A few days ago I received the following letter concerning books containing the words of God. The letter came from Björn Yësstordåe, a devout Infinitian originally from Sweden but now living in Allheavens, Louisiana:
Dear Sage Mike,
I love the Gods. In one way or another, every penny I have beyond the bare minimum I need to stave off starvation goes to the Church of Infinitiaty. One of my major expenditures is the purchase of scripture books from the Church bookstore. Of course, with an infinite number of Gods, I can never own and read all of the Infinitian scripture and other sacred texts, but that won’t stop me from trying.
Beyond the problem of having only finite funds to buy the infinite set of scripture books, I’m now running into another problem. I have filled up my home and garage with scripture books. I have no place to keep any more.
I’ve read some of the scripture so many times that I’ve memorized them. I’d like to get rid of these particularly well-read books to make room for new ones that I want to buy from the Church. The problem is, it feels sacrilegious to throw away scripture books.
Am I right about that? Would it be blasphemous to throw away scripture books? And, if so, what are my options?
Literally devoutly yours,
Your intuition serves you well, Björn. It is a grave sin to throw into the garbage any book that contains the words of any of the infinite number of Gods.
The full implications of this religious stricture escape most people. Therefore, at some time in their lives they will likely fall afoul of this rule and, as a result, suffer the horrific, interminable wrath of the Gods.
Think about it. There are an infinite number of Gods. Because They all have the power to put words to a page, scroll or stone tablet, and because They use that power freely, the Gods have, in total, written an infinite number of words. Thus, there is not a single word in any language known to man or woman that has not been written by at least one of the Gods—and usually by a great many of them. Undoubtedly, over the fullness of time, one God or another has even spoken or written all of the gibberish words used by infants and politicians.
All Books Contain Words of God(s)
Thus, every book ever written, in every language ever created contains the words of God or, more likely, a number of Gods. Hence, it is a sin to throw any book in the garbage. Just to be clear, that is not limited to scripture books. It also includes romance novels, science fiction books, comic books, poetry books, humor books, non-fiction books and every other type of book you can think of—and every type of book that you can’t think of as well.
Therefore, it would be a sin to throwaway any book.
You are also advised to not simply give your no-longer-wanted books to anyone else. If you do and if the recipient throws away the books, the Gods will consider you to be an accomplice to that sin. They will punish you for it almost as harshly as the recipient of the books.
So, you ask, what are your options for dealing with these words of God if you want to clear out some space to make room for you to buy more books from the Church of Infinitiaty? You have only three options that will both serve your purpose and save you from near-term and eternal damnation by at least one, and likely many more, of the deities. They are the following
- Expand the space available to store your books—scripture and otherwise. Greatly expand your home by building up, building out and/or excavating. Or, if you have a large enough yard, consider filling it in with an enormous standalone library.
If the city cites zoning laws to try to prevent construction, cite your religious freedom rights to overrule them. Most politicians and bureaucrats hate to get into fights over religion.
If you can’t afford to expand your home and/or build a library and the bank refuses to loan you the money, you can take advantage of financing offered by the Church of Infinitiaty for that purpose. Committing to buy at least 10 full-priced religious books from the Church of Infinitiaty bookstore every month for at least the next 10 years will qualify you for a loan at a rate of prime plus 25 percent.
This might sound like a high interest rate, but when you look at all of the benefits you will receive, you will realize that it is quite reasonable.
When you take out one of these special loans you also receive free sin dispensations every year for as long as the loan is outstanding and your payments are in good standing. The number of dispensations and which sins they cover depends on the size of the loan and, hence, the amount of interest you are paying on it. You can inexpensively buy additional dispensations or buy dispensations for more serious sins beyond those included in the standard loan-rewards terms by voluntarily increasing the interest rate on the loan beyond the quoted rate.
This rewards-extension feature does come with a price, i.e., the higher interest rate, but that price is much less than what the dispensations would cost if you bought them outside of the rewards program. When you do the math you’ll find that this is a tremendous bargain.
