The Meek Shall Inherit the Legal Fees

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Sectarian strife spilled over into the music industry March 20 when the Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA) fired a salvo at the generally unarmed God-fearing pirates of gospel music. The dilemma is this: aided and abetted by the digital age, gospel music, often cited as the fruits of divine inspiration, is being replicated at a velocity 1st-century disciples could never have dreamed of. Thus, while the ranks of believers are swelling, the industry itself is losing billions every year. The Good News is getting out there, all right. Trouble is, no one’s making a damned dime off it.

Said a CMTA spokesman: “The early disciples were regarded as small-scale violators. As such, they were never confronted on copyright issues. But God’s honest truth is that evangelism got a free ride for centuries.”

The grand dame of the religion business, the Vatican, was quick to counter with its own press release, arguing that, on the contrary, free access to religious music has enlarged the market: “Over the millennia, we’ve found that tithing goes up when singing praise to the Lord was left in the public domain. So we never pressed the issue.” Actually, this is not quite accurate as, in 467, Pope Odious XVIII attempted an “alms for Psalms” program, but was promptly run out of Rome into the arms of hordes of milling Visigoths, who preferred bluegrass.

Still, there can be no doubt the CMTA isn’t turning any cheeks: “Our industry group feels the time has come to crack-down. The message is clear: wherever you rejoice in the Lord with pirated music, we will hunt you down.”

At the time of this reporting, God was still considering his legal options. But judging by the remarkable speed of the avian flu mutations, many heaven-watchers suspect impending biblical wrath. Indeed, the burning-bush rumor mill is aflame with the notion that God is contemplating”one really kick-ass flood that would submerge all private property disputes once and for all.”

Meanwhile, Lucifer clicked his cloven hoofs and grinned, saying, “This is getting too easy.”

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