HELL     4'2m?f Creation, Heaven, Hell, salvation, good, evil

(light cue: dim to 50%)

JESUS -- (enters, faces audience, holds hands high and wide)

ANGEL -- (enters opposite paging through thick document) Oh, no!
This can't be right. Lord! Please don't start creation yet!

JESUS -- Let there be ...

ANGEL -- Excuse me, Lord.

JESUS -- (drops arms) Yes, what is it?

ANGEL -- I was looking at these (points to document)
specifications for the design of the universe. Let's see, how do
I put this?

JESUS -- Make it quick. I'm on a tight schedule for the next
fifteen billion years.

ANGEL -- Well, to put it bluntly, I think you might just have a
public relations problem on your hands here.

JESUS -- Everything I do is perfect. How could I have a public
relations problem?

ANGEL -- Well, it's not about the universe itself.

JESUS -- Good. Then, come back and talk to me about it when I'm
through with the universe. (raises and extends arms) Let there

ANGEL -- Wait!

JESUS -- (drops arms) Look. I'm a little busy here. What....

ANGEL -- I'm afraid it might be to late in fifteen billion

JESUS -- My public relations problem.

ANGEL -- Yes.

JESUS -- Alright, I'm listening.

ANGEL -- It's about this other place. You call it HELL.

JESUS -- What about HELL?

ANGEL -- Well, for one thing, it's... it's eternal.

JESUS -- Yes. That was the idea. What's wrong with eternal?

ANGEL -- Well, once you make it, it lasts FOREVER.

JESUS -- That's the idea.

ANGEL -- According to your specification, the people you send
there will never see you again, ever.

JESUS -- Do you see a problem with that?

ANGEL -- Well, yes. According to the specification, your
prophets will describe Hell as a place of torment, of
unquenchable fire, and of eternal darkness.

JESUS -- You're wondering how Hell can have darkness at the same
time there are flames in the area?

ANGEL -- Among other things.

JESUS -- Well, obviously, those descriptions are just
figurative. I wanted people to know that Hell is not a very
pleasant place.

ANGEL -- I guess that leads me to my main objection. Why would
you bother to create such an unpleasant place?!

JESUS -- Because I wanted to give my creatures a choice.

ANGEL -- A choice?

JESUS -- Yes. They can't choose to be in my presence unless they 
are allowed to have some other option.

ANGEL -- And the option is Hell.

JESUS -- Yes. Think about the most irritating angel you know in

ANGEL -- That would be Abigail. I don't know how she ended up in
the choir. But she can't carry a tune to save her soul.

JESUS -- What if you had to listen to Abigail's singing all the
time every day for all eternity?

ANGEL -- Fortunately, I won't have to. According to your
specification (points to document) I will be assigned as a
messenger to your people on Earth when it's finished.

JESUS -- What if I reassigned you to listen to Abigail for all

ANGEL -- Oh, please don't do that! Her voice is like fingernails
on a chalk board!

JESUS -- I won't. But, that will give you an idea of what it
would be like for people who choose evil. If I forced them to be
in my presence for all eternity, it would be worse than forcing
them to listen to Abigail's screeching for all eternity.

ANGEL -- So, Hell is merely your way of giving evil people what
they want?

JESUS -- I don't see how I could have designed the universe
without it.

ANGEL -- (turns, strolls) Oh. I guess you're right. (reads)

JESUS -- (raises and extends arms) Let there be....

ANGEL -- (turns) Speaking of choices. Are you really going to
allow your creatures a choice between good and evil? (points)

JESUS -- How would you like to be reassigned to the choir, right
next to Abigail?

ANGEL -- (exiting) On second thought, it's not all that urgent.

JESUS -- Let there be light.

(light cue: lights up full)

JESUS -- (exiting opposite) Oh, that's good!

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