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(A one act play by Dave Cowles) 

©2003 Dave Cowles, All rights reserved. 


The Cast: 


Oswald , a compassionate, but cynical angel 

Archie , a compassionate, but legalistic angel 

Jesus of Nazareth , Messiah 


The Place: 


A cloud on the outskirts of Heaven 


The Time: 


Present day 


Act One of One 


We open to see Oswald, obviously in an extreme state of agitation, squatting on a cloud, looking down and screaming. Archie enters. 


Oswald: ( Cups hands around his mouth) Jesus is coming! (Pauses) Look busy! Oh you stupid, ignorant, boneheaded… 


Archie: More problems, Oswald? 


Oswald: Are farts supposed to be lumpy? 


Archie: What?  


Oswald: ( Stands) Did you see that? (Points forward and down) 

(Two car horns honk angrily) 


Archie: See what? 


Oswald: ( Screaming again) Oh for the love of… 


Archie: ( Hastily, looking around) Did I see what? 


Oswald: The fish and and and  (stutters, exasperated) THE FINGER. 


Archie: What?  


Oswald: Archie, every time that stupid pinhead, Bob, gets behind the wheel it’s like he forgets all about being a Christian and destroys his witness.  


Archie: He just put his sixth shiny new Jesus fish on the back of his truck! 


Oswald:   He says he doesn’t get road rage. I guess he just likes to narrate the trip; you know, telling everyone who they are, where they came from, who their parents are, where they can go, anatomically impossible things they can do to themselves and… 


Archie: I get the picture. 


Oswald: I don’t get him. He was just at church yesterday. I bet he’s on his way home to go to www.BimbosOnline.com. 


Archie: He’s a hypocrite. 


Oswald: Aren’t they all? 


Archie: Well, (Huffs) this one isn’t getting into Heaven. 


Oswald: Why not, Archie? 


Archie: Look at him, Oswald. (Gestures) He still looks like scooter trash. He’s loud, boisterous, and has all ten of his thumbs in the middle of everything. He’s like a bear at feeding time, all of the time. And the gases! You can smell him up here! Last week someone asked him how he knew he was going to Heaven. He said, “Because I am Batman.” No righteous disciple of Christ would ever joke in such a manner!  He has these hissy fits, then gets bent out of shape and rips the Jesus fish off of his vehicle. It’s much easier than changing his abhorrent behavior. He’s despicable. I think he shows up at church just to gawk at the women. Half the time he falls asleep and wakes himself up by dropping his bible on the floor. He dresses like a thug. Says he wore a suit to church once just to get it out of his system. They think they are invisible, screaming at each other, using hateful words, and losing their minds. (Pauses) I’ve never heard anybody called a “Geriatric” as a curse before. He’s mad at everyone.  


Oswald: Did you see him shoot right around that guy pushing that stalled car off the road? (Snorts) I’m sure THAT guy saw Jesus in him when he flew by! Hey, wait... He’s just flipped a yooie. What’s he doing? Aw nuts, he’s gonna cuss him out for making him switch lanes… 


Archie: Savage.  


Oswald: Uh oh, he’s getting out of the truck. 


Archie: ( Leans across in front of Oswald) Mercy. Oh my… 


Oswald: ( Jumping about) What? What is it? 


Archie: I don’t believe it... 


Oswald: Did he turn into a pumpkin? 


Archie: What?  


Oswald: Did his head fall off? 


Archie: What?  


Oswald: ( Screaming) WHAT IS HE DOING, ARCHIE? 


Archie: He’s… helping… oh, my. 


Oswald: Oh your! Pffft. You do know, who you are in your car is who you are. 


Archie: What?  


Oswald: Who you are in your car is who you are. It’s true. It says so in Leviticus. 


Archie: It most certainly does not! 


Oswald: No, really it does! 


Archie: You can’t just go rewriting the bible to suit your philosophical whims. 


Oswald: You just said this guy wasn’t getting into Heaven because of his actions. Where does the bible say that? 


Archie: He’s not acting like a Christian. He can’t be saved and act like that. 


Oswald: Why not? 


Archie: The Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow it. 


Oswald: You mean once they get saved they lose free will? 


Archie: No.  


Oswald: What then? That they become perfect? Sin becomes a distant memory? They always wear clean underwear? 


Archie: ( Rolls eyes and prays) Haven’t you been paying attention? How did you get to be a guardian angel? 


Oswald: I’m dating the boss’s daughter. Sometimes I think Christians are the worst thing to ever happen to Christianity. (Thoughtful)You know, they often shoot their wounded. Watch one of their unwed teenagers get knocked up and they all forget that Jesus died for her and that she is already forgiven. Once these naked apes catch on that Jesus is Lord, they are suppose to be perfected and perfect, right? 


Archie: Well, no. Not exactly… 


Oswald: They are crucified in Christ. Wham bam, thank you, ma’am, no more impure thoughts, immoral behavior, farm animal fantasies… 


Archie: NO! But the Master has to be their Lord and Savior! (Pounds fist in other hand) He has to be Lord and Savior! Or else… 


Oswald: Are farts supposed to be lumpy? 


Archie: What?  


Oswald: Isn’t it just their loss, rather than they ARE lost, if they ask him to save them and then keep living the same life? 


Archie: No, they have to change! 


