A Reading from the Book of Dawk

1. And it came to pass in the second month that there was a man named Josh, a servant of the living Dawk. And Josh said, Verily all goeth not well in the land of Dawk, for there are some among us who speak roughly in the Forum, with many abusive words; and there are others who speak of inconsequential things, which it is not seemly to speak of. And yea the land of Dawk is much decayed, and there is sickness in it.

2. Yet I, Josh, shall raise up unto the Dawk a new Forum, which shall not be called the Forum, but its name shall be Discussion Area. And it shall be new, and it shall be integrated, and people will come from other lands to marvel at it, and the word of the Dawk will spread abroad, even unto the Believers in strange Gods who dwell in ignorance. And the old Forum shall be utterly swept away. And unto those disciples who toiled anontimes in the Forum, Ye shall be set free, for ye have done all that the Dawk hath required of you.

3. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. And one of the disciples, whose name was Peter, contended with Josh, saying, Knowest not thou that I have spent many years building of the Forum, and my fellows also that are with me here, and we have toiled for no reward, for greatly do we love the Dawk and desire to spread his message, yea even unto the ends of the earth. Yet what have my labours earned me, to be thus cast aside?

4. And those that were with Peter said, Yea, it is so. And they abused Josh greatly. One saith, O Josh, Truly thou art like unto a suppurating rectum. Even a suppurating rat’s rectum inside a dead skunk that’s been shoved up a week-old dead rhino’s twat. And another saith that the face of Josh was like unto a slack jawed turd. And there were many who spake likewise.

5. And so there was consternation throughout the land of Bright, wherein did dwell the Dawkinsites, and the PeeZites, and the Hitchites, and all the rest of them who knew not God.

6. Now at this time the Dawk was in a far country, for he was preaching his message abroad unto the people that dwell beyond the horizon. For lo he was very popular, and multitudes came to see him wherever he went, and to hear his word, and to receive his mark upon their books. Yet it grieved the Dawk in his heart to learn of the things that had been said against his servant Josh, and concerning the rebuilding of the Forum.

7. And the word of the Dawk came unto his disciples, and he reproved them saying, Why are ye thus intemperate? And why do ye abuse my servant Josh in such wise? Are ye not hysterical? And is not my servant Josh a man greatly liked and respected above all men? Yet you have likened him unto a suppurating rectum. Of old the land of Dawk was like unto an oasis of clear thinking, yet you have poisoned the waters. Verily it has become a nest of vipers and an habitation of dragons.

8. And the Dawk waxed great in his wrath.

9. And some among the disciples said, O Dawk, our anger is not mixed against thee, but against thy servant Josh, who hath offended us. But others said, Hath not the Dawk deserted us? Come, let us depart the land of Dawk and hearken unto some other prophet, for the Dawk loveth not his people. And let us build unto ourselves a Forum, like unto the old Forum and not as the Discussion Area of Josh.

10. Now there were others who saw what came to pass in the land of Dawk, and were greatly astonished. And one, whose name was Ruth, complained bitterly against the Dawkinsites, that they had abused her with their words in former times. For the people of Dawk are an unruly people, said Ruth, not like unto the dwellers in the land of the God, wherein Ruth dwelleth. For all there is sweetness and light, saith Ruth, and the people all love one another and know not unseemliness. For verily there is neither Christian nor Muslim, Protestant nor Catholic, male nor female, gay nor straight, yet all are one in the land of the Believers. And they ever speak lovingly one unto another. Howbeit then, said Ruth, that the people of Dawk are so contumaceous? Is this not proof that they dwell in darkness?

11. And many were they among the Believers that said Amen. But others said, surely the Dawkinsites are like unto the Believers, for they too have among them divisions and quarrels, and batter one another with words, albeit they do not fasten explosives unto their bodies to smite their enemies, as some among the Believers are wont to do. Yet others said, it is not their unbelief that makes them thus, but that no-one knows their names.

12. And lo there was a mighty fuss. For word of the troubles of the Dawkinsites spread among all the blogs of the Unbelievers, and all the blogs of the Believers, and among the newspapers, yea even to the ends of the earth. And there were some who said, surely this is the will of God, to confound the Dawkinsites: for a house divided against itself cannot stand. And, hearing this, some among the Unbelievers said, Verily, is this not proof that the Believers have but little understanding of things? Yet it was not the Believers who had said this thing, but Unbelievers who had made jest at their expense.

13. And the Dawk repented him that he had spoken in such wrath. And so it came to pass that the Dawk spake again unto his people, saying that it grieved him that they were unhappy in their hearts. For verily he loved them dearly, in token whereof he promised that the Forum would be preserved, not as an active place, yet as a memorial. And he spake warmly unto his disciple Peter, and the other disciples, for all the work they had done. But still he defended his servant Josh, and the changes that Josh had wrought in the place.

14. And the Dawkinsites rejoiced greatly, saying, Thanks be to the Dawk who hath hearkened unto our prayer, and smiled upon us. For we know that thou lovest us yet. And lo the tempest passed out of the land of Dawk.


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