Slaughter for the Gods
We live in an unjust world of unequal enemies, where friends, family and co-workers easily betray one other to spare themselves the fate of the one they hand over. We betray each other because we're afraid. We're afraid because we know damn well that the gods are real, and they must be appeased.
The gods are all around us. Bosses, spouses, parents, children. The gods are cops, judges, government employees, elected officials, lap dancers, bouncers: all gods. The driver of the other car is a god. The lady that slapped you in the face with broccoli because she said you cut in line -- she's a god. The gods are everywhere. You got to look out. Because the gods have power. And naturally they enjoy using it.
We worship those above us because we are not stupid. It is from them that we receive our crumbs. If we complain about the weight of the god that straddles our shoulders, or if we suggest better crumbs, the god may simply choose a less noisy sofa, putting us in the position of having to find a new god to obey and adore and flatter and pet, someone whose pan we're allowed to lick.
It would all be pathetic if the gods didn't have gods. But they do. All the gods have gods of their own. And every mortal has lots of shots at godhood, even if only to torture a younger brother, or, lacking that, ants. This is our true spiritual condition as manifested in our daily lives.
Obedience to the gods is the rope of all human societies. "God," the mascot of churches, has little or nothing to do with it, living as he does in the furthest outreaches of the human heart where "love" is said to live. In God's house we pay lip service and make a small donation and leave understanding we're better than you for reasons you'd understand if you loved God like we do, which puffs us up for the week ahead, blowing the gods for money and mercy.
Mortality always makes mortals feel puny. But no mortal putrifies so poorly as the one that once was a god, for the once gods go slowly, and knowing the game, they may scream out the rules, but they're drowned out by laughter, piss streams and shovels of dirt. Gods go more quietly, with hymns, with tears, then shovels of dirt. God takes them all back; lonely, makes more.