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Issue 10 - A Journal of Letters and Life
Broken News
There Are No More Virgins Left in Paradise
by Arnold Wesker
It is 11:27 on the 18th of September 2001. I have had a message from God. "Please tell them," He said, "there are no more virgins left in paradise."
     I don't know why God should have spoken through me; after all I don't believe He exists. It must be true, therefore, as they say: God behaves in mysterious ways.
     Of course, our exchange didn't end there.
     "They won't believe me," I told him. "I'm a playwright. They will tell me 'you are an inventor of happenings, how can we believe you?'"
     And God said: "They believed Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed - they will believe you."
     "Forgive me, God," I said, "but they were not playwrights, and besides, these are different times. Remember, this is an age of genes and DNA. You have given us the brain to know the brain - we can account for blind faith. There is great anger in the world that you have endowed us with the means to question your existence, and mock belief. We have discovered such complexity that those with simple faith have been stricken with inferiority complexes more dangerous than anything in this world.
     "In addition," I continued, " the great religions of the world are rooted like oaks. They have huge branches offering shade and relief from the heat of existence. What protection can there be from a sapling? Nay, not even a sapling, but a thin wisp of shoot eight words long: there are no more virgins left in paradise."
     "Faith, nevertheless!" God urged, the fear of Armageddon in His voice, "faith! From wispy shoots grow mighty trees, and when those wisps are words then their power is tenfold. Consider how powerful are the words I will die for my belief. Once uttered, not even uttered, but thought, merely thought, a thought like a whisper in your ear, and you are gripped - I will die for my belief. The words lock like barnacles in your head, block your ears, and deafen you even to my words unto the Prophet: he who kills one innocent soul is condemned as if he killed the entire human race. They have a power from which you cannot retreat, for if you do then other words creep in to taunt you."
     God listed them. "Weakling! Fainthearted! Spineless! Coward! Woman! You can't let go. I will die for my belief. You are their prisoner for such is their power.
     "And so," God ordered me, "whisper those eight words to the wind - you call it 'Internet' I think - and watch how like seed turned to bread they will appease hunger for wisdom in the world. There are no more virgins left in paradise. There are no more virgins left in paradise. There are no more virgins left in paradise. There are… no more… in paradise."

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