Jupiter, Father of the Gods, returned from holiday yesterday to find the world in chaos and resolved to get things back in order ‘within weeks’. Number one on his list is to deal with the waves of what he calls ‘fundamentalist but false’ religions that have swept the planet in his absence.
‘Honestly, I go away with and a few mates and Goddesses for a three weeks of centuries break with Club Bacchus 18-30,000 and I come back to a state of religious anarchy. Jesus Christ!’ he thundered. ‘And he’s only one of the culprits. I have to admit his name’s a much better expletive than “by Jove” though, which really pisses me off.’ So saying, he destroyed St Peter’s Basilica in Rome with a thunderbolt, which Baptist and Islam leaders interpreted as a positive sign.
Jupiter explained that with the Romans in charge, he thought it would be safe to go away for a while. ‘I even let them promote their emperors to God status to keep them happy,’ he said. ‘Then I find out that through a series of procedural failures they somehow turned an itinerant Jewish preacher into a world religion. First they made martyrs of him and his followers, then they abandoned me and adopted him. Holy shit!’
While Jupiter took a toilet break, Mercury explained that the Gods were particularly upset to find that millions of people now worshipped different books, written by unauthorised fanatics, and were prepared to go to war over them. ‘We’re going to collect up all copies of the Bible and the Koran this week and make a bonfire of the lot of them. Anyone complains, they’re on the bonfire too. How these people can think they’ve got the one true religion beggars belief.’
Unfortunately Mercury was unable to explain what further measures would be implemented because he was interrupted by Jupiter’s discovery that he had forgotten to cancel the ambrosia deliveries.
...[alternative ending with hat tip to AOP] because he was interrupted by the explosion accompanying Jupiter's discovery of a demand for 2,100 years' unpaid tax and interest totalling 3.5 billion denarii.