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God's Press Conference
November 14, 2002
By David Albrecht


BEAUTIFUL ZION MEDIA CENTER (CNN/REUTERS) - In a policy shift not wholly unexpected by observers, God today announced that human beings would no longer be considered for special protection under the Endangered Dominant Species Act. At the same press conference, He also announced a major change in long-term population strategy and introduced the leader of his new Earth management team. "Some may think these changes cruel," the Deity stated, "but I'm confident that in the long run, this restructuring will better prepare Earth for competition in the new galactic economy."

Under the new rules, delisting means that humanity as a whole will be ineligible for Divine Intervention in the face of extreme weather, famine, economic collapse, epidemic disease, terrorism and social disintegration. "Manna will not fall from Heaven, the sea shall not be stilled, and I will not be there to wipe all the tears from your eyes," He stated, adding that "If you're in the mood for deus ex machina, read some Aristophanes."

God's new get-tough attitude was shared by several members of his executive board. Among them was St. Francis of Assisi, who lingered after the conference to speak with journalists. "Frankly, there are still a number of us up here who are really pissed off about the passenger pigeon and ivory-billed woodpecker 'incidents.'" said the saint, drawing quotes in the air to make his point. "And I haven't even begun to discuss the 20th Century. I mean, Jesus Christ, you'd think that World Wars I and II, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Chernobyl, Bhopal and the melting of the North Pole would wake up at least a few human beings! Apparently not. We're dealing with a chronically underperforming asset, and it's time for a new broom." Experts noted that Francis' opinion, though somewhat further right than mainstream Heavenly Opinion, was not unusual.

God Himself struck a somewhat more conciliatory tone during the conference. But while going out of His way to express empathy for the civilization soon to be obliterated, He also stuck to His guns: "What you need to understand is the big picture. We can't let the demands of one interesting, but in absolute terms poorly adapted, economically insignificant and probably terminal species of hominid take precedence over the progress of an entire solar neighborhood. You can't imagine what that would do to our profit picture."

ABC's Cokie Roberts quizzed the Lord on whether He'd faced comparable extinction-level decisions in the past. God stated only that "letting that meteor take out the dinosaurs" had been far more difficult. Pressed by columnist Ann Coulter as to whether oral sex in the Oval Office between former President Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky had in any way influenced His decision, God snorted dismissively before exclaiming "Next question, please!"

While God spoke, others struggled to make their opinions known. Former economist Julian Simon, now laboring in Hell, had been expected to weigh in with a strong dissent. However, since Simon is currently employed at the Garden of Eternal Growth, he has spent the years since his death attempting to catch up with the weeding and watering schedules for May 8th, 1654 AD and had no time to write his rebuttal. Speaking from Purgatory, the late Herbert Hoover could only repeat his belief that the economy was "fundamentally sound." And elder statesman and former president Richard Nixon, like Simon a resident of Hell, was too busy being tortured to death for eternity by a mob of enraged Cambodian peasants to comment by press time.

The Lord devoted the final 15 minutes of his press conference to introducing the new head of His Earth Guidance Team, Thomas Malthus. Malthus, former English cleric and author, as well as newly minted CEO of Darwinian, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mysterious Ways, Inc., has risen further and faster than anyone in Heaven's executive structure in recent memory. But even though his last post was the relatively junior position of Comptroller at, Malthus seemed entirely at ease with big-time media attention. He professed his excitement at "working so closely with the only Chairman of the Board who's not from Hoboken, New Jersey," to the delight of the assembled reporters. The duo's closeness, long a topic of Heavenly gossip, seemed borne out by the relaxed atmosphere onstage. The repartee at the rostrum "seemed suffused with flashes of genuine mutual admiration," according to reporter Laura Ingraham.

Describing contemporary Earth as "a relative disappointment," Malthus said he still considers it "an area of fantastic potential," though one mired in a top-heavy, inefficient and profoundly anthropocentric corporate culture. He also noted that much of his division's groundwork has already been laid. "I mean, just look at what's already been done for us as we at Darwinian prepare to take on the job - soaring population, disappearing topsoil, rising temperatures, crumbling fisheries and a bottomless pit of consumer demand - not that bottomless pit, but you know what I mean!" said Malthus.

Asked if population downsizing would require any major political or economic changes on Earth before the final layoff program began, Malthus shook his head. "No, not really. The way I see it, the longer consumer demand and population growth can be sustained, the shorter, more efficient and more cost-effective your rightsizing period becomes. Once the structural adjustments are made, we're looking at a lag of only a few thousand years before beginning to realize the planet's true biotic potential." Added The Lord, "It's great to be able to look forward to real diversity and dynamic change just a few millennia down the road. These are exciting times to be working on Earth."

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