(This is a play I wrote in 1996.
It was performed at the Holiday Party at 
Univ of MD, Comp Sci Dept.
It was later submitted to a play-writing contest
and got invited to be performed at the Arena Stage.
To give you the idea of the prestiges,
none of the actors, directors, or writers got
paid.  I did get a discount on the ticket though.)

FEEL FREE to download and perform.
GREAT for Holiday Parties.
You can add your own inside-jokes.
If you do so, please email me how it went.


Sure, He Created the Universe, But Would He Get Tenure?


Bill Gasarch and Chris North

c 1996 by Bill Gasarch and Chris North


All of the characters are professors
at a university.

CHRIS:  He will be arguing in favor of granting God tenure. 

CARL: He will be arguing against granting God tenure. 

LINDA: She will also be arguing against granting God tenure,
but not as much as Carl.

CHAIR:PERSON: She is chairing the meeting.

PLACE: A department meeting of a faculty at a university.

TIME: The present.

[As the scene begins, Chris, Chairperson, Linda, and Carl are
sitting in chairs, in that order,  with one long table in front of them.
The chairs are angled so that Chris and Carl can see each other.
Throughout the play the characters can move around, get up to 
get coffee, etc.

I am calling this meeting to discuss whether or not
to give God tenure in our department.  As you know, 
tenure means that He cannot be fired except for immoral 
behavior, which in this case seems unlikely.  Here are 
copies of God's resume and letters of recommendation.
(The Chairperson passes out folders.) Before we get 
started, I want to remind everyone that God is not 
allowed to know any of the details of this discussion.
Not a single word uttered here should leave the room.

CHRIS: Uh, excuse me, the candidate is all-knowing...

CARL: In that case, why not just ask the Almighty how 
this meeting will turn out, and then we don't have to have it.

CHAIR: We'll do our best to make sure that what's said 
in this room stays in this room.  If the candidate is 
all-knowing, that's not our fault.  Now, as  usual, 
the items to consider are research, education, and 
service.  Let's start with research.

CHRIS: He started one of the most important fields of study!

CARL: All He did was create the world.

CHRIS: But He did it with speed and elegance.

LINDA: But that was a long time ago.  Whats he done lately?

CHRIS: He wrote the entire Bible!

LINDA: That's still many years ago.

Hey, the Bible may be old, but it's certainly original.
In fact, everyone else's work is based on it.  Look at 
God's citation index; He has more citations than Shakespeare!

Yeah, but many of the citations are negative.  A citation 
saying  `God doesn't exists' is not good for his tenure case.

But those citations are false!

Whether or not they are true or false is irrelevant.  
They work against his case.

While I admit the Bible is one helluva book, it is just 
one book. And it had no references.

CHRIS: But there was nothing for God to reference!

It wasn't published in a refereed journal or even submitted 
for peer review.

CHRIS: But God has no peers! Who would you get to referee God's work?

LINDA: Jesus? 

CARL: Nepotism!

CHRIS:  Abraham? Mohammed? Joseph Smith? Guru Nanak? 
L. Ron Hubbard?

CARL: No, those are His graduate students.  And if you recall, 
L. Ron Hubbard flunked out.

LINDA: Oh, yes, quite a scandal.

CHAIR: Enough of this! Let's talk about the letters of recommendation.

LINDA: I'm not that impressed with the letters.

CHRIS: Why not?  This one says that He walks on water!

LINDA: Yeah, yeah, but all letters say stuff like that.
Besides, it said He helped someone else walk on water.
Its not clear who deserves the credit.

And speaking of credit, there are rumors that His grad 
students, Moses and Paul, wrote the Bible, and He took 
all the credit.

CHRIS: God generated the text; they just did the 
word processing.  He certainly created the world by Himself.

CARL: We don't know that.  There was nobody around to check 
if He plagiarized.

CHRIS: By the same token, there was nobody he could have 

LINDA: Hmm, good point.

CHRIS: Think of what prestige it would add to our department 
to have someone as well known as God as a Tenured faculty.

CARL: Being well known is not necessarily a virtue.  Satan is 
well known, and we're not considering him for tenure.

CHAIR: Actually, that's next week's meeting. 

CHRIS: I will fight any attempt to give Satan tenure with every
ounce of strength I have. If we give Satan tenure, I will
(cut off)

CHAIR: Stop! We can wait until next week to have next week's meeting.
Let's move on to the next topic of this week's meeting: 
How is God's grant support?

LINDA: He hasn't brought in the really big grants.

CHRIS: Actually, all our grants are God's grants! All those 
dollars already have God's name printed on them.

