The leaders of two of the world's major religions, Islam and Christianity, are in a state of shock today following the announcement that the government of Israel has taken out an international patent on the One, True God.
A statement, released today by the Knesset, claims that because Richard Dawkins sells more books than the Pope, it is now obvious that God does not exist. Therefore, the Israelis conclude, God is just an idea, an invented and imaginary concept and, most important of all as far as they are concerned, it is their invented and imaginary concept. Basically they are saying that the One, True God is their intellectual property in the same way that "The God Delusion" is Dawkins' intellectual property.
Although international courts are yet to rule on the legality of Israel's monopolisation of monotheism, the United Nations has issued a provisional injunction which forbids anybody, other than Jews, from making any reference to God in their services and literature. The New Testament and the Koran are now technically illegal and publication of either book without the permission of the Knesset will be regarded as a breach of copyright. Ownership of existing copies may well render the owner guilty of being an accomplish to the original crime of bootlegging or, at the very least, being in receipt of stolen goods. In an attempt to minimise the number of potential lawsuits the leader of Iran's Cloudy But Dry Muslims, Ayatollah Dinnerjacket, has contact Poppa Benny in Rome with the interesting suggestion, "We'll burn yours and you burn ours."
However, OCICBW...'s legal experts believe that, although Israel's ownership of the One, True God may be difficult to challenge successfully in court, this does not mean that Roman Catholics will have to stop worshipping the Virgin Mary or evangelicals, the yankee dollar. In fact, some church leaders are trying to spin this unexpected development as an opportunity rather than a problem. The Grand Tufti of the Church of England is personally quite excited as he hopes the removal of the Bible from bookshop shelves will lead to an increase in the sales of his own books. Taking a different tack the Presiding Tufti of the U.S. Episcopal Church is simply taking the view that any international patents or injunctions and, certainly, anything the UN decides, do not apply to her church because it's American.