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Friday, August 22, 2008

Ray and Dave: A Play in One Act

(SILENT DAVE and RAY COMFORT are lying unconscious on a white cloud, stretching out to infinity. Slowly, groggily, they come to and look at each other in some surprise. A pause.)

DAVE: Well . . . this is embarrassing.

RAY (jumping to his feet): I KNEW it! Hah! I TOLD you, and you wouldn't listen! Ohh, you're gonna get it! The Lord came for me, came for both of us!

DAVE (standing): Uh, well . . . hey, aren't you Ray Comfort?

RAY: I am, and you're one of those annoying atheist bloggers, aren't you? Well, I hate to say I told you so, but . . .

DAVE: Go ahead. You know you want to.

RAY: I told you so!

(Ray rubs his hand together and cackles with glee, looking around.)

RAY: Lord? I'm here, Lord! Your servant has arrived! And so has a very surprised, and soon to be very terrified atheist! (to Dave) So what do you have to say now? Huh?

DAVE: Well . . . I do have to admit, the fact that we're even here is one point for you. That is, I mean . . . we are dead, right?

RAY: I'm here, Lord! I'm waiting for you!

DAVE: I remember walking through downtown, looking up at a skyscraper and seeing a refrigerator . . .

RAY: Lord Jesus? I've arrived!

DAVE: . . . and a mountain lion . . .

RAY: Lord! I'm here, Lord!

DAVE: . . . in Minneapolis? (looking at Ray) Look, if God is here, I'm pretty sure he can hear you without you shouting.

RAY: Hee hee! We'll see who's laughing in a minute! LORD! I've come, Lord!

(An awkward pause.)

RAY: Lord? . . . Uh, where are you, Lord?

DAVE: Not really what you were expecting either?

RAY: Shut up, you stupid atheist. Enjoy not being on fire while you still can. Lord! Where are you!?

(Another pause.)

DAVE: Okay, God, I'm with Ray on this one: Where are you?

RAY: He's coming, don't worry. Or rather, start worrying! (nervous chuckle)

DAVE: Well yes, I'm worried. I didn't expect this for a moment.

RAY: Oh, please. You knew perfectly well that this was coming.

DAVE: No I didn't.

RAY: You knew perfectly well that God exists and that you were in danger of Hell. You chose to live in your sin instead.

DAVE (sighing): NOW, of all times, you're going to keep that routine going?

RAY: Heh, well, we'll see in a moment who's right. LORD! WE'RE HERE, LORD!

(Long pause.)

DAVE: A moment, two moments, whatever.

RAY: Shut up!

DAVE: Sorry. I make jokes when I'm nervous.

RAY: Yeah, well, you should be nervous. You're gonna get it!

(Long pause.)

DAVE: When?

RAY: You act like you're so sure even now. How pathetic. Let me ask you this: Do you still profess atheism?

DAVE: Well, I have to admit, it's not looking as good as it was a few moments ago, but--

RAY: Hah! Not so smart now, are you?

DAVE: Okay, you know what? I'll just shut up and wait and see what happens.

RAY: You do that.

(Dave sits down. A very awkward two minutes pass in silence as Ray paces around, looking anxious, and Dave sits there, in trepidation.)

RAY (suddenly): Not even a little?

DAVE (startled): What? I'm sorry, what?

RAY: You're not even a little bit sorry for being an atheist?

DAVE: Well . . . no, I'm not. I mean, clearly, I was wrong -- at least I think I was, or at least I was about one part of it all, cause we're dead and we're here -- but according to Christianity, it all depends on what you do during your life. So it's too late to change anything now, right?

RAY: That's right. It's too late for you! (cackle)

DAVE: Seriously, you need to stop cackling.

RAY: Er, sorry . . . but I mean, knowing what you know now, would you still claim to be an atheist in your life?

DAVE: Knowing what I know now? Probably not -- this is more in line with your worldview than a naturalistic one.

RAY: So you admit I was right?

DAVE: Like I said, it's looking more that way than it was a moment ago--

RAY: Argh! Why can't you just admit it?

