In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and some time later Michael Bloomberg helped create heaven on earth. For his labors he deserves a ticket to that great city in the skyor so the mayor suggested in a recent interview.
In a story about his new $50 million campaign against guns, the New York Times describes how the mayor’s thoughts turned to his deserved spot in paradise. “Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. . . . His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the ‘in memoriam’ pages of his school newsletter.”
Heavy, no? But the mayor manages to make light. “Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: ‘I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.’”
It’s a joke, of course, an amusing enough one likely to cause some no less amusing hyperventilation. But I still have two objections: First, Bloomberg sells short my favorite part of his recordmaking New York’s streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. (This is sure to be appreciated by a Mayor who paves his streets with gold). Second, I have to object to his iffiness about heaven’s existence. Bloomberg ought to be at least as confident in God’s accomplishments as he is in his own. They are the ones on which he, like all of us, will have to rely.