Wednesday, March 13, 2013

'The Second Greatest Story Ever Told'

Today, Catholic cardinals have elected a pope.  Although the 'election' of a new pope is newsworthy, this one is a bit special, as the new guy takes the place of a pope who retired, the first one to leave his post in hundreds of years.

I wonder what Jesus thinks about this?  Is He happy that the new pope takes his papal name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi?  Or because the new pope is a humble man?  Or because he's the first non-European man elevated to the papacy?

Well, they had to find someone...

Too bad it wasn't a woman.  In Christianity's infancy, women (that's right:  Women) led the secret services.  If caught, they, along with their entire congregation, were murdered by the Romans.  

But, as much as I'd love to see a woman become Pope, I've had to settle for the dream that perhaps the next holy messenger will be a...woman.  God's daughter.

'The Second Greatest Story Ever Told', by Gorman Bechard, is a cross between Christopher Moore (his novel, 'Lamb', is my favorite of all his books) and Douglas Adams.  Set in contemporary time, the story concerns the Second Coming.  Only this time, God decides to send his daughter, Ilona Ann Coggswater.  Born in Cooperstown, New York in 1970, Ilona reveals herself to the world in 1988 (one of my favorite scenes in the whole story).  Her most important passions in life are the Mets (they never lose while she's watching them play), Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Costello, and drinking Tab (remember Tab?).

Her message to the world is quite simple:  Be kind.  Be kind to the environment, be kind to each other, be kind to all living things.  But when certain someones don't heed her message, all hell breaks loose.

This novel pokes fun at fundamentalists (lots of irony here, folks!), the NRA, and celebrity.  But scattered throughout this little gem of a story are tender passages that will, perhaps, bring a tear to your eye.

But it's mostly funny.  And timely.

Perhaps there's hope for us yet.

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