Disclaimer: I don't own the Arthur characters. I do, however, own Ventnor Avenue, Park Place, and the B&O Railroad.
"To me, God is like a big aardvark who lives up in the sky and watches over us," said Arthur to his friends, who were gathered in his living room one lazy Sunday afternoon.
"Is that all he does?" asked Muffy. "Just sit up there and watch us?"
"No," Arthur replied. "Sometimes he controls the outcomes of wars and sporting events."
"Wait a minute, Arthur," Prunella interjected. "How do you know God is a man? What if God's a woman?"
"My mom says, if God was a woman, men would have babies," Sue Ellen chimed in.
"And how do you know God's an aardvark?" The Brain asked Arthur. "If he's an aardvark, then why should he care about the rabbit people, or the monkey people, or the bear people?"
"I don't think God is an aardvark, or a rabbit, or any kind of species," said Francine. "I think he looks like you expect him to look."
"What do you think, Buster?" Muffy asked the rabbit boy, who was in the process of stuffing a donut into his mouth.
"Mmm mblmm," Buster mumbled. When he had chewed a little, he answered, "Remember when Mr. Ratburn asked me to use the word diagnostic in a sentence? I said, 'I was born agnostic, and I'll diagnostic.'"
"What's agnostic?" asked Binky.
"That means you don't believe one way or another," Brain explained.
"My mom says if you don't believe you'll go to hell," said Binky.
"What's hell like?" asked Buster as he plucked another chocolate donut from his box.
"It's really hot and really nasty," said Binky, "and you have to stay there forever."
"And Mr. Ratburn is the devil," Fern joked.
Buster spit out his donut in terror. "Aaaargh! I believe! I believe!"
"It seems like we've been going to Ratburn's class for, like, eight years," Francine mused. "I guess we're already in hell."
"Not me," said Brain. "Give me a few chapters of math problems, and I'm in heaven."
"I believe that when we die, we come back as someone else," said Prunella. "I was Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Elvis Presley in past lives."
"That's impossible," Brain retorted. "They all lived at the same time, and Rosa Parks is still alive."
"You overanalyze everything, Brain," Prunella grumbled.
Brain shrugged. "Well, how much should I analyze things?"
"There you go again!" Prunella complained.
"When I was in Africa, I learned about some of the tribal religions," Sue Ellen recounted. "They don't believe in heaven or hell. They believe we all go to a happy place when we die. And they have gods for everything. They have gods to help crops grow, gods to bring rain, gods to help men and women make bab--"
"Is there a donut god?" asked Buster, his face lighting up.
Sue Ellen nodded.
"Cool," said Buster, biting into a powdered donut. "I found my religion."
"What's your take, Muffy?" Arthur asked the rich girl.
"When I die, I want to be buried like an Egyptian queen," Muffy mused. "I want to be put in a tomb with a hot tub, a big-screen TV, and enough dresses and shoes to last ten thousand years. Then I want a pyramid built on top of me, and a statue of me next to the pyramid..."
"...and the Backstreet Boys to wrap you in fresh bandages every morning," said Binky, rolling his eyes.
"Twice a day," said Muffy. "With bathing salts and essential oils. That way my skin will stay soft and supple through the eons."
"But what good's all that stuff if you're dead?" Binky asked her.
"Hmm." Muffy put a finger over her mouth. "That didn't occur to me."
"It didn't occur to the ancient Egyptians either," Brain pointed out.
"I asked for your opinion on what happens after you die," Arthur said to Muffy.
"And I gave it to you," answered Muffy, folding her arms smugly.
Arthur and Muffy stared at each other blankly for a few seconds.
Fern broke the silence. "Isn't it wonderful how we believe all these different things, yet we still get along just fine?"
Everyone looked over at the grinning poodle girl.
"I mean, people have gone to war over this type of thing," Fern went on.
"War? Cool!" Buster leaped to his feet and lifted his box of donuts into the air. "Bow down, ye infidels, or face the wrath of the donut god!"
Arthur rose next. "I still say he's a big aardvark," he proclaimed to the other kids. "And if you don't agree, I'll burn you at the stake."
"Holy war!" cried Buster, hurling his remaining donuts at Arthur. The other kids laughed at the sight of the hapless boy, covered head to toe in powdered sugar.
Then something occurred to Buster. "Hey, that was funny. Donuts have holes. Hole-y war, get it?" He laughed uproariously.
"Okay,now it's getting offensive," Francine grumbled.