By Sandy Goldenrod
Comparing heaven to a vast tract of “underutilized” public land, the Republican-led Congress on Friday negotiated a deal in which God agreed to sell off 75 major parcels of celestial space to a private equity group that focuses on shopping-mall development.
“We’re excited about the benefits of privatization and economic activity coming at last to paradise,” said GOP leaders in a written statement handed out to reporters. “Very similar to federal land, heaven is an area that literally screams commercial development — think outlet malls, with Wendy’s, Hardee’s, Chick-fil-A, Hooters, PINK, bebe, American Girl, Abercrombie & Fitch. Or instead of a thousand little strip malls in paradise, maybe there’d be just one really big mall, a gigantic Mall of Heaven, the MOH, or maybe we’d call it the OMG Center.”
In a telephone interview, God regretfully acknowledged the agreement hammered out between the Lord and Republican leaders, which requires the Supreme Being to sell a total of 6.6 million acres of divine land — an amount roughly equal to the size of Russia.
“In what were possibly the most frustrating discussions I’ve ever taken part in,” God said, “I was never able to refute the Republican argument that heaven had generated no revenue, not one penny, over the course of a million years. I kept insisting that not all space should be regarded as real estate to be exploited by the free market. And I noted that paradise, wilderness, public land, national parks, wildlife refuges, conservation and preservation areas—I noted that all these have value far beyond the financial.”
In the end, though, GOP leaders prevailed over God by using obscure procedural rules to avoid a serious public discussion of the long-term consequences of selling heavenly acreage and allowing development in paradise.