If the Church deems that your credit rating is inadequate to carry the loan it may require that as many as 20 people with good credit ratings cosign the loan.
If that becomes necessary, the Church suggests that you lie to the prospective loan cosigners about the purpose of the loan. Nonbelievers among your friends and relatives might fail to see the value of increasing your piety through buying more scripture books. The story you tell them would contravene don’t-bear-false-witness religious restrictions, but the Gods are happy to look the other way on such transgressions if they enhance your religiosity and, more importantly, if they materially benefit the Church.
- Bury your scripture and other books. The only disposal method that is acceptable to the Gods for books containing the words of God or Gods (i.e., all books) is to bury your books directly in the ground. This allows them to decompose and return to the earth. However, proper prayers must be said over the books while they are being buried. And the burial grounds must be secured against the possibility of someone digging up the books and using them without paying proper reverence to them. This security must last for as long as it takes for the books to completely decompose.
To meet these stipulations, books should be sent to the Church of Infinitiaty for burial. Church clergy will preside over the burial and the Church will provide the necessary security in a Church-owned cemetery.
Obviously, you will have to cover any costs associated with delivering the books to the Church for burial.
I strongly recommend that you make use of the Infinitiaty-owned courier service for this purpose. The Church-owned courier service charges considerably more than the post office or private courier services, but the extra expense is well worth it. If you use the Church-owned service and your books are lost or stolen in transit you are absolved of any sins if any indignities are subsequently perpetrated against the books. If you bring the books to the Church yourself or you use another delivery method you would be considered to be an accomplice to any indignities committed against your lost or stolen books as the Gods will deem you to have not taken adequate care in their transport.
Of course, in addition to paying all delivery costs, you will also have to pay certain fees to the Church. Included among these are: clergy fees, burial fees, cemetery plot fees, and fees to cover your share of the security provided at the cemetery in perpetuity, among others.
- Send your scripture and other books to the Church of Infinitiaty bookstore for resale. This is the least expensive way to free up book space so you can acquire new scripture books.
The Church of Infinitiaty store sells used books that have been freely donated by its parishioners and others. Naturally, you won’t receive any money for your books, but you will avoid most of the fees associated with burying them.
You will be responsible for covering the shipping costs. As with the shipping associated with burial by the Church, and for the same reasons, I strongly recommend that you use the Church courier service to deliver your books to the Church bookstore.
You will also have to pay a reasonable charge for handling. “Reasonable” will depend on the number of words of God contained in the volumes. The decision as to what is considered reasonable is made solely at the discretion of the Church of Infinitiaty and it is not open to negotiations.
The fee varies depending on the size and weight of the book, as well as on whether the bookstore thinks it might have difficulty reselling the book. Nonetheless, in all cases the total charges will be lower than the fees associated with burying the books.
I hope this helps, Björn. It’s not easy being an Infinitian, but infinite divinity is worth it.
All Vocabularies are Words of God
As an aside, it’s worth noting that a related ongoing debate among the Infinitian Sages is now raging. The dominant position in the debate is the following:
- There are an infinite number of Gods (this is a given, but it’s worth restating here because it is central to the debate).
- A large percentage of the Gods have written and/or dictated texts.
- Even a small percentage, let alone a large percentage, of infinity is still infinity.
- Thus, at one time or another one or more Gods have used every word, regardless of language. Most words have been used several times over by the Gods.
- Furthermore, because Gods are Creators at the very core of their Beings, they must have created the languages they use in their scriptures and other texts.
- Therefore, as the only church on Earth that defends and represents all of the infinite number of Gods, the Church of Infinitiaty should, on behalf of the Gods, claim a copyright on all human languages. After all, they are based almost exclusively words of God, whichever God or Gods that may be.
- The Church should then, again on behalf of the Gods, collect royalties whenever anyone speaks or writes any word.
- Because most jurisdictions uphold copyrights for at least the lifetime of the copyright holder and because Gods don’t die, this will generate a huge revenue stream for the Church—of course, managed in trust for the benefit of the Gods—in perpetuity.