In the age of barbed wire, they announced the death of God. Great men traced the flyspots on ancient walls and studied the mutations of stars. Never before was so much knowledge gathered together.
They forgot to examine the dirt at their feet which was, as it always has been, full of God. A vast emptiness winced at the core of things. They thought that if they stepped on the moon, the cancer would retreat. They thought that if they invented washing machines, the asylums would empty. They thought that if they grafted wings to books, the poor would levitate. Nothing worked.
They became more and more afraid, and ordered inventories of their armouries.
They wooed the drug barons of Burma and Mexico, the bankers of China, the executives of Somalia and the Balkans, the despots of Indonesia and Chile and Uzbekistan, the monarchs of America and the Middle East. Many were photogenic and drew huge ratings, and white opium clouds soothed the people. But still they had forgotten God.
In the East, where God had been banished forever, the Pope rose out of the stills of the dispossessed and boxed the ears of the Kremlin. He raised his hands and God stepped forward to the podium. As they watched, a giant crow landed on the steps of Congress and plucked out the eyes of onlookers. A dark cloud hovered over Persia.
They understood then that God had never gone away. His transactions passed all understanding. Not a sparrow fell, but He sold it. He suffered the little children to come to His wars, and His dogma belched from all the world’s leaders. His factories and powerstations obliterated borders and His mansions towered over the hovels of the unenlightened. The electronic nerves of every economy led to the bottomless abyss of His intelligence. They bowed and ate the dirt. Already it was too late.