"If the major opportunities for future growth of government lie in the area of conventional taxation, are there any defenses available to the citizenry? ... Perhaps the most fruitful advice comes in two parts. The first piece of advice is to avoid war and the rumor of war: this is history's greatest boon to the tax man. ... The second piece of advice is to seek ways of inhibiting government's ability conveniently to increase its collections. Possibly the very increase in that ability that is in prospect can be turned to account by a constitutional provision which forbade the income tax, and perhaps even the storage of information regarding individual incomes by third parties, including government." ~ Benjamin Ward
God, Satan Hold Joint Press Conference
God and Satan, in a surprise joint announcement today, informed the media that "most people today have gotten everything so wrong we decided it's time to clear things up."
"First of all," said God, "all those goofy 'Left Behind' Christian Zionists who think they can bring My Son back and end the world by unconditionally supporting Israel no matter what it does to anyone, you can just forget that. Have you people forgotten the Ten Commandments? 'Don't murder, don't steal, don't lie, don't worship idols'? You can't bring Him back by doing those things.
"No one knows the time when these things will happen except Me," He explained, then added, "Doesn't anyone pay any attention to that quote, 'but as to that day and the exact time no one knows--not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone'? Only I alone know, not those idjit Darbyites who have infested Christianity."
Shaking His head sadly, he sighed and said, "I had the same problem with those Hebrews and their Golden Calf. I sent Moses down with the rules to live by, and they said, 'No, no, we'd rather worship idols instead.' I'm seeing the same thing today, only people are worshipping the Idol of the State."
"As for exactly who's in charge here on Earth," said Satan, "you're looking at him. Doesn't anybody remember what I told Jesus on the mountain? That authority over all the kingdoms of the Earth have been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want to? And He spurned me?
"Well," he continued, "people today aren't spurning me, even if they think they are. The human race has never been able to figure it out, even though it's as clear as can be: I control politics. I always have, and I always will. That's where my authority lies."
With a devilish laugh, he added, "Let's put it this way: George Bush thinks he's a Christian, but he belongs to a organization called Skull and Bones, and Richard Perle, the main architect of these wars today is nicknamed 'The Prince of Darkness.' And Bush is riding those Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, even though he doesn't have a clue as to what he's really doing. Just how blind are you people? How many clues do you need? You can't tell the difference between God and me. In fact, you think I'm Him."
"This is outragerous," sputtered a shocked George Bush. "I don't think this is God and Satan talking at all. They're just a couple of impostererers. God talks to me, and He told me he chose me to be President, and that I should start a war with Afghanistan and Iraq and the rest of the Middle East so I could bring freedom and democracy to them, even if a couple million Iraqians have to die to do it."
However, God responded, "It wasn't Me talking to George." Then he added, with a wink. "I wonder who it was telling him these things?" At that, Satan giggled and said, "Yeah, I wonder who?"
Evangelical leaders also denied it was God and Satan. "God is pro-war," said Jerry Falwell. "I even wrote an article about it for WorldNetDaily." He added, "And he hates fags, too."
Upon hearing Falwell's quote, Satan snickered and commented, "Blessed are the warmongers, for they shall be called my children."
"They're certainly not Mine," God added.
"This can't be true!," moaned an Evangelical leader who wished to remain anonymous. "I'm really in debt because donations are down, my TV program is in danger of being canceled, my BMW is about to be repossessed, I'm not getting along with my wife or mistress or my boytoys, and my kids have gotten piercings and are calling me a hypocrite . . . I was hoping the Rapture would zip me away from this mess."
"Rapture!" said God, laughing. "I just love the way people select a few quotes out of the Bible and use them to spin all these complicated fantasies. Besides, what makes people think that if I take a bunch of people someday, it's not going to be the bad I take, and the good ones I leave behind? Did that ever occur to anyone?"
People in the street had mixed opinions about the joint announcement. "Hey," said one man, who would only give his name as Dick, "I support George Bush in his crusade to being freedom and democracy to those benighted wogs on the other side of the world. And if some guy who says he's God says different, then he ain't God, because if he was, he'd support us, not oppose us. God and Country, that's what the truth is!"
At the comment, God rolled his eyes and said, "I guess ol' Dick has forgotten that comment My Son made about all tyrants calling themselves benefactors."
Another man, who would only give his name as Scott, said, "Hey this is pretty cool. It's like I've always thought: most people have gotten God and Satan mixed up. Let's put it this way: if people think God supports war and the mass murder it brings, theft, and lies, and all the other horrible stuff governments always bring, then what exactly does Satan support? I guess that's why I have such a hard time finding a church that makes any sense."
At the end of the press conference, God said, "I've said all I've got to say -- for now," he added ominously. "But currently, I'll be heading home."
"I think I'll stay here for a while longer," said Satan with a smirk. "I'm having such a good time here, going to and fro, walking up and down the Earth."