*** BNN Report Transcript***
Blanderson Stupor: Thank you for joining us for BNN's continuing coverage of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut [BNN=Blithering News Network]. When 26 people were killed last week by a gunman in a Connecticut elementary school, observers began asking questions: Why would someone do this to innocent people? How could this happen in today's world? What is the meaning of evil? How can we make sense of all this?
State and national public officials wasted no time in trying to comfort the survivors. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy addressed a memorial service, calling for the community to come together, and a visibly emotional President Barack Obama held an impromptu press conference in which he spoke of the grief he felt for the families of the victims. But the key questions remain unanswered.
In all of the discussion following the shooting, one voice has been notably silent: God's.
But in a rare public appearance, the Supreme Being is finally offering comment on the tragic events of last week. We join the press conference in progress, as God, apparently in the guise of a whirlwind, answers a demand by one member of the press corp on how he can allow bad things to happen to innocent people:
[See further discussion below the quote]
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?Blanderson: We're going to cut away from God's remarks at this point and see if we can talk with Rolf Schlitzer who is standing in the pressroom. Rolf, what do see there among the press corp as the Deity is talking?
Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? ...
Rolf Schlitzer: It's quite remarkable Blanderson: The Divinity is clearly trying to put these events in some kind of larger context, and seems extremely impatient with the idea that there is any kind of simple answer to this tragedy. But I must say that many of my colleagues here do seem a little taken aback by the tone of the remarks. We are seeing none of the sentimentality we saw in earlier remarks by Gov. Malloy and President Obama. Both officials were visibly emotional as they addressed this unspeakable tragedy in their remarks, but God appears unfazed, as if He has seen all of this before. It's the demeanor of a man ... er rather, of a deity, who seems confident that everything is under control. Although I will say that His remarks were not completely devoid of emotion. In fact, when one reporter asked whether He thought the killer's violent behavior might have been the result of psychological problems, he was met with the whirlwind equivalent of a very icy stare. In fact, it is the only icy stare I have ever seen which was accompanied by actual icicles.
Blanderson: Rolf, just viewing this from here in the studio His tone seems almost petulant. Are you getting the same impression there in the gallery? And He doesn't seem to be offering any answers to the questions. Do you think there will be some disappointment with the lack of answers being offered here?
Rolf: Blanderson, it seems almost as if He is trying to communicate that he is not an object to be questioned, but that He Himself is The Ultimate Subject, which, as you can imagine, makes a press conference quite difficult. It's as if He's pointing out how utterly ignorant His audience is, and asking how, given their ignorance of the reasons for things much less mysterious than the problem of evil (He mentioned their inability to balance a federal budget as an example), they could possibly understand a mystery like this one. In fact, you get the distinct impression that He would like his audience to go away from all this with more questions than they had before.
Blanderson: That's a risky approach, isn't it? I mean a lot of people think that God has the answer to these questions and that He has some kind of obligation to reveal them to us mortals. Are you getting any sense that He feels any kind of obligation to give any answers at all?
Rolf: I'm not sensing that there is any feeling that He owes anybody anything, Blanderson. It's almost as if He feels like, since He created the world, and man along with it, that the obligation is very much in the other direction.
Blanderson: Rolf, back to your comment about how these comments might be received, it does seem that remarks like these are not designed to necessarily play well with the public. In fact, our viewers who were watching the graph at the bottom of the screen during part of God's remarks of the instant response of our focus group of people who are undecided about religion, it really didn't look good for God. Do you think this could be a problem for Him?
Rolf: Blanderson, I got a chance to talk with one of His staffers a few minutes ago and asked how these remarks might affect God's standing in the polls, particularly among the religiously undecideds, and he told me that it wasn't something they were terribly concerned about, since the position of Maker and Sustainer of the Universe was not an elected position. And when I brought up the significance of lower approval ratings among agnostics in our focus group, the staffer simply remarked that, in their staff discussions about members of focus groups of undecideds on any issue, the matter of "downward trajectory" had been discussed, but in a slightly different context. He wouldn't say, however, what conclusions they had come to.
Blanderson: I see. What about any policy prescriptions? Has the Supreme Being taken a position on gun control?
Rolf: Yes, well when I brought that up with a second staffer, he told me that He felt that there were a lot of things that humans could exert better control over (he specifically mentioned certain bodily organs, which it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss on the air). But on the specific issue of what could be done about violence, he said that their own historical research had shown that one weapon was easily substituted for another. He said that a lot of damage could be done with just a couple of pieces of wood and a few nails. In fact, that seemed to be a particular sore spot.
Blanderson: Alright, well, we'll be back with Rolf, reporting from the Vatican press room, in just a moment.