So I’ve been working on my ethics debate paper, and I was thinking I’d kind of like to use a parable in telling part of the story. So I went off and started looking up parables about short-sightedness.

First, I found Luke 19:11-27, which I shall paraphrase for you:

So this guy, this nobleman, wants to be king, but he has to get permission from Emperor Daley first. So he plans to go off and get permission from the Central Kingship Authority to be king. Before he goes, he calls several of his slaves to him and gives them each ten bucks and says, “hey, go into business for yourself while I’m out, do something useful, make me some money.” And he goes off on the long trek to City Hall.
Meanwhile, the Committee for Not Being Ruled by Schmucks sends off letters of protest to the Central Kingship Authority, saying “hey, this guy’s a total schmuck, don’t make him the boss of us.”
Time passes, the Central Kingship Authority rubberstamps his application, and he comes home, ready to get his crown. But first he first calls a meeting with his slaves to get an accounting of what they did.
The first slave says, “Well, I bought some S&P 500 futures, and the market did spectacularly well, so my ten bucks earned back a hundred more.” “Excellent,” says the king. “You get to rule over ten towns, one for each time you made ten bucks.”
The second slave says, “Well, I invested in bonds, and they made fifty bucks.” “Nice job,” says the king, “you get five towns.”
The third slave says, “well, honestly, Your Highness, you’re kind of a schmuck, you’re well known for taking things you didn’t earn, and I was worried what you would do to us, so I just put the ten bucks in a safe-deposit box.” The king goes, “that was clearly faithless of you, so go give the first slave your ten bucks, so now you have nothing, and you’re not getting any towns.”

Now, the king in this story is of course Jesus, who had to go run some errands, as you know, and the third slave represents the Jews, who are being punished for not believing in the messiah.

But the parable ends with the third slave and the Committee for Not Being Ruled by Schmucks being totally right, because the king goes on to conclude, “I tell you, that to everyone who has, more will be given; and from the one who does not have, even what he does have will be taken away.” And furthermore, “But bring here these enemies of mine, who did not want me to rule over them, and slaughter them in my presence.”

So that’s nice. Ripping off the poor and slaughtering your enemies, always a good time. Way to turn the other cheek, Jesus!

But lest I be accused of unfairly singling out a single religion, let me relate a Buddhist parable also.

So there’s this guy, we’ll call him Fred, who lives in a hut in the woods, and worships fire. Life is good for Fred, so long as the fire keeps burning.
One day a bunch of hippie protestors show up in the forest near his hut and have a protest, like they do, and then they all go back home at the end of the day. Fred goes over to where the protests were to see what sort of mess they left. He finds an abandoned boy alone in the clearing, and he thinks to himself, “well, I can’t just leave this kid here alone, i’d be a real shithead to let him die of exposure when I could save him.”
So Fred takes the boy home, feeds him, and raises him. Life is good for Fred and the kid. Until one day Fred runs out of coffee, and has to go to town to go grocery shopping. He says to the kid, “ok, all I need you to do when I’m out is watch the fire and tend it and make sure it doesn’t go out. If it does go out, no big, just light it again – here’s a hatchet, and some sticks and a fire-drill. See ya in a while.” And he takes off.
The kid does what kids do, building forts in the woods and pretending to play cowboys and Indians, and stuff, and he doesn’t pay attention to the fire, and the fire goes out. When he realizes it, the kid goes “crap! This was my only responsibility. Well, maybe I can relight it.”
So he takes the hatchet, and the twigs, and the fire drill, and looks at them. And he takes the hatchet and chops the fire-drill up, saying “maybe this will light the fire!” But sadly, no. He keeps chopping… reduces it to a hundred pieces… still no fire. he pounds the pieces in a mortar… no fire. He winnows them… still no fire. He hasn’t given up, but he just can’t seem to figure out fire.
And now Fred comes home, and he goes, “oh, the fire went out while i was away?” The kid goes, “yes, I’m sorry, I was playing, the fire went out. I’ve been trying and trying but I just can’t get it rekindled.”
Fred thinks to himself, “how foolish this boy is!” and picks up a fire-drill, and says to him, “This, my son, is the way to produce fire; not as you, a foolish, short-sighted boy, tried to produce it, by seeking otherwise than in the right way.”

The lesson there is supposed to be that any time you go about trying to do something any way other than the right way, you’re being a bonehead. But it seems to me that Fred was the bonehead, because he’s the dumbass that didn’t tell the kid how to kindle a fire in the first place. Or maybe Fred’s just an MBA, I dunno.

Maybe Jesus was an MBA too. That would explain the the hookers.

And that is pretty much why I fail at religion forever.