This story generated a lot of controversy. Charlie Deadle is short story I wrote about the death of God. It’s humorous, and one of those kind of stories that takes on a life of its own. Charlie Deadle meant different things to different readers, and some people were if not offended, at least disturbed with how it handled the subject of God.
More than anything else, it was meant as a joke, based on a bumper sticker I saw once: “Jesus died for you… how’s it feel to know you drove God to suicide?”
It made me laugh, even though it was irreverent. For the record, I’m a deeply religious person, not spiritual. I’m religious,which tends to evoke spirituality, while spirituality seldom evokes religiosity. Religion has rules of conduct, a system of determining one’s progression and development, while spirituality doesn’t. Of the two, I find religion far more valuable to me as an individual, and to society at large, than spirituality. The former has a code and expectation of accountability, while the latter doesn’t.
With that caveat aside, here’s my ode to Nietzsche.
Charlie Deadle first concluded that God was dead when he was forty-two. He did not arrive at this conclusion, as most people did, by reading Nietzsche, or by looking around the universe and seeing no evidence of God’s presence, or because of the way people treated him, which was poorly, for Charlie Deadle was a great nuisance; tiresome and irritating, to say the least. No. For Charlie Deadle, who hated his name, the realization that God was dead came when he found the body.
The body was not planet sized, as some religions expressed it might be, or ethereal and spirit like. There was no halo, or shining visage. There was no flowing beard, or voluminous robes of white. It was tangible and surprisingly ordinary looking. Nor did he find it seated on a golden throne with concourses of angels mourning the divine passing.
You might be asking, then, how did Charlie Deadle know it was God’s body? Some might say it was a matter of faith, but they weren’t there, so what they say doesn’t really matter. To be fair, there wasn’t any real evidence, like a birth certificate. Understandable, considering God predated the universe so obtaining a birth certificate would be a bit of a conundrum, even for him. By that logic, it could be called faith.
Faith, however, wasn’t the word to describe Charlie Deadle’s certainty, which was significantly more profound. It was not something he knew on a gut level, or even a cellular level. When he first stumbled upon the body, every particle of his being resonated in sympathy. That is to say, the very stuff of which he was made, atoms and electrons, and protons and neutrons all resonated in harmony with the matter of the being who had set into law the very rules by which they were governed. Charlie Deadle knew it was God on a purely quantum level, which, when you think about it, is really saying something.
If the shock of finding God’s body wasn’t enough to ruin Charlie Deadle’s day, the suicide note was. It consisted of one simple sentence:
“Goodbye cruel universe, I just can’t take that Charlie Deadle any longer.”