NEW YORK—Commending his healthy frame, impeccable lineage, and ability to form light and order from the primordial chaos, judges announced Thursday that Egyptian deity Ra has taken top honors at the 141st annual Westminster God Show.
The purebred Egyptian sun god, who competed against divinities from more than 290 recognized pantheons—including Roman gods of war, trickster deities, and the Mesopotamian Anunnaki—reportedly overcame stiff competition to impress judges with high marks in gait, ear shape, and all-around omnipotence, ultimately winning best in show.
“Since 1877, the Westminster God Show has conferred its highest award upon only the most distinguished of deities, and Ra is without question one of the finest specimens we’ve ever seen,” said judge Allison Brand, citing the distinguished pedigree of the 26,000-year-old creator of all life, who sired himself from the endless void and infinite night. “His victory is especially impressive when you consider this year’s incredibly competitive field. [Japanese storm god] Susanoo-no-Mikoto, for instance, really thrilled us when he rode the crest of a tsunami across the show floor and summoned the power of lightning to defeat the evil spirits of the world.”
“But at the end of the day, Ra is just a tremendously pretty god,” she continued as she patted the deity’s falcon head and presented his handler with a purple-and-gold ribbon.
Judges at the Westminster God Show, which takes place each year at Madison Square Garden, told reporters they subject deities to the highest levels of scrutiny, evaluating them on criteria that include miracle performance, disciple loyalty, and ability to herd souls into the afterlife. Officials noted that even small flaws can prove disastrous for a divine entrant, as was the case this year when Tezcatlipoca, Aztec god of the night sky, received low marks on his build after a judge’s inspection revealed his testicles were slightly mismatched.
To avoid such pitfalls, handlers typically spend hours in the caged-off god-grooming area, where earlier this week they could be seen feeding hearts of the damned to Egyptian underworld goddess Ammit and rubbing coconut oil on four-armed Hindu god Ganesha to ensure he had a silky red coat for the show’s inspection portion.
“For Ra to be crowned champion, several fan-favorite gods unfortunately had to lose,” said veteran Westminster announcer Nigel Masters, who described an incident in which the highly favored Kuba giant god Mbombo was disqualified after becoming sick and vomiting the sun, stars, and moon onto the artificial turf of the competition ring. “Many expected Hephaestus to win it all this year, but his maimed foot lost him serious points. In the end, he didn’t even place well in his own fire-god division.”
According to historical records, the Westminster God Show has changed its rules of competition substantially over the years, most notably in 1938, when it relaxed its purebred restriction to include a demigod category. This reportedly led to the 1947 victory of Odin-sired Sæmingr and, more recently, a 1993 runner-up prize for the Lord Jesus Christ, who was said to have impressed judges with His even-keeled temperament and strong bite.
Like most winners before him, Ra is expected to move on to a lucrative career in studding, unless, like 2015 best-in-show recipient Uranus, he is castrated with a sickle and has his genitals thrown into the sea.
“From the first time I saw Ra weep, his tears falling to the earth to create humanity itself, I knew he was something special, but this is truly a great honor,” said 57-year-old Gerald Simons, the sun god’s longtime handler. “It’s been extraordinary to watch him come up from the literal vast expanse of nothingness to form the land, the sky, and the underworld. He’s a very good god. Yes, he is!”
“Somebody deserves a treat,” he added as he pet the solar disk floating above Ra’s head and gestured toward a sacrificial bull in a nearby handling crate.
At press time, sources reported that the remainder of the award ceremony had been delayed after Jörmungandr, winner of this year’s top serpent-god accolades, slipped free from his leash and destroyed all of existence.