IF: God is to Mankind as Mankind is to our pets, THEN:
1. We can love a dog that is vicious to other dogs as long as it has other good qualities, such as being nice to people, or good at hunting, etc.
ERGO: God can love murderers.
2. Most of the immediate concerns of dogs–barking at rivals, sniffing their pee spots, chasing squirrels–are of no concern to us at all.
ERGO: Most of our pressing worries and concerns are of no interest to God.
3. A little bit of mischievousness and playful naughtiness is usually tolerated and even appreciated by pet owners. Too much bad behavior, however, can get a dog abandoned or euthenized.
ERGO: God is not a stickler for the rules but the rules are still important.
4. No one wants their dog to suffer needlessly but neither does anyone spend all their time entertaining their dog and trying to make it happy.
ERGO: Human suffering has meaning; human happiness perhaps a little less so. And God certainly doesn’t have the inclination to keep you happy and entertained all the time!
5. Everyone wants their dog’s rapt attention some of the time, but not all of the time.
ERGO: Don’t pray too much.
6, Different dogs have different jobs. Some have no job other than looking cute. Technological advancements and lifestyle changes have eliminated many of the old jobs dogs used to do; nowadays most of them just look cute.
ERGO: If you’re not going to be a working stiff then you’d better be damned good-looking or charming about it. But, like it or not, the course of modern history is away from working stiffs and towards charming rakes.
7. If your dog is vicious to your newborn baby then the dog has to go, no matter how good a dog it is. But if the dog is just jealous and avoids the baby, then it can stay, even if its not that great a dog.
ERGO: You don’t have to be a Christian or even like Jesus; you don’t even have to be a good person; but if you’re a persecutor you’re gonna get zonked.
MORE ECUMENICALLY: The main thing is not to mess with God’s “babies,” whatever those babies might be. But remember, we are not the babies in this analogy, we’re just the pets.