You know those God Sez billboards that have appeared across the country from time to time over the past few years, putting inane and downright stupid words and sayings into the mouth of the Almighty, quoting him as actually having uttered them?
Well, as I understand it, the Republican National Committee has bought up the rights - they've got so much money they apparently don't consider it presumptuous to think they can hire God - and is planning a new round of billboard endorsements of the party's embattled presidential candidate.
For the duration of the campaign, God is the official God of the GOP, according to the RNC, and is its duly authorized spokesdiety. The Democrats can't quote him without express written permission of the Republican Party. Any pictures, descriptions or accounts of what God is thinking are strictly prohibited unless cleared by Bush-Cheney campaign strategists or the Fox TV Network.
Moreover, your private prayers to him may be monitored to prevent violation of exclusive-access privileges. Expressions such as "acts of God" and "God save the queen" and "as God is my witness" are forbidden without the trademark symbol indicating that the name and the quotations therefrom are for the exclusive use of Republican candidates.
The agreement stipulates that God wants you to vote for George Bush, and he wants you to know he wants you to vote for George Bush. The billboards quoting God might not go so far as to have God say that you'll go to Hell if you don't vote for George Bush, but then again they might. Depends on how serious this Kerry threat becomes.
God agrees to be quoted on more billboards, and in more vigorous language, in the so-called battleground states.
Here's a sneak peek at some of the allegedly celestial messages that will be appearing soon on billboards near you:
"A vote against George Bush would be like rubbing salt into all those wounds I suffered in Mel Gibson's movie." - God.
"Remember those boils I gave Job? They were nothing compared to what I've got in store for you if you vote against George Bush." - God.
"Remember that big fish I sent to swallow Jonah? If you don't vote for George Bush, I wouldn't go near the water if I were you." - God.
"I haven't liked Iraq from the gitgo. George Bush and I are in perfect agreement on this one." - God.
"What's the big deal about weapons of mass destruction. I made one out of the jawbone of an ass. So let's move on." - God.
"If I'm for Bush, who can be against him?" - God.
"As I told Bro. Pat Robertson, it's George Bush in a landslide." - God.
"I asked Lot's wife for one small favor, she looked back anyway, and you know the rest of the story. I'm asking you for the even smaller favor of voting for George Bush. Hope things turn out better for you than they did for Ol' Salty." -- God
"My rod and my staff will be at your disposal if you vote for George Bush. Still waters, green pastures all around"" - God.
"I'm God, and I approved this message. Vote for George Bush." - God.
"I like rich people. Else I wouldn't let them be rich. George Bush likes them too. He gives them the biggest tax breaks by far. He and I think alike on this one." - God.
"Those years he was in the National Guard, I was George Bush's co-pilot." - God.
"If I weren't for George Bush, would I have let that Florida thing happen? Think about it!" - God.
"If you want to send part of your tithe to the Bush re-election campaign, it would be all right with me. Remember, I loveth a cheerful giver." - God.
"Mohammed and I were thick, too, till he weirded out on me." - God.
"Those 10 Commandments of mine are just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds more where those came from. Just look in the book. For example, Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. What do you think, I was just kidding?" - God.
"The other guy is from Massachusetts. Enough said." - God.
"I'm in my Heaven and all's right with the world, as long as you vote to re-elect George Bush." - God.
"Maybe 're-elect' is stretching it a little bit." - God.
"Poems are made by fools like thee, but only I can make a tree. And here's one tree-making poet who says, Vote for George Bush." - God.
"I'll give you this day your daily bread, and forgive you your trespasses, and lead you not into temptation-if you'll vote for George Bush." - God.
"I'll be glad to grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference - if you'll vote for George Bush." -- God
"Who do you think that fourth guy was in the Fiery Furnace? If you answered George Bush - Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!" - God.
If you find this whole idea of made-up God quotes shouted out rudely from roadside billboards at innocent bydrivers to be objectionable - and blasphemous, if you're old-fashioned enough to believe in such old-fashioned things - well, welcome to the club. But if the device is used to promote sleazy and unctuous varieties of sanctimoniousness, it's no more offensive for the politicians to use it to promote themselves.
God probably wouldn't have made much of a Burma Shave billboard hawker, though, with the humongo beard and all.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled today that he had no choice based on a past Arkansas Supreme Court decision but to dismiss a lawsuit by Death Row inmates seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection process.But the judge did so unhappily with sharp criticism of the Arkansas Supreme Court for failing to address critical points raised in the lawsuit.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.