John Szabo

My Bobble Head Dashboard Deity

In the hours before dawn, on a desolate Mojave Desert highway, I ask my bobble head dashboard Buddha deity, his once bright colors faded, nose melted by furnace-like desert heat, his bloated, smiling head bobbling like an old man with a neurological condition, whose God is the right God?

He bobbles amiably, as he so often does when asked the unanswerable, gyrating his distended belly.

Been with me for 30 years since I Crazy Glued him to the shiny, oiled, fake leather dashboard of my 1975 Dodge Dart; now a car show classic.

Just like Mother Theresa, near the end of her life, I am not sure what I absolutely believe and don’t believe but they can’t all be right so does that make most of them wrong?

Is the humble aborigine, never brain washed, never immersed, in the teachings of a God any less saved?

“Who would Jesus bomb?” asks the bumper sticker. “My dog is my co-pilot,” reads another.

A freeway billboard says: “Imagine there’s no heaven…no hell below us, above us only sky...imagine all the people, living for today.”

Is your beloved only child doomed when, after his youthful years of religious indoctrination, admits he is not a believer?

Is the science of evolution nothing more than a sleigh of hand card trick?

Is the child raised in Japan to follow shinshūkyō Happy Science; worshipping a God known as El Cantare, or the world’s 1.1 billion devout atheists or agnostics any less deserving of a life ever-lasting?

Dawn approaching, awakening from a lone highway trance, not remembering the last 20 minutes of cactus, billboards and occasional freight truck, I listen to a man preaching to anyone lonely and desperate enough to listen.

I picture his sweaty corpulent face, his fat, pink, veiny hands, demanding more to fuel his personal empire of dust.

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