DAVE: Admit what?

RAY: That I was right! That God exists!


DAVE: Does my admitting it mean that much to you?

RAY: I, uh, no, of course not! God has vindicated us.

DAVE: Speaking of God, where IS he?


DAVE: . . . okay, calm down . . . as I was saying, it's looking more like you're right than it was a moment ago, but God hasn't shown up. So far, this is just a, uh, white place. Just the two of us. No God, no angels--

RAY: God goes by his own timetable, not yours.

DAVE: Fair enough. But since the guy knows you so well, any chance he's shared that timetable with you?

(Ray glowers.)

DAVE: Sorry. The nervous humor thing again.

RAY: Look, just admit that I was right.

DAVE: So it does mean that much to you.

RAY: Yes! I mean, no! I mean . . .

DAVE: God hasn't shown up. And according to you, it's too late to do anything that would make a difference, including say that yes, God does exist.

RAY: You're not serious! After all this, you still claim to think that God does not exist?

DAVE: Well, I guess I can't still say that I'm a strong atheist -- I no longer hold the belief that God is nonexistent. But I'm not yet prepared to say that he does exist, so technically--

RAY: YOU'RE STILL AN ATHEIST? I mean, here you are, in Heaven, and you're still an atheist? What is WRONG with you?

VOICE (O.S.): Actually, he's completely correct.

(Ray and Dave both look toward the voice, surprised. Suddenly, a WOMAN walks onto stage, wearing a white robe, smiling benevolently. Ray kneels before her.)

RAY: Jesus is Lord! I am your servant.

WOMAN: I'm not Jesus.

RAY: Er . . . I know that. But . . .


RAY: You're . . . I mean, you're an angel, right?

(The woman pats Ray on the head condescendingly, and walks over to Dave, who looks uncertain.)

DAVE: Um . . . pleasure to meet you.

WOMAN: And you, Dave. We've been hoping you would pass the test.

RAY: What!? What do you mean, he passed the test? He's an atheist!

WOMAN: Yes. And he's completely correct. God does not exist.

(Ray's jaw falls to the cloud.)

RAY: You . . . what . . . how . . .

DAVE: Whoever you are, ma'am, I think you finally made his brain explode. But I don't think there's any such thing as an atheist angel, is there? So who ARE you?

WOMAN: I am an Explorer. I am one of a vast race of beings, what you would call extra-terrestrial beings.

DAVE: And you run the afterlife?

WOMAN: In a sense. We reconstituted your body from our temporal records at the moment of your death -- which, by the way, was several billion of your years ago, even though you think it was just now.

DAVE: So I'm not really me, I'm just a copy of me? I mean, I know that wasn't too clear--

WOMAN (smiling): It's all right. No, we managed to capture what you think of as a soul, which is really just the material quantum pattern-- here, it'll be easier if I show you.

(She waves her hand in front of Dave. A flat screen appears in front of him, over which tiny letters, numbers, symbols and diagrams flash across it at an amazingly fast rate. Dave watches it for several seconds until it stops and the screen disappears.)

DAVE: Wow. I see. Hey, that's a neat trick! So I really am me, and you -- Explorers, you said? You brought me back from the dead?

WOMAN: We see it as our ethical duty to do so with all sentient beings.

RAY: Um, may I say something here? Even if you're speaking the truth, young lady, it doesn't mean God does not exist, because he does!

WOMAN: No he doesn't. We proved that a long time ago.

RAY: No, that is impossible. You can't prove what is not--

(The woman waves her hand again, and the screen appears in front of Ray, showing him things, then disappears a few seconds later. Ray blinks.)

RAY: . . . wow . . .

DAVE: So, what happens now?

WOMAN: Having done our ethical duty, we have the power to give you whatever existence you desire, to have whatever experiences you wish for as long as you wish. Or . . .


WOMAN: Or you may join us. We Explorers are just what the name suggests: we explore reality itself -- time, space, and all that lays beyond. We believe in acquiring knowledge for its own sake. If you are open minded, and thirst for knowledge as we do, then we would love to have you on our journey.

