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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 4, 2001


1:12 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining me. Last week, I consulted at length with US Department of Faith Administrator Pastor Deacon Fred on the issue of bridging the widening chasms in understanding and tolerance between Americans of different faiths - especially in the wake of the September 11th tragedies. Yesterday, despite Pastor Fred's rigorous objections, I convened an informal gathering of ranking clergy and religious statesmen from over 20 major organized religions. Present were representatives of the Baptist Church, Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Lutheran Church, Unitarian Church, and Catholic Church - as well as a hopelessly Godless salad of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists, Wiccans, Rastafarians, Satanists and Democrats.

Gathering together in the Rose Garden to break bread over a succulent barbecue of Laura's baby back ribs, we discussed many issues, exchanged many platitudes, and played I-don't-know-how-many rounds of horseshoes. And today, I want the good people of America to know one wonderful thing - that every one of these religions purport to share an overwhelming love and respect for all of humanity. So what if most of them, my own included, also believe in the inherent inferiority of other religions, and that the millions (or billions) of peace-loving practioners of inferior faiths are destined to spend all eternity writhing in unimaginable agony for their failure to embrace the correct version of universal love and respect. This is but a minor point, and certainly NOT a fundamental obstacle to realizing world peace and prosperity. Rest assured that so long as we so rightly continue to gloss over these vast ideological schisms, we can continue to hatch the same kind of shallow and short-sighted solutions to our planet's problems which are so popular with voters around the world. And thank Christ for that!

Following on the heals of this historical meeting, it is my distinct pleasure to issue formal guidelines for feigning respect for heathen faiths. They are few, they are simple, and they are as follows:

  1. Assure followers of false gods that you respect their religion.
  2. Suppress your natural and perfectly understandable need to laugh at the heathen's bizarre dress, customs, foods and ideas.
  3. Repeat ad nauseum whatever phrase(s) from your sacred text contains vague references to tolerance and universal love.
  4. Avoid uttering those portions of your sacred text promising post-mortem paradise to believers - and perpetual physical torture to all others.
I urge the people of not only America, but also the entire world, to embrace and operate within these guidelines. Together, we can maintain and propagate the charade of tolerance which is somehow miraculously preventing us (so far, anyway) from descending into the religion-fueled mass murders that have made all of human history so fabulously bloody!

Thank you, and God bless.

END 1:21 P.M. EST


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