Friday, April 5, 2013

A Savior

[I have no idea about the larger story to go with this scene other than:
 1 The theology behind it follows a largely standard "Heaven is good, Hell is bad" set up
 2 That's with the understanding that part of the bad of Hell is a deeply ingrained misogyny making "female demon" a particularly precarious state of being
 3 At some point someone is going to quite unintentionally rip a hole straight from near the center of Hell into an equivalent area of Heaven via what at the time seemed a suicidally-ill-considered and completely-doomed-to-failure act intended to protect a total stranger on the other side.]

Person 1: So you're saying I'm the savior.

Person 2: No.  No, no, no.  I'm saying you're a savior.  The Savior isn't something that- people have tried to save the whole world for all time and thus far it hasn't worked out so well.  Instead what's needed is people to save part of the world for the time being and right here right now you're the person to do that saving.

Person 1: So that whole Jesus thing was a failure?

Person 2: No.  I wouldn't be much of a- *pause* You only said that because you noticed I'm a Christian.

Person 1: He can't very well have saved the world if it's still in need of saving.

Person 2: Salvation isn't an instantaneous one time thing.  It's a process, it needs to happen and keep happening.  There is a need for maintenance, upkeep, that sort of thing, and that's aside from the fact that the world didn't fall all at once either.

*Person 1 leans against something*
Person 1: *largely disinterested* Is that so?
*Person 1 starts munching on Skittles*

Person 2: Various people and things keep on breaking things so without the other side working to fix things the world would rapidly get worse.  Thus saving is an ongoing process which requires multiple people spread across both time and space.
*short pause*
Person 2: However as a Christian I believe that, when the skies fall and seas boil and the righteous stand up to be counted in the final conflict that will decide whether the universe is ultimately saved or instead allowed to fall into chaos, injustice, and then the twisted oppressive order that those two things eventually result in if allowed to triumph, it will turn out, in retrospect, that the critical moments that pushed things toward victory for salvation over brokenness were those of Jesus' time on earth.

                  My wife, who is a Buddhist, presumably disagrees on when and where the critical moments took place.  That said, we generally don't focus on the eventual future, so it hasn't really come up in conversation.  Reason being: if we stop trying to make things better now then it won't matter what has come before.  If we don't keep on the work of saving, and the world needs constant saving, then it won't be good that triumphs in the end.  Neither Jesus nor Buddha will be able to be pointed to as the ones that lead to the triumph of good over evil because our own inaction will mean that good won't triumph over evil.

                  So, no, I don't think Jesus failed.  I just think that the game isn't over yet, and who won is still up in the air.  And given that the stakes of the game are the souls of everything that lived, lives, or will live, it's kind of important that we don't call it quits in the middle.

*silence for a bit*
*Person 1 stops munching on Skittles*
*Person 1 thinks over what has been said mouthing a word here and there*

Person 1: Ok, so here's what I took from that.

Person 2: Yes.

Person 1: You claim to be a supernatural being-

Person 2: I am.

Person 1: That's not actually from that, that's from earlier.

Person 2: This I know.

Person 1: And yet in spite of this previously claimed semi-divine nature that puts you in touch with who is or is not the savior of the moment-

Person 2: Seriously, more than just a claim.  I can do a miracle or two to prove it, provided they're not too flashy.  (We've been in the process of toning down the overt non-natural for, more or less, all of human history.) Give me your water-bottle, I'll turn the water into something else.

Person 1: I could do with European Fanta, provided that they haven't changed it since I was there, but that's really not the point.

Person 2: What is the point?

Person 1: You don't know which religion is the right one.
Person 1: That's what I took from your speech.

Person 2: It's really not that important.

Person 1: So you don't deny not knowing.

Person 2: If I spent all eternity arguing religion then then I would never get around to doing my job, which is to make the world a progressively better place and fight against those forces -supernatural and otherwise- that attempt to make it backslide.  The correctness of a given religion really has very little role in that.  If a Satanist is working to fix the world they're my ally, never mind me being a Christian or me having been to Hell and briefly encountering a being that claims the title of Satan.

Person 1: Do tell.