DAVE: Wow! That sounds incredible!

RAY: Not a chance. I don't care what you people think you've "proved" there, I still believe that the Lord will come for me.

WOMAN: That's all right, Ray -- you're not invited.

RAY: I'm not?

WOMAN: These last few minutes was your final test. Your last chance to open your mind to the possibilities. We knew we wanted Dave, but you didn't appear to be -- how can I put this politely? -- an ideal candidate for our purposes. But even with our temporal records, we've been wrong in the past. So we gave you one final opportunity. And you failed.

RAY: I failed? I mean . . . I don't care what you think! You're obviously a sinful being of some sort, and God will no more choose you than he will choose him! (points at Dave)

WOMAN: Well, we don't feel it ethical to change what a person believes; we can only show you what is and let you make up your own mind. After that, it's up to you. Now, as I said, we can give you whatever existence you desire, for as long as you--

RAY: I'm staying right here! My Lord Jesus will come for me, and I'll be here when he comes! I'll wait forever if that's what it takes!

WOMAN: As you wish. Are you ready, Dave?

DAVE: Yes, I am. (to Ray) I guess this is goodbye, Ray. Are you sure you want to--

RAY: Get away from me! Go to Hell where you belong!

WOMAN: Trust me, Dave, I've been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years -- some people truly are hopeless.

DAVE (sighing): I never really wanted to believe that, but . . . I guess I have to. Goodbye, then, Ray.

WOMAN: When you wish for a ceasation of existence, simply walk in that direction (points) until you find the Void -- there you will find peace. Goodbye.

(Dave and the Woman walk off stage together.)

RAY: Fine! I'll wait here . . . by myself! I don't need . . . you . . . I'm fine. I said I'm FINE! I have my faith! No, not faith -- I KNOW! I don't care what you show on that little screen, I don't care what you . . . I don't care! Jesus will come!

(long pause)

RAY: Jesus? I'm here, Lord! Where are you?

(long pause)

RAY: LORD! . . . how long must I wait? . . .

(long pause. Ray, looking despondent, sits down on a piece of white.)

RAY: He'll come . . . I know he will . . . Lord? . . .

(Long pause. Ray buries his head in his hands. Slow fade-out.)


  1. This reminds me of a video I saw on YouTube called "The Atheist." It's about an atheist who gets into an accident and meets a Jesus-like angel. He realizes what a mistake he has made and turns to Christianity. :)

  2. The strongest compassion I have for believers is that at least when they're dead, they won't know it. Most of them wouldn't be able to handle it. This scenario would be interesting, just to see how long they would wait.

  3. The meek will inherit the Earth,
    We will get the Stars!

    -I do not remember who


  4. I really liked that, thanks. I wonder if the Explorer-reconstructed body will become hungry...

  5. Love it. Suggested sequel:

    DAVE and WOMAN EXPLORER emerge into a pleasant urban park setting. WOMAN EXPLORER nods to PASSERSBY in Explorer dress. DAVE turns to look back, offstage.

    WOMAN (gently): You can change your mind.

    DAVE (starts): Pardon?

    WOMAN: If you want to keep your friend company, then you can change your mind.

    DAVE (sheepishly): You noticed, huh.

    WOMAN: Well, you've only looked back five times in less than a terrestrial hour. Dave, please remember, we must respect Ray's choice. (frowns) Many sentients enjoy pain, and fear happiness. After a billion billion billion years we still haven't figured out why that is. That's just how it is.

    DAVE: I just hate to leave him all alone. Humans don't do well in solitude. Yes, I know, it's his choice. And this is my choice. I'm sorry I can't take you up on your offer, I really would have loved it. Thanks.

    (Exit DAVE.)

    (Enter MAN in Explorer dress. Crosses to WOMAN EXPLORER, looks offstage.)

    MAN EXPLORER: Say, was that Silentdave?

    WOMAN EXPLORER: Uh-huh. (MAN EXPLORER looks at her.) Don't worry. He'll be fine.




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