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"Because why, Daddy? Why are we polytheists?" she asks, scarlet juice running down her chin.

"Just because," I respond, skeptical that a three-year-old can understand our belief in a plurality of personified gods and goddesses.

To my wife and me, the world makes sense only when one accepts the existence of a dysfunctional family of gods and goddesses. The only possible explanation for any of this madness is the extremely maladroit meddling of extremely fallible gods.

Let's take something as banal as a pilonidal cyst. Now, most monotheists believe that God is very hands-on. A micromanager. So they believe that he's aware of — if not directly responsible for — every single pilonidal cyst on every human being now, throughout history, and into the infinite future. This obviously makes no sense. Just do a quick risk-and-benefit analysis. A pilonidal cyst does you no good, and it does God no good. But let's say Apollo is horsing around with his friends and he accidentally slays this nymph with a discus, and this nymph happens to be someone Zeus was hot for, so Zeus is pi