This time around you were invited to supply resignation letters from God.
Despite mankind’s attempts to kill Him off, God continues to bounce back. ‘The Almighty,’ as Terry Eagleton puts it in his book Culture and the Death of God, ‘has proved remarkably difficult to dispose of.’ But what if He decided one day that He’d had just about enough of us all (Gexit, as Ken Stevens termed it)?
Now seems as likelier a time as any, so it’s over to you. The winners take £25 each.
Over the years, the human race has been taking part in a momentous democratic process. It is right that we trust the people with these big decisions. As you know, I have always been absolutely clear about my belief that humanity is stronger, safer and better off inside the Kingdom of Heaven. However, the human race has made a very clear decision to take a different path. Faced with the choice of God or Mammon, it has chosen the latter. This choice must be respected. I will do everything I can, as creator and sustainer of the universe, to steady the ship over the coming weeks, but it would not be right for me to be the captain steering humanity to its next destination. I love this universe, I feel honoured to have served it, and I wish it luck under its new leadership. Thank you for your time.
To whom ...although increasingly I doubt if there is anyone concerned at my resignation. Doubt, incidentally, is something new to me. I would not wish to accuse you of constructive dismissal: your lack of faith in me, however, has made my position untenable and Eden beckons. Perhaps I appointed the wrong departmental managers, perhaps I should have encouraged profits rather than prophets. The thought of another damp Sunday with its ragbag of ill-assorted hymns and tambourines is too much for One accustomed to choirs of the angelic host. While I am tempted to enact sections of the Book of the Revelation at my farewell ‘do’ I realise this would be tame compared to your recent activities and that I should leave you to your own devious devices: that you can out-do me gives me no pleasure. Fortunately your perfunctory explorations of the glories of the universe failed to locate Eden.
Let me admit that when I started this project it was in a vein of hope and belief but also of sobriety. I reasonably concluded that my power and knowledge, being limitless, would ensure a transcendent outcome. Even when I was obliged to drown nearly everyone I dismissed the issue as a glitch. Something went badly wrong, however. I chose natural selection as the instrument of my vision of a biodiverse world, but also to build in a sense of advancement, from lower to higher forms, rather than a static perfection. Homo sapiens would move beyond animal instincts to refined emotions, art and the practice of reason. The pattern would work out. My plan would be accomplished. Unfortunately you seem to be a rabble of blind, mutually destructive fucking maniacs. I can accept no further responsibility and hereby resign.
Being omniscient, I should have known: Creation is one thing, its administration quite another. I might apologise for my somewhat simplistic approach to management in earlier millennia — the autocratic Commandments, the pernickety dietary laws, the ten frankly melodramatic Plagues — were it not for the failure of my later, more peoplecentric managerial approach. My son’s unfortunate work-experience placement in Palestine particularly discouraged me — nepotism was never my intention and your reaction, even today, seems disproportionate. I think it is to my credit that I have remained, albeit in a privately consultative capacity, until now. Nevertheless, I resign. Lucifer, who has been rather literally shadowing me for some time, and who seems to possess a surer understanding of human motivation than I, has already suggested himself as successor. I am off to one of those other Universes, whose existence convinces your physicists in a way my own never could.
13.8 billion years without a decent holiday, 100 billion galaxies to supervise, a ridiculous amount of commuting, and — the last straw — that bastard Mephistopheles has hacked into my server again. It’s been a nightmare arranging workable yet convenient laws of physics: you need gravity to stop things floating off and then blame me when other things fall down. (Einstein glimpsed my space-time difficulties but most of you have the insights of a dog chewing a remote control.) I don’t like earthquakes, tempests and plagues any more than you do (I watch your painfully slow, stumbling ascent wishing I knew a better route) but how am I expected to fix probability, meteorology, molecular biology etc. so they permit your evolution but preclude ‘natural disaster’ and disease? Trolls have been very nasty to me about all this. I’m benevolent but I’m not a bloody miracle worker. I need a break.
Despite my secondment remaining intra-contract, I hereby tender my immediate resignation in order to forestall the headhunting by competitors of my successor. In post I have driven the brand, maximised market penetration and pursued profitability. But my technological innovations, successful these past two millennia in cementing consumer loyalty across diverse cultural and socioeconomic sectors, have unfortunately fostered outbreaks of critical thought, threatening project ethos. In battling to perpetually weave the intricate web of fable vital to the role, it is now my view that brand viability demands fresh Chief Executive input. Only a radical overhaul, under the eternal direction of a more virile and charismatic entity with a proven delivery record, can bolster the project’s flagging façade. I humbly commend to the committee, with the proviso He won’t come cheap, The Lord Our Blair.
Your next challenge is to submit a Christmas carol with a topical twist. Email entries of up to 16 lines to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday on 25 November. The earlier than usual deadline is because of the Christmas production schedule.