HE to God #1: “Cosmic design, unity and connectivity are obvious to anyone with half a brain, but as a beyond-intelligent entity do you and your only begotten son feel just a teeny bit responsible for the massive amounts of stupidity, ignorance and arrogance that are directly attributable to religious devotion? Which is partly responsible for destroying the earth as we speak? Are you good with all that?”

Roughly 25 years ago I was hosting a Woodland Hills screening series called Hot Shot Movies, and one of the films I booked for the fall of ’97 was Taylor Hackford‘s The Devil’s Advocate. It’s no one’s idea of a great film. It has, however, a great Al Pacino speech at the very end — the Devil himself (i.e., “John Milton”) explaining what a pious asshole and sadistic mind-fucker God the Father is.

I don’t know who wrote Pacino’s rant, but the film is based on Andrew Neiderman‘s same-titled 1990 novel; the screenplay was co-authored by Jonathan Lemkin and Tony Gilroy.

Milton: “Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does he do? I swear…for his own amusement…his own private cosmic gag reel, he sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time, [and] he’s laughin’ his sick fuckin’ ass off! He’s a tight-ass, he’s a sadist, he’s an absentee landlord.”

HE to God #2: “Do you agree or disagree with Gilroy‘s assertion that you’re an absentee landlord? When I was a kid I thought you were that deep, slowed-down voice in Cecil B. Demille‘s The Ten Commandments; now you’re nothing more than a component in one of the ugliest political-religious movements in U.S. history.”