Whose cult is it anyway?

'Wotan said that he preferred Jesus Christ Superstar to Wagner's opera, which did tend to go on a bit, even when you were immortal'
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Yesterday, I brought you some minutes of the most recent Summit Meeting of Gods of the World, at which all modern and ancient deities got together to discuss the problems of the planet and score a few points off each other. Today, a further selection.

Yesterday, I brought you some minutes of the most recent Summit Meeting of Gods of the World, at which all modern and ancient deities got together to discuss the problems of the planet and score a few points off each other. Today, a further selection.

1. The Chairgod said that it had come to his notice that some gods were encouraging a cult of celebrity, which was giving rise to divine disquiet. An unnamed Aztec god said he thought that the whole point of being a god was to have a cult. The Chairgod said that there was a difference between having a cult, and being a cult. It was quite possible to be worshipped in a regular sort of way, without trying to attract attention and be publicity hungry.

2. Zeus asked what on earth he was on about.

3. The Chairgod said that a very good example of his point would be Wotan, King of the Norse Gods. Long after people had ceased to believe in him, he was still receiving a great deal of attention in things such as Wagnerian opera, and was in danger of turning into a celebrity god. Wotan, who was present at the meeting, then said that this was not through his doing. People could write as many hit shows about him as they liked, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He wasn't the only one. What about Jesus Christ Superstar? he asked. Personally, he preferred Jesus Christ Superstar to Wagner's opera, which did tend to go on a bit, even when you were one of the immortals.

4. The Chairgod said that he was really thinking about books which had been written with gods' approval. There was the long Indian book about gods that he could never remember the name of, which had been turned into a hit show by Peter Brook. The Bible and the Koran were world bestsellers. It was always said the Bible was the word of God, and that the Koran was divinely inspired. As the authors of both were present, would they care to comment?

5. The God of the Bible said he would be glad to answer questions about the Bible. It had been his first book, and was full of inconsistencies and mistakes, though reviewers said it had a certain power and historical sweep. Allah said he stood by everything he had said in the Koran, even when he could not now quite understand what he had written then. Both of them said they had signed copies available, if anyone wanted any.

6. The Chairgod said they seemed to be missing the point. There was a general feeling among the gods that having better marketing did not make you a better god, and that when the God of the Bible actually had the Gideon Society distributing free copies of the Bible to hotel rooms, this was an unfair advantage.

7. An Indian god said that the name of the Indian holy book was the Mahabharata. He was surprised that the Chairgod did not know this. The Chairgod seemed to be well up on the names of Western books, but not so good on Eastern texts. Was this not a sign of bias? And if he were omniscient, as gods were supposed to be, he should have known in the first place, should he not?

8. The Chairgod said, For heaven's sake, they had gone through this business of omniscience so many times that he had lost count. To sum up: it had been found that the gods claiming omniscience all seemed to know a different set of facts, so it had been decided that omniscience was actually relative after all, and they should waive the concept altogether.

9. He was about to move on to the next item – the proposal from an ancient Assyrian god that a large asteroid should strike Earth, thus giving humanity a short, sharp lesson – when there was a commotion outside. This turned out to be the arrival of Thor, Norse God of Thunder, drunk and throwing hammers. He was firmly ejected by a small group of Mexican war gods. The vote on the asteroid was taken, and the margin in favour of obliterating Earth was 67 to 59. As this did not reach the necessary two-thirds majority, Earth was spared until the next session, though several provisional earthquakes were agreed on, including one for Manchester.

10. The Chairgod was then struck by a hammer coming through the window, and, losing his temper, declared the session adjourned.

More of this top-level stuff some other time

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