CHAIR: Let's discuss how well rounded He is.

CHRIS: He's done fine interdisciplinary work.

CARL: Gee, people who can't concentrate on any one thing
often use the excuse, ``Well, I'm interdisciplinary.''

CHRIS: Are you accusing the One who designed the universe of
not being able to concentrate?

CARL: I'm just saying that it's easier to do three things badly
than one thing well.

CHRIS: But God does all things well!

Not quite.  Do you remember the trouble awhile back when He tried to
get an assistant professorship in the Life Sciences Department?

LINDA: Oh, yes.  Those evolutionists certainly made a monkey out
of Him.

CHRIS:    No, that's backwards.

CARL: Anyway, is this the kind of controversy that we really
want our department associated with?  Its a no-win situation

LINDA:  I think it's a Dar-win situation.  [ Drum hit ]

CHAIR: Knock that off.  Are there any serious objections to
God's work in the sciences?

CHAIR: Are there any serious objections to
God's work in the sciences?

LINDA: I have some concerns about the scientific
quality and ethics of His work.

CHRIS: But He defined science and ethics! How can you have 
a problem with it?  Besides, His work paid off! 

The scientific community has had a very rough time trying to replicate
His results. 

CHRIS: Gee, I wonder why...

LINDA: And He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission 
to use human subjects!

CHRIS: But He is the Ethics Board!

CARL: When one experiment screwed up, He tried to cover it up 
by drowning the subjects.  When subjects didn't behave as predicted, 
He often punished them, or just deleted them from the sample.

CHRIS: It's not His fault that the subjects didn't read the instructions!

CHAIR: Ok, ok, that's enough. Let's discuss God's teaching.

Many students swear by Him.

CARL: He expelled His first two students for experimenting and learning
something. That's a rather rough grading policy.

CHRIS: Ah! Recall that academic dishonesty was involved.
The students cheated from the tree of knowledge, which was strictly

LINDA: But God didn't give the students a fair hearing.
God wouldn't even let them back in the classroom to appeal the grade.

CARL: Other students complain that God's hard to find.  One of them 
said that God's office hours were infrequent and usually held on a 
mountain top.  Some say that God's just too busy.
CHRIS: Students are always complaining. I bet they didn't even try
looking for Him.  God's got plenty of time to meet students---after 
all, He's eternal! 

CHAIR: Enough on education. Let's look at His service.

%LINDA: (talking to the Chairperson) He beats you regularly at tennis.

CHAIR: That's not what I meant by service!

CHRIS: He keeps the world up and running.

CARL: But what's He done for us?

CHRIS: Just last week God sent out a memo to the effect that we 
should use paper cups instead of styrofoam to help the environment.

LINDA: The memo might have been more effective if it hadn't been written
in ancient Hebrew.

CHRIS: He also provided copies in Latin and ancient Greek.

CHAIR: Chris,  have you looked into the possibility of getting 
additional funding from the affirmative action people if we 
give God tenure?

CARL: That's a laugh! God is the ultimate dead white male.

CHRIS: Wrong on all three counts! He's not dead, He's not white, 
and He's not male.  He's universal, beyond gender or race.

LINDA: Then why do you keep calling God ``He''?

CHRIS: Because English has no genderless pronoun.

CHAIR: Chris, you still haven't answered my question.

CHRIS: Oh. We get no extra funds for hiring God.

CARL: Ah, so I was right.

CHRIS: Not quite. The higher-ups agreed with me that God was beyond
gender or race; however, that also means He's not Black, Hispanic, or female.  
I tried telling them He had a Spanish first name, `Jesus',  but that didn't fly.

CHAIR: Let's end this discussion and take a vote. I've got email to read.

CHRIS: But we're not done discussing the case!

CHAIR: In that case, someone has to make a motion to end the
discussion. Then it has to be seconded and voted on.

CARL: I make a motion to end the discussion and then take a vote on whether to
grant tenure to God.

LINDA: Second.

CHAIR: All in favor of ending the discussion and then
taking a vote, raise your hands.

(Linda and Carl raise their hands.)

CHAIR: All who want to continue the discussion, raise your hands.

(Chris raises his hand.)

CHAIR: Okay, the discussion is ended, and we'll take a vote.  
This is, of course, a secret ballot.

(They all write down on a small piece of paper a Y or an N and 
put it into a box.  After the ballots are handed in, some special 
effect happens to indicate God's presence (e.g., lights flash).
Something happens to the box containing the ballots to indicate 
that it is being changed.)

CHAIR: The vote is three Yes's and zero No's.  Looks like God gets tenure.

CARL: Looks like it helps having friends in high places.