[personal profile] longhairedweirdo
So, see, the plane was going down. Um. Let me back that up.

Due to a crazy situation, we were being evacuated on Air Force One, see? But it had taken damage in the firefight and it just wasn't going to make it. The autopilot was set to take it safely out to sea, but first, the evacuation.

It had been a fascinating flight - Pope Francis had been visiting the warzone, too, see, and giving comfort and spiritual help, and I'd had to draw him away from the suffering, explaining that he was too valuable as a hostage. He reluctantly agreed, but I could see the pain in his eyes at abandoning those in need.

He needed some comfort himself, so... well... so I started an argument with him.

Really, it was a theological discussion. I asked him about the nature of good and evil; I pointed out that if "good" meant following God's will, that means if God woke up cranky one morning (yes, metaphorically speaking, we have no reason to believe God sleeps) and decided that geese should be enslaved (they *are* pretty evil!) then that would become good - even though it doesn't seem to have any moral basis now.

This is a tricky thought for some people - they think "but God would never do that!" And I'll prod them - "why not?"

If they're self-honest, they'll admit that, okay, God wouldn't do that because God is "good" and that means that "good" doesn't mean "whatever the heck God wills it to be."

He knew the trick response, though: he explained that, for humans, following God's will was good, because God wanted us to be good - he knew goodness better than we.

Whether "goodness" was a quality that could be separated from God - if God could be, objectively, good, was a question we humans couldn't really fathom. And that is a good answer. It's not my answer, but it's a good one, and we had fun kicking these sorts of ideas back and forth.

He told me that this is why heaven would be so amazing - think of having discussions like this with all the great philosophers (and yes, some of the great comedians... and think of the overlap!) so I was forced to confess that I'm not sure if there is a heaven (though that *is* a good vision of it). I explained to him that, yeah, I won't call myself *Christian* any more, but, you know, I like to think that I'm doing what that Jesus fellow said - to love what is good and loving, and to love other people. I even went further, mentioning that, wow, if God existed, and came to me, and said I had to die, horribly, but if I went through it willingly, it would serve a great purpose, well, I'd like to think I would. But, I said, (and he quickly agreed with me) no one really knows if they can do that until the choice is before them - and sometimes their answers are a surprise.

We talked some more, and eventually, he said that, since I was born Catholic he could hardly say that I was right for abandoning the church, but asked me if I was sorry for any sins - if sins they were - that I had committed. And I'd told him, yes, any that involved causing harm or failing to do what was right.

Or heck, I added - any rules broken that were truly given out of love and a desire for people to do what's right and best. He nodded, and granted me absolution.

I don't know how I feel about that; "sin" and "absolution" are his standards, not mine. If I had a view of heaven, it would be that, in an afterlife, you'd continue to seek what you sought on earth - so if you sought love, and goodness, you'd continue to seek it after, and you would find it.

Still, the look in his eyes, the kindness in his gesture, they spoke to me. This meant something to him. He wanted to think that I, long-ago ex-Catholic, could join him in his vision of the afterlife, because he cared about what was good for me. It was an act of unselfish love and I could only thank him, warmly and sincerely, for that. It doesn't really matter if he was wrong, see - what mattered was he was reaching within himself to give of the best he had.

But that felt like ancient history as I was helping hustle people with parachutes out of the plane.

Until I realized with a sick feeling that counting noses was the wrong strategy here - it's hard to see your own nose after all! We were one short.

Two parachutes, three people, on Air Force One.

Those of you in the know realize this means it was me, Pope Francis, and Donald Trump (because otherwise, it would no longer be "Air Force One", you see - it'd be the plane most commonly using that designation).

"One of us... " I said, and I saw grim determination in Pope Francis' eyes, as he started to fumble with the straps of his own 'chute. But I was interrupted.

"MINE!" Trump said, as he ran up to me, and yanked at my shoulderstraps to strip me of my own precious cargo. "I'm the smartest man in the world and President of the United States, and you're a two bit loser! The pope gets the last one!" and he was out the door, free falling before I could say anything.

The pope hands shook slightly as he tried to undo his, and even started to say "my beloved son..." because he was sure I'd shove him out the door if he gave me a chance, so he had to convince me. I, in turn, had to interrupt him quickly.

"FORGET IT FRANKIE!" I yelled, "the smartest man in the world just jumped out with my carry-on bag."

He was a pro - he got over his shock quickly and helped me get my chute on, and I checked his, and we leapt out. I mumbled something as we did, and I didn't tell him what. Frankly, it pains me that I was so petty. So now, I suppose I have to confess the shameful truth.

What I mumbled was "damn, I'm going to miss my good laptop."

I suppose I should have a more cogent comment on the failure to repeal Obamacare. Or maybe I should come up with some brilliant snark to needle a gasbag for saying he was going to make health care so much better and then had to confess that "nobody knew health care was so complicated."

Maybe I shouldn't be so mean-spirited and maybe I should do more outreach to Trump voters.

But I can't. Because, you see, he claimed to be worthy of the Presidency, while grabbing the metaphorical equivalent of a carry-on bag (which, yes, is a backpack, but looks nothing like a parachute) and diving out of the plane. Problem is, he brought us with him. And while I'll fight to the death for his right to be a blowhard and a braggart and flame out spectacularly, I can't show much kindness for a man who asked for leadership of an entire nation when he knew durn well that he couldn't handle the job.

(post edited to flesh out the storyline.)
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