So the prophet Bloomberg descended from his penthouse in Upper East Side Jerusalem and spoke to the crowd gathered before him. “I have been given a message from God on how you can earn your way into Heaven.”
“We have heard of the one called Jesus,” said one of the crowd, “and that we need to follow Him to receive salvation.”
Bloomberg shook his head. “No. This is much more practical than that. For God has told me what He hates the most: unhealthy living. Like eating lots of fatty foods.”
“We saw you pigging out at a feast right before you came out here,” another in the crowd said.
Bloomberg scoffed. “Don’t worry about me; I know what I’m doing. But other people — they’re going to get fat and unhealthy, and we have to do something about them. When you stop people from having too much salt or sugar or from being able to smoke anywhere, then you will earn your way into Heaven.”
“So the key to getting to Heaven is pestering people about minor things?” one woman asked.
“I think what he’s saying,” a man in the crowd said, “is that to please God, we need to go out and make people choose healthier habits.”
Bloomberg shook his head. “No. That’s wrong. There should be no choice. We need to get the government involved. We rendered unto Caesar, so now Caesar needs to get down here and prevent people from having access to unhealthy things.”
“That sounds a bit beneath his concern,” said one of the people.
“No. This is exactly what a good government should be involved in. For one thing, we need him to come in and prohibit vendors from selling large sodas.”
The people looked confused. “What’s a soda?”
“It’s a sugary drink that’s carbonated — has bubbles in it,” Bloomberg explained.
“That sounds neat,” one man said. “Where can I get one?”
“They’re not healthy,” Bloomberg warned. “We don’t want them.”
“So you’re saying soda is unclean?” asked another man.
“Yes… if it’s in a container larger than sixteen ounces,” Bloomberg said. “We need to make sure soda is only sold in small cups.”
“Can’t someone just get two small cups if he wants to drink a lot of soda?” a woman asked.
“No. That’s impractical,” Bloomberg answered. “Then he’d have a soda in each hand. No one is going to do that.”
The crowd considered his words. “And you’re sure God said this?”
“Moving on, I want to talk about an even more important topic,” Bloomberg announced. “The thing God despises the most: guns.”
Again the crowd was confused at his words. “What’s a gun?”
“Well… it’s like a sword. But it makes a loud noise and can stab someone from really far away.”
“That sounds awesome!” one man said. “I want a gun!”
“No!” Bloomberg shouted. “You do not want one! They are awful. One day the streets will be full of violent people running around with guns and shooting people.”
The crowd thought about this. “Why will you have all these violent people who want to hurt others?” one woman asked. “It sounds like no one is addressing the root cause of the violence.”
Bloomberg shook his head. “Don’t worry about that. We’re talking about the guns right now.”
“It sounds like we need guns so we can defend ourselves against these people,” someone said.
“No. That’s a horrible idea,” Bloomberg replied. “You all need to give up your guns, and then hopefully we can also get the guns from the violent criminals, too.”
“So you’re saying that if we put down our guns in an act of faith,” one woman said, “then God will protect us from the guns of criminals?”
“Well, not necessarily God,” Bloomberg said. “But if you have a problem with an armed criminal, the police will be there to help in ten to twenty minutes. It’s a good system, and it works.”
The people thought about this. “So where does one buy a gun?”
“You’re not getting it!” Bloomberg shouted. “Let me tell you a parable: A man was going on a journey and called his three servants to him. He gave each of them some talents. The first traded and increased his talents. So did the second servant. But the third servant used his talents to pay for someone to distribute scrolls attacking officials opposed to gun control. And while ultimately the official most opposed to gun control was appointed governor, at least the wise servant laid the groundwork to eventually get things moving on the issue of guns.”
The crowd considered the prophet’s words. “I don’t think you know what a parable is.”
“So how does one carbonate a beverage?” asked one of the people.
The Pharisees then came to question the prophet Bloomberg. “Do you really think you’re helping anyone with this?”
“I’m very popular, and I’m doing good work,” Bloomberg assured them.
“Haven’t you noticed how all your former disciples are distancing themselves from you, as you’re not… you know… polling very well?”
Bloomberg shook his head. “I haven’t noticed anything.”
“We’ll just be frank with you,” said the Pharisees. “Maybe in one small coastal area of Israel you were actually the best possible prophet they could get — which is such a sad commentary that you’d think people should flee that place and not look back lest they turn into pillars of salt — but in middle Israel — you know, caravan-over country — everyone hates your guts. They think you’re an annoying, out-of-touch, arrogant little jerk. Do you understand?”
Bloomberg seemed to snap out of a trance. “Sorry. I didn’t hear a word you just said, because I was thinking about how good the work is that I’m doing and how everyone loves me. Now, I need to continue to spread my message, as I got these words straight from God.”
The Pharisees looked skeptical. “Did you?”
“Well, I wrote them,” Bloomberg admitted. “But when I looked at them, I said to myself, ‘This is definitely what God would say… if there is a God.'”
So Bloomberg ignored the doubts of the crowd and the Pharisees and gave his next sermon to a mirror, where it was received with much adulation.