Divine Mystery

The sermons of London theologian Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872) were always received with rapt concentration. Alas, there was a reason:

  • “I suppose I must have heard him, first and last, some thirty or forty times, and never carried away one clear idea, or even the impression that he had more than the faintest conception of what he himself meant.” — Sir M.E. Grant Duff
  • “I do not remember that a word ever came from him betokening clear recognition or healthy free sympathy with anything.” — Thomas Carlyle
  • “I am never in his company without being attacked with a sort of paroxysm of mental cramp.” — Carlyle’s wife, Jane
  • “Well! All that I could make out was that today was yesterday, and this world the same as the next.” — Benjamin Jowett
  • “Frederick Maurice has philosophical powers of the highest order, but he spoils them all by torturing everything into Thirty-nine Articles.” — John Stuart Mill

“Listening to him,” wrote Aubrey de Vere, “was like eating pea soup with a fork.”



God can’t make a genuine $10 bill. Only the U.S. Mint can do that. Presumably God could make an atom-for-atom copy of one, but it wouldn’t be genuine because it wasn’t produced by the mint.

Therefore God is not omnipotent.

Above the Law

For an omnibenevolent being, God has a lot of legal trouble. Nebraska legislator Ernie Chambers sought an injunction against the deity in 2007, asserting that He had caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.” And in 2008 a Romanian prisoner claimed that his baptism had been a contract that God had broken by failing to protect him from evil.

God escaped both suits on technicalities. Chambers’ action was dismissed because God has no address and thus couldn’t be notified, and the Romanian suit was deemed to be beyond the court’s jurisdiction because God is not an individual or a company. So that settles that.

Low Profile

Apparitions of the Virgin Mary, 2003-2007:

  • Tree stump, Passaic, N.J., 2003
  • Grilled cheese sandwich, Hollywood, Fla., 2004
  • Expressway underpass, Chicago, 2005
  • Pretzel, Nebraska, 2005
  • Firewood, Janesville, Wis., 2006
  • Chocolate drippings, Fountain Valley, Calif., 2006
  • Souplantation restaurant, Grantville, Calif., 2006
  • Pizza pan, Houston, 2007
  • Watermelon, Arizona, 2007