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I was having an existential crisis the other day, so I decided to seek help. Naturally, I knew where to turn.

To: God@gmail.com

Subject: Hi

Message:

Dear God,

Who, what, why, when, and where are you?

Also, can Laura have a pony?

—Charles

I immediately received a delivery failure message. Figuring that I wasn’t being broad enough with my queries, I sent out e-mails to Jesus@gmail.com, Zeus@gmail.com, Odin@gmail.com, Ahuramazda@gmail.com, and Xipe.totec@gmail.com (the Aztec god of flaying). Only Ahuramazda and Xipe got my messages. Jesus must’ve been out of the office or something, or maybe St. Peter runs his spam filter.

My inability to connect with the higher powers of my choosing greatly disheartened me. No offense Xipe, but I really wanted to have a heart-to-heart with the big man upstairs. Then it occurred to me. The reason God@gmail.com didn’t exist was because Google didn’t want God@gmail.com to exist. If you look at their account creation page, they stipulate: “Sorry, your username must be between 6 and 30 characters long.” Now this excludes all of the Western gods; Zeus, God, Jesus, Allah, and Odin are all out of luck. But Eastern gods like Vishnu and Buddha, they could have Gmail accounts if they wanted.

Why would Google discriminate against Western religion? Was Google simply trying to exert its power? Having fulfilled the three requirements of a minor deity (omniscience, omnipotence, whimsical humor), was Google aching for more?

I decided to take them to task on this and posted a mean message on Google’s message board.

RE: WHy Does Google HATE Western relgion?!?!?!?!?

One holy flame war later, I had my answer.

From Google Support: “We’ve discovered that short usernames at popular domains receive significantly more spam since they’re easy to automatically generate. Gmail’s requirement that all usernames be at least six characters in length is meant to keep spam out of your inbox.”

There it was. It’s not that Google hates God; it’s just that Google’s looking out for God. They don’t want God’s inbox to be filled with prescription drug offers or free Harvard diplomas. Whew, was I reassured.

This meant of course that God had to come up with another handle for his Gmail account. And who am I to attempt to figure out God’s nickname and favorite number combination? I wasn’t about to throw out random e-mails to alphaandomega@gmail.com or manupstairs@gmail.com. For all I know, those probably belong to overweight hackers and I don’t think Laura would be pleased if they found out she wanted a pony. The last thing I wanted was an e-mail back saying,

Re: Hi

No pony for you!! Pwned!

—0n3 7ru3 g0d

Nobody wants to get Pwned over a pwny.

But I was still left feeling empty inside since my e-mails had gone unanswered. I thought back to my training and youth. If God can hear us when we mutter to ourselves at night then surely he can read e-mails. I just had to show a little faith, maybe put one foot out there and take a leap. A leap of faith … And then it hit me. My missives shouldn’t be flung out into the wind haphazardly. I knew exactly where to send my e-mails! Thanks to a certain tenured history professor, I know for a fact that in English, Iehovah starts with a J.

I wrote out a new e-mail to Jehovah@gmail.com and BCC’d theholyspirit@gmail.com. I just hope they get WiFi in heaven.

If you too are looking to reach a higher power, e-mail chazlin@mit.edu.