Utah, TX: M. Cerillo, leader of the radical 'Christian Fist of Humility' cult, made the shock announcement on TV this morning that God is on the verge of bancruptcy and desperately needs everybody's help.
Opening his Help-God-A-Thon, Cerillo said the credit crunch has taken its toll on religious organisations across the world, but none have been affected quite as badly as God, who is believed to be behind the majority of religions operating today.
Cerillo explained that God is technically responsible not just for Christianity, but for Judaism, Islam, Pagans, Heathens, Atheists and Devil worshippers. "These are just names", he said, "but whether people like it or not, anyone who has ever wanted to say 'thank you', or 'bollocks', but did not know who to say it to - They were talking directly to God."
In an increasingly rousing speech Cerillo soon moved on to the main thrust of his message, which is that God is in debt to the tune of $150,000,000,000,000.
Part of the problem is reduced takings at churches and temples around the world, but in a cruel twist of irony, the bulk of God's finanical problems stem from secret bail-outs he has personally donated in response to prayers from business leaders, government officials and even IMF executives. Cerillo said:
"Whoever you are, whatever you believe, God now desperately needs your help. He isn't getting help from the banks, and he isn't getting help from governments. God is not a member of the IMF. The only ones who can help him now are believers of all denominations, as well as non believers, and that's you, me, and everyone on the planet."
"Whether you're Christian or Jew, Muslim, Sikh, whatever your belief, God does not mind. Saint or Sinner, God does not mind. He just needs your help today."
Cerillo continued, "God's financial situation is causing him so much stress and anxiety, that he's unable to stop death rates increasing, especially among little children, and pets. Especially disabled, furry, cuddly little pets. For the sake of them, and all the children who love them, I ask you to give all your money to God, today."
Snorting, and pacing about, Cerillo bawled, "God don't need your prayers! God don't even need your love! The ONLY thing our dear God needs right now is direct financial assistance, and the only, simple, single thing you need to do to help him out is to pledge all your worldly belongings - mainly your money - using our exclusive phone line which is open now."
In tears, Cerillo knelt on the stage and begged hecklers to listen, saying, "God made you just like he made everything. The least you people could now do was to give up all your material wealth. It's only what the Baable says you must do."
The TV audience were clearly moved, and after 30 minutes Cerillo's Help-God-A-Thon had netted God over $35,000,000.
If you would like to bail out God, get all your debit and credit cards at the ready and call 1-800-GIVEITALLTOGOD.
Meanwhile, Cerillo is still wanted by Idaho state police on suspicion of money laundering following a smilar Help-Jesus-A-Thon broadcast from Boise City last year, after which Christians donated $12,000,000 to help Jesus through 'a bad patch'.