ATS modtog i går nedenstående præstemeddelelse fra Thorkild Grosbøvl, Taarbæk,
efter mødet med biskoppen:
Mine udtalelser om, at jeg ikke tror på Gud, er af mange blevet fortolket, som
om jeg ikke tror på Gud. Sådan hænger tingene naturligvis ikke sammen, og det
har jeg også forsøgt at forklare biskoppen i dag.
Ved nærmere eftertanke vil jeg heller ikke afvise, at Gud kan have skabt
verden. Blot mener jeg ikke, at han kan have gjort det på seks dage. Det må
mindst have taget ham ti dage (eller otte, hvis biskoppen synes).
Jeg er stadig en lillebitte smule i tvivl om, hvorvidt Gud har skabt
mennesket. Til gengæld er jeg nu 100 procent sikker på, at Fanden har skabt
It's a hoot, so I'll translate. The context is that a priest has been
suspended for saying that he didn't believe in God, the ressurection, virgin
birth, etc. His parishioners are up in arms protesting to the bishop that he's
a good priest and that they want him back. Here is the translation:
Yesterday, AST received the following pristly missive from Thorkild
Grovlsboel, Taarbaek, after his meeting with the bishop.
My statements that I don't believe in God have by many been interpreted to
mean that I don't believe in God. Naturally, that's not the case and I also
tried to explain that to the bishop today.
After further thought, I can't deny that God might have created the world.
Only, I don't think that he can have done it in six days. It must have taken
him at least ten days (or eight, if the bishop prefers that).
I'm still a bit doubtful whether God has created man. However, I'm 100% sure
that the Devil has created journalists.
Denmark *is* different. This is a moderately conservative newspaper. Try to
imagine NYT's treatment of such a story.
Well lets try the Waskington Post.
Colburn lauded his people -- the deal makers under his charge -- for doing a great job in bringing greater glory to the AOL empire. And then he introduced three men dear to his heart. They were middle-aged, short and dressed casually. Little distinguished them, except this: They were rabbis.
Colburn, who considered himself a devout Jew, asked the three men to join him onstage.
"I brought you here not just because I want to see you," Colburn said. "You're here to help us, to pray for us."
The rabbis seemed happy to oblige. There was a catch, though. With Colburn, associates said, there was always a catch. Sometimes, the catch was a minor clause to his advantage buried deep in a revised contract, a provision Colburn had negotiated for a multimillion-dollar business deal.
But in the matter at hand, the catch was put out there for everyone at the party to witness: The rabbis weren't there just to pray for AOL souls. Colburn wanted them to pray for AOL stock. He offered a deal: If each rabbi agreed to pray for AOL's shares to rise to a certain level, and they hit that level, Colburn promised to donate $1 million to a Jewish cause.
"So you have skin in the game," he explained, cackling.
But Colburn wasn't joking, not about skin in the game. It was a term he favored in his bare-knuckle negotiations when he was extracting millions from companies that wanted to advertise their goods and services on the AOL online service. Colburn, the company's top deal maker, always insisted that AOL's business partners have skin in the game, a vested interest, which usually came in the form of millions of dollars in cash paid to AOL. That would make AOL's business partners work harder to make the relationship with AOL work. If they had something at stake, like their financial survival, they would perform. Same with the men of faith. If the rabbis had something on the line, they wouldn't just be praying for Colburn's soul.
He would have skin in the game, too. If the rabbis' prayers were answered and AOL's stock did rise, Colburn would be out a cool $1 million. Not that he would miss it. He was already a multimillionaire -- some put his net worth at more than $250 million -- which he had earned mostly through stock options. It was the way legions at AOL minted money back then: Stock options gave Colburn, as they did other employees, the right to buy AOL stock at a certain price in the future. The idea was to wait until the stock rose above that price, buy the stock at a discount thanks to the options, then turn around and sell it at the going market rate and reap a huge profit.
Lord willing, AOL stock would rise high enough that Colburn would make enough to donate $1 million to the rabbis, with plenty to spare. The stock was a pretty sure bet. The way AOL's stock was ticking up, up and away, reaching beyond $90 a share that December, he didn't exactly need God's help.