Oct 20, 2018 10:14 PM
cleanliness is next to godliness
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Amentans in Gilead
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He was about to respond with something about the terrorist attack that killed millions when he hears her last sentence and doesn't quite believe his ears.

"You know, God? The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent creator of the universe?"

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She blinks at him politely. "I'm afraid I'm not acquainted."

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Fred had ever taken a class on witnessing. However, that was over forty years ago, and even then they focused on witnessing to people who... had heard of the concept.

Um.

If Fred were a protagonist in a science fiction novel, he would take Avalor through ten proofs of the existence of God, make her aware of her sins, tell her of the saving grace available to her as a free gift, and have her kneel to pray the Sinner's Prayer right there. Instead he says, "I mean, this bar appeared out of nowhere so we could meet. Doesn't that seem kind of... miraculous? Like there's Somebody who made that happen?"

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"I think I would have said 'magical'. Can you comment?" she asks the bar.

I don't directly control the door. The entity who does is referred to as 'the Landlord'. To my knowledge they don't claim omnipresence except insofar as there are no conventional spatial boundaries to this establishment, nor do they claim omnibenevolence; omniscience is arguable and omnipotence, if present at all, appears to be wielded solely through applications of the door and manipulations of intraestablishment time flow.

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"It could be God. Or an angel." Fred has the sinking feeling that his argument is not very persuasive.

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I cannot confirm or deny. My information about the Landlord is limited, replies the bar.

"Thank you," Avalor tells the bar. "What's an angel?" she asks Fred.

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"Angels are God's messengers on Earth. They do miracles and tell people about God's will."

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"Oh. That sounds useful. They didn't help with the fall of the United States?"

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"Many people think God wanted America to fall because it did not honor Him."

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"The angels didn't specify?"

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"Angels are usually more concerned with individuals' relationships with God than with world politics."

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"- you have relationships with him through intermediaries? Isn't that awkward?"

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"No, God has a personal relationship with each of us, if we choose to reach out to Him."

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"Then what are the angels for?"

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"God works in mysterious ways, I guess? I'm sorry, I'm a politician, not a pastor."

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"...Perhaps it's not important. I also asked how the United States fell?"

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"Terrorist attack. Millions of people died, including the entire previous government."

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"By whom? Are they still a threat? How did the current system replace it?"

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"Muslim extremists-- uh, Muslims are people who are wrong about what God wants. We invaded the country that harbored them and killed their leader. The military was mostly intact and was also mostly Gileadite, so they took over. My title, 'Commander', was originally a military title."

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"That's interesting. We separate politics and military service on Amenta, the planet where Voa is."

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"We used to. It was called 'civilian control of the military.' Unfortunately, it's just not practical when the entire government is dead."

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"I see. I'm not sure it would have been internationally tolerated if the caste that composes our military had tried to take political control even if all of the caste that composes our politicians had died instead of just most."

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"...Caste?"

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"We have castes. I'm blue, the caste that does politics, landholding, judiciary, and other things that are more like those than like any other caste's specialty. We indicate it with hair color; if it doesn't match, we dye it."

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"Do you choose your caste?"

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