In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the Earth, the Earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

As everyone knows, the Bible is a literary work, telling us in parables what our puny mortal minds can grasp of the unknowable. Luckily, the opening words of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, form a very straightforward story. The translation should read thusly:

In the beginning, when the Majestic Being That Loves Christians Best created Orange County and the rest of the USA, which we all know is the best nation in the whole world—USA! USA!—the world was not a nice place. It was barren, without freeways or Knott's Berry Farm or Music City USA. The Santa Anas swept down from the canyons, making everyone's hair frizzy, and tempers were bad! Then God said, "Let there be a television ministry aimed at those too infirm to actually get down the road to a church," and there was a television ministry!

But God wasn't done creating. On the second day, He made some animals and stuff—nice ones: donkeys, lambs, fuzzy little bunnies. And He made the stars and the sun and the moon, which lots of people who are currently in Hell used to think were gods. And he made some fishes and all, blah, blah, blah. But on the sixth day, before He went golfing, He created Paul and Jan Crouch, the most beloved of the Lord and little old widows (who send them love offerings from their tiny, teeny pension funds), and in 1973, the Crouches took over a tiny UHF station and began broadcasting messages of God's everlasting love for Christians, right off Dyer Road! At the time, Jan wore really funny lavender Holly Hobby dresses, but it wasn't her fault. They were in style.

But the glory of God was too big for a small little UHF station. They moved to a bigger place in Tustin. Then, in spiritual partnership with the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, they built a big wedding-cake Heaven, right off Bear Street in Costa Mesa!

And God saw it was good, so he sent the Crouches money from the poor. "More gold!" God shouted. "How can people realize my awesome power without more golden cherubs holding up the gilded, frescoed ceiling? I can make earthquakes, you know! I made the whole world! I can smite people! And, hey, throw in a few more Christmas lights, can't you? I gave you the world to have dominion over. The San Onofre nuclear-power plant will give you all the juice you need. You can't spare the coin for the Almighty? And I want some more holy semiprecious stones for the people to buy in the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Gift Shop. Hello?!?"

Then, after God created the Crouches, He begat His only son, Jesus, to die for the sins of all the Christians, so they could find Eternal Life. And when Jesus was born in a manger, God sent him three Wise Men to give him holy semiprecious stones and some TBN license-plate frames and lots of little ceramic figurines.

Then Jesus grew up a little bit, and he went to the moneychangers in the temple and gave them a righteous ass-whuppin'. But don't worry. Those were Jews. As everyone knows, God loves the Jewish people, but they are very shifty when it comes to money. "Only Christians can change money in my Father's house!" Jesus yelled, working himself into a royal snit. "Christian moneychanging is righteous! Hallelujah! Praise be to the Glory of God!"

Then Jesus wandered through the desert for 40 days and 40 nights and met Satan, who offered him dominion over all the world and all its riches. "Ha!" quoth Jesus. "In just 1,960 years, the Crouches will build me all the riches I need! And the widow in the temple, who puts two pennies in the poor box, will send them all her worldly wealth, and she will be saved!"

Then the Jews killed Christ. And then the Communists took over the school boards. And then the Orange County Board of Supervisors lost a whole bunch of money, and it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and three-legged frogs fell from the skies. It would have been a lot better for everybody if the Pharisees had just given the Crouches the money instead. Then God would have fixed the illegal-alien problem for us. And the homos, too. Because if God didn't love heterosexuals best, He wouldn't have hurled AIDS upon the faggots or given Jan a boob job, now, would He?


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