an afternoon in theosophical court

BAILIFF
All rise, the hermenutic justice, Magistrate of Huxley presiding.

MAGISTRATE
Good afternoon, all. Today we are gathered to address the question of whether god is dead, or simply absent. The court will now hear arguments from both sides, starting with the defense. Counselor, the floor is yours.

DEFENSE COUNSEL
Your honor, the basis of the defense’s arguments rest on the fact that without a body, the court can only declare God to be missing until the seven years have elapsed, after which, God is considered legally dead and their estate can be passed on to their next-of-kin. We submit a motion to formally classify the deity in question a missing person in order to allow time to develop evidence of His presence.

PLAINTIFF COUNSEL
Objection, your honor, we move that it is inappropriate for the typical missing persons statute to be applied to the purported creator of the universe.

MAGISTRATE
Keep your seat, counselor, you’ll have your time to speak. Furthermore, it is the opinion of this court that as long as God’s estate exists, God is a person in the eyes of the law, physical existence notwithstanding. In fact, I have a brief here that shows God was the first corporation granted personhood. The objection is overruled, the statute will be applied. Defense, are you finished making your statement?

DEFENSE COUNSEL
We are, your honor.

MAGISTRATE
Very well. Plaintiff, you may address the court.

PLAINTIFF COUNSEL
Thank you, your honor. If it be the case that the missing persons statute will be applied, we submit that the seven-year period has long since elapsed since God (et al.) was first reported missing by Gérard de Nerval in 1854, and moves that all theological properties, instances of cosmological unity, and possessions of the One True Nature of Things be taken into the custody of the state, as the only established next of kin was executed more than two thousand years ago.

MAGISTRATE
You have proof of this first report?

PLAINTIFF COUNSEL
We do, your honor.

[PLAINTIFF COUNSEL submits to the court a copy of “Le Christ aux oliviers“]

MAGISTRATE
I see no issues here. The court proposes a three-month period in which the estate is continued to be administered by the Monarchy who still hold power of attorney for any other claimants to step forward, after which the estate be surrendered to the government.

DEFENSE COUNSEL
We object, your honor. The monarchy is one of many claimants to the power of attorney. There is, in fact, substantial documentation to support the claim of one Pontiff of the Holy See, one Pope of the Church of Alexandria, several caliphs and imams. In addition, there seems to be an ongoing investigation into an indigent surfing instructor, currently living in Hermosa Beach, California, as a potentially unknown next-of-kin. The defense moves that the estate be moved into immediate arbitration, with the day-to-day administration authority assumed by the impartial Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge.

MAGISTRATE
The Monarchy has been administering the estate of God for over a millennium and has won every claim brought against them. I see no reason to strip them of power of attorney at this time.

DEFENSE COUNSEL
Your honor, among our clients is a group of Pentecostal snake handlers who have submitted a sideline motion that power of attorney exercised by The Monarchy is, in fact, a conflict of interest in itself that The Crown is representing the interests of, quote, “the Devil hisself (sic)”.

PLAINTIFF COUNSEL
Objection! It has come to our attention that this group of snake handlers are, in fact, snakes themselves, and therefore have a conflict of interest preventing them from taking the power of attorney, as per God vs. Snakes, 3,980 BCE, Garden of Eden.

MAGISTRATE
Is this true, counselor?

DEFENSE COUNSEL
It has yet to be conclusively determined, your honor. However, if the court reviews the precedent of that case, they will find the decision stated that defendant, “Snakes (et al.)”, were acting entirely as an appointed agent of the plaintiff, entirely within their framework of employment, and the suit was thrown out.

MAGISTRATE
Counselor, this brief states that the appeal for that decision was passed back down to the lower courts, awaiting the decision of God vs. Satan (ongoing) by the Court Most High. Do you wish to make a motion?

DEFENSE COUNSEL
In that case, we withdraw the snake-handlers’ complaint, however there still remains the matter of the Pontiff of the Holy See. It appears as though this party has assumed the role of de facto power of attorney.

MAGISTRATE
Has this party submitted a complaint or claim to the power of attorney?

DEFENSE COUNSEL
No, your honor. It appears the Pontiff refuses to recognize any authority in this matter other than their own.

MAGISTRATE
Counselor, this court has no patience for the delusions of sovereign citizens or any other kangaroo court that rejects its authority. Any claims by the Holy See are summarily dismissed and you and both counselors are instructed to not bring them up again in this hearing. Understood?

DEFENSE COUNSEL
Yes, your honor.

PLAINTIFF COUNSEL
Understood.

MAGISTRATE
Very well, it is my decision that this hearing will be adjourned until the court has had time to diligently review these claims on the power of attorney. For the time being, the estate will be held in a blind trust, administered by the county probate office. We will resume at nine o’clock tomorrow. Court is adjourned.

BAILIFF
All rise!

~~~~~~~~

The inspiration, and indeed a good bulk of the dialog in this came from a conversation I had with a good friend recently (who wishes to remain anonymous, but deserves credit regardless, hence the guest contributions tag).

/millibeep

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