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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

Is the Pope a Catholic?

Gerald Crusher took a bite from his tenth hamburger of the morning as he added the finishing touches to his article for Slimmers' Life magazine. When, at twenty-eight stones, he had become the chair of the National Federation of Slimmers' Associations, there had been much public ridicule. He had argued, however, that there was every reason for him to champion the cause of weight loss. He knew he was obese, he knew this had led to heart disease and diabetes, and he knew he had cut his life expectancy by twenty years. This was his choice, however, and he saw no inconsistency in warning others of the dire consequences of following his example. He thus became a major public advocate for healthy lifestyles.

Public acceptance of this reasoning was confirmed when there was little comment on the election of Abdul Hussein to the leadership of an ultra right wing, white supremacist, political party. Despite being an illegal, black economic migrant, Abdul held the passionate view that he should never have been allowed into England. His effectiveness at pursuing white supremacy was undoubtedly compromised by his own insistence that he should be beaten up and thrown out of all Party meetings. However, to his delight, he was eventually deported following a conviction for painting racist graffiti on his own house.

By this time, the concept that the leader of an organisation should be committed to the aims of the organisation, but not necessarily personally reflect these, was taking root internationally. The most spectacular example was the election of Pope Mohammed the first.

PM1, as he liked to be called, had no particular religious affiliations and spent much of his time drinking, gambling and committing adultery. He recognised, however, that this was an entirely unsustainable lifestyle for the majority of the world’s population. Societies would simply disintegrate if people lacked the emotional solace and moral framework which faith provided. He thus took an ultra conservative line on all matters of doctrine. Indeed, the reintroduction of witch burning remains controversial despite the cohesive effect that such events have had on communities.

Rational judgements on what was best for countries increasingly became separated from judgements driven by the emotional needs of their leaders. The introduction of democracy in many despotic dictatorships illustrated this. Leaders simply annexed a part of their land to be managed by corrupt armed militia, with no consideration for human rights. The leaders could then enjoy visits to such areas on holidays or at weekends in order to enact deranged political and military policies. Meanwhile, the rest of their dominions enjoyed peace and economic prosperity.

This concept was finally recognised as the greatest philosophical and theological breakthrough since Aristotle when philosophers and theologians realised it could be employed to solve the problem of evil. People had questioned for thousands of years why bad things happened if God was good? The answer became obvious. God fully subscribed to good thoughts and deeds and encouraged prophets to promote this. To unwind on the Sabbath, however, the Ancient of Days liked nothing better than the excitement of a good war or a really spectacular natural disaster.