Oswald: Why? I thought God convicts them and Satan condemns them? To me it looks like they are just plain miserable if they know Jesus but don’t live for Him. Aren’t they really just a lost cause? I mean, everyone knows God doesn’t make mistakes, but mankind has been going the wrong direction since almost day one. Maybe they are just here for their entertainment value. What was it Voltaire said? “God is a comedian with an audience that is afraid to laugh.” Everything they touch turns to poop, suffering, misery, and death. A headless chicken has nothing on them! Why do they even bother to get saved if they don’t want Jesus to be their Lord? 


Archie: Well, can you define “Eternal Damnation”? 


Oswald: That which isn’t fun. After all, how many people really fantasize about being sodomized by demons? Big, ugly demons. Big, ugly, redneck demons. With horns.  Over and over and over and over. Infinity. 

(Heavenly music) 


Jesus: (Enters) Redneck demons? (Looks around) 


Archie: You! (Points)Oh! (Slaps both hands over mouth and throws himself prone on the ground and starts shouting) “Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!  


Oswald: GREAT JUMPIN’ JEHOSHAPHAT! ( Jumps back looking for an escape route) 


Jesus: All right! All right! That’s enough! (Gestures wildly) C’mon, you guys! Get up. You’re embarrassing me. (Takes Archie by the arm and helps him up, then grabs him in a bear hug and musses his hair). I love you, Man! 


Archie: ( Stammers) Haaaahbah hominah hahbahaha… Yuh Yuh Your Holy Lordliness! Woooooooooooo! 


Oswald: ( Stands and walks towards Jesus, lifting his arms towards Him) It’s really you. 


Jesus : (Raises his arms towards Oswald and slowly walks backwards, arms extending outwards, his smile broadening) Ta da. In the flesh. 


Oswald: ( Stops walking. Jesus approaches him, embraces him, and Oswald rests his head on Jesus’ shoulder) Why? Why did you have to do it? Why did you die for them? It changes nothing. They’re still animals. 


Jesus: I love them. My father loves them. They are not animals, they are just being perfected. They die for me by the hundreds of thousands. In many places just admitting they are my followers is an immediate death sentence. 


Oswald: ( Gently breaks embrace and steps back two steps) They look schizophrenic! One minute they are screaming profanity at each other and filled with bloodlust, the next they’re willing to die for you and each other. I don’t get it. Are they all insane? 



Jesus: They are lost. Even when they are saved they are lost. For non-Christians their earthly life is as good as it gets. For Christians, it’s as bad as it gets. They are still in that World, but no longer of it. It is a very traumatic adjustment for many of them. But they love me and trust me and I love them. We shall watch over them and bring them home. Sometimes we will make adjustments to ease their way. Other times, (Sighs) they won’t get out of their own way and we let them reap what they sowed. 


Archie: This fellow down here now, (Flings arm out and spits out the name) Bob, is an unholy terror. He shoots past people in traffic going thirty-five miles over the speed limit, Singing Praise & Worship songs and waving his arms like a lunatic, and the next thing you know, he’s screaming curses, then repenting and before he’s done, he’s losing it again.  


Oswald: I’m waiting to see smoke come out of his ears and his head start spinning around! 


Jesus: He’s not possessed. 


Archie: He’s not? Then why does he act like that if he loves you? 

You can’t possibly be thinking of letting him in here. 


Jesus: He is covered in my blood. I paid his debt. He still doesn’t realize that I died for everyone down there, including other motorists. His faith is new. He’s having trouble grasping that he is no longer a slave to the flesh, to sin. 


Oswald: I can see why you went down there before they had cars! 


Jesus: (Laughs warmly) 


Jesus: Archie, I paid the price for them. There is nothing they can do to earn it. They can’t pay me back; the debt is erased like it never was. Living right won’t get them a ticket to Heaven. None are good, no, not one. They have to come through me. It is a free gift. There for the taking. But they have to take it. All my father wants from them is a little accountability, some humility, and for them to love one another. Then they just have to ask in order to be forgiven. 


Archie: But some don’t, King Jesus. 


Jesus: ( Shakes head sadly) No, some don’t.  You may not believe it looking at Bob right now, but he is going to change the world. He’s going to tell that man with car trouble about me by his actions as much as his words. That man will tell his son. Then his son is going to tell a boy in his little league team. That boy will send an e-mail to his cousin in the Marine Corps. The marine will fall in love with the daughter of an Iraqi dignitary while overseas. They just never know who they tell about me that might make the difference in many many lives. Or for that matter, even one life. If Christians were perfect, they wouldn’t have to be Christians. They are being perfected in me. It’s a process. The only unforgivable sin is rejecting me. 


Oswald: Awesome.  


Archie: Ahhh, grace, not works. 


Oswald: Are farts supposed to be lumpy? 


Archie: ( clutches chest and gasps) 


Jesus: ( Grinning) I like the ones that slosh around in your pants when you go like this! (Rocking forward on the balls of his feet raising his bent arms up, palms forward, and swiveling his hips in a wide hula hooping fashion) 


(A deep, warm, rich, bass laughter fills the room from no apparent source .) 


Fade to black 


The End 


   ©2003 Dave Cowles. All Rights Reserved.

A lot has changed since I wrote that one act play.
I am still proud of it, but not the viewpoint it represents.

Godless Atheists


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