lest they offend him. I assume the employees thought You would be OK with that.
Attorney General Sam Olens said Bibles are permissible in the park because taxpayers hadn’t paid for the books; the folks at Gideon had. Gov. Nathan Deal (as You know, he is our earthly governor) said put the Bibles back in the cabins and lodges in our state parks.
This has gotten atheists in a stew. They want to place their books about all the benefits of being an atheist in the same cabins and lodges. (I’m guessing it is going to be a short book.)
Gov. Deal says whatever floats your boat. He has more important matters to attend to, like trying to prevent Republicans from killing each other. I don’t know how much You keep up with politics on earth but Republicans can be weirder than a duck-billed platypus. They have yet to figure out that Democrats are their problem, not each other.
I know You know everything, and therefore telling You I am acquainted with Buckner, and that he is not a bad guy will come as no surprise to You. In fact, I have found Ed easier to deal with than a lot of Bible-thumping, Scripture-quoting, humorless ideologues who think we are all going to hell in a wheelbarrow if a (shudder!) woman steps in the pulpit.
The guy I feel sorry for is David Silverman, who is president of American Atheists and who seems particularly fired up about Bibles in our state parks. Not only does he have a big shock coming when he meets You face-to-face, he has to spend his living days on earth in Cranford, N.J. The guy just can’t catch a break.
Anyway, I just wanted You to know that when atheists have finished putting their books in our park facilities, I expect to see them create a sunset over the marshes of Glynn. Or conjure up a waterfall to match the spectacular sight of Amicalola Falls.
If that is asking a bit much, maybe they can provide a new model of the sea turtle that You created, oh, maybe a hundred million years ago. Or, an ordinary painted bunting.
Surely, they can do that. It’s not like I’m asking them to replicate the stars, or grow an oak tree, or create human life, or even to take a shot at a duck-billed platypus.
You see where I’m going with this. Sometimes, we get so caught up in proving who’s right and who’s wrong in how we worship You or even whether or not we should worship You at all, that we miss the obvious signs You have put right under our noses.
This is Your universe. You are not dead but sooner or later the rest of us will be and then we will understand what You have been trying to tell us all along. You are omnipotent. We are not.
As for me, I don’t mind the atheists putting their material in our parks. Just to show them my heart is in the right place, I plan to devote a beautiful Georgia morning reading what they have to say about why You don’t exist as I watch the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Then I will laugh my head off at the irony.
God, I love You and Your sense of humor.
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and at gainesvilletimes.com/viewpoint. Contact him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.