[Phone ringing…]
Good morning you have reached the former KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, now DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF HEAVEN. Please listen to our menu carefully as some options are no longer available. To pray to Allah press 1; for God press 2; for Jehovah press 3. For all other religions please stay on the line and the Deity on Duty will listen to your jeremiads.

While you are waiting we would like to update you on some of our services. If you are an unrepentant sinner, please dial H to talk to a representative in the LOWER REPUBLIC. Please note that we have a half price special on repentance coupons. Place your order now as supplies are limited….[Music plays Nearer my God to thee…]

Please note also that our health representative is currently on sick leave so please postpone all quick recovery prayers.

[Music plays Hava Nagila…….] We would also like to inform you that we are experiencing a shortage of miracles and are awaiting a new supply momentarily. [Music plays chanting of ALLAH HU AKBAR…..]

Thank you for staying on the line. All our representatives are currently busy annoying other supplicants. Your call is unimportant to us but you have no other choices…While you are waiting please have your passport or identity card ready so we can process your request. Please continue holding the line …holding the line…holding….


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  1. Simone, our “holy phoners” tend to be political in nature. Jim has contributed generously to causes he believes in; therefore, he is on a list of good people to call! I can’t imagine what his response would be if someone called about religious matters! The 1/2 price special on repentance coupons is not bad! P.S. I know you are teasing!

      1. Indeed. When people survive a dangerous situation and attribute it to the protection of God, I am always, always bothered by that attitude. As if God would pick and choose what person to save.

        I have so many devout family members. I don’t ever discuss this with them as it means so much to them. It is how they get through life.

        The only thing I do say to them, if it comes up, is that this is not something that I can pretend. One can’t pretend to believe; it has to be genuine faith. For me, that faith has never happened.

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  3. After growing up in Berkeley, it’s been interesting to live now in a culture in which most people believe everything happens “for a reason”. Most of my friends and acquaintances here in Mexico attribute God’s will to everything, good or bad, and I’ve seen how it really helps them get through some awfully bad luck (in my opinion!), without losing their minds! So, you know, whatever works for you, I suppose. And it’s also interesting to see how they feel sorry for me for not having faith (I have to say, there are for sure times when it would be useful to be able to explain things, but like my mom said, it’s not something you can believe when you just don’t!).

    Thanks for your posts, Simone. Always interesting and informative!

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