Person 2: I ran away. *beat*  Very fast. *pause* Anyway, that has little bearing on whether or not I should be working with the Satanist.  Maybe they're right and the thing I met was just a pretender taking on the title for its own purposes.  Doesn't matter.

Person 1: And how do you deal with atheists?

Person 2: Depends on many factors.  I'm never again going into a laboratory setting to preform miracles, even if she did keep her word to keep the results of the tests confidential, and that's all I'm going to say on the subject.

Person 1: All you'll say?

Person 2: That's it.

Person 1: Are they still atheists after meeting you?

Person 2: Some are, some aren't.  It's not import-

Person 1: You said more.

Person 2: Ok, fine.  It wasn't all I was going to say.  I'll finish the more: '-ant.'  Now that's all I'm going to say.

Person 1: You sure?

Person 2: Religion, or lack thereof, is of secondary importance at best when it comes to the work I do and the work I'm asking you to do.  And when I say, "Secondary importance," I mean a very, very distant second.  So distant that any extended focus on it is detrimental.

*Person 1 looks back at bag of Skittles*

Person 1: I'm just saying that even if I were about to turn my life upside-down for a divine messenger I think I'd hold out for one who knew what divinity they were working for.

Person 2: The one who favors good over evil.

Person 1: And that would be?

Person 2: Doesn't matter.

Person 1: I kind of think it does.

Person 2: It doesn't.  Good and evil -right and wrong- are things that you use to judge divinities, not things you judge via divinities.  I can assure you that even those in Hell working toward oppression and injustice don't twirl their mustaches and talk about how evil they are.  Listen to them and they'll tell you it's all for the greater good, what they do is right, so on, so forth.

Person 1: And you know they're wrong about that because?

Person 2: There's no such thing as the greater good.  Something is either right or wrong.  There is complexity and confusion and so forth to a degree that some things are difficult to untangle, but if you go to Hell it's very clear that whatever good may come of it, if any, is more than outweighed by the evil that it is.

                  Injustice is injustice.  If a god tells you otherwise then it's not a god you should be following.  All other religious concerns are secondary, again, at best.  I support the side that supports what is right, details beyond that don't matter.

Person 1: *dismissive* Uh-huh.

Person 2: You would say they're above my pay grade-

Person 1: I would never use such a phrase.

Person 2: *ignoring the interruption* but I assure you, they don't matter.  What matters is that left unattended the world isn't fallen, it is falling.  What matters is making sure it isn't left unattended.  Whenever those who should know better stop pushing to make things better things invariably get worse, and that's without even considering that there is a supernatural support network for those pushing in the wrong direction, whether those pushing that way are aware of it or not.

Person 1: And I'm supposed to save the world- sorry, part of the world for a little while- how exactly?

Person 2: *Tone of voice as if talking to a small child about how babies are made* Well you see, when an angel and a human have sexy fun times together sometimes, nine months later-

Person 1: You're saying I'm inhuman.

Person 2: *Serious this time* A combination of your genetics, your personality, your placement in time and space, and the fact that you don't actually have something better to do-

Person 1: Who say's I have nothing better to do?

Person 2: Are you making the world a better place at the moment?

*awkward silence in which Person 1 again turns attention to the bag of Skittles*

Person 2: I say you have nothing better to do.  Anyway, this combination (and other factors that I'm not going to get into unless someone can explain to me how PowerPoint works in small words) make you singularly -and I do mean singular, I've looked, there's no number two option that fits anywhere near as well as you- equipped to be the kind of savior needed for this moment in time.

Person 1: And you want me to do what exactly?

Person 2: You'll like it; it involves your favorite word.

Person 1: Does it?

Person 2: I want you to fuck up Hell's plans.  Do that and I'm reasonably confident the good humans on earth can hold their own against the other humans on earth.

Person 1: But corporations are people my friend.

Person 2: Don't start.



  1. I like it. (Sorry that I'm laconic again.)

    --- Redcrow

  2. Intentions don't count. Slogans don't count. Results do.

  3. " Injustice is injustice. If a god tells you otherwise then it's not a god you should be following." This. Absolutely definitely this.