A biblical fable from Jack McElroy

Jack McElroy imagines Legislatorland as a gathering place for holy men and relates a biblical fable in accordance with his vision. Excerpt:

Some arrived on donkeys, but they were few. Their packs bore little gold, and they were ashamed. But many rode elephants. Their packs bulged with riches, and they were very proud.

Among them was a priest of the lower order from the Station of Bean. In the Great Hall he cried aloud: “Let us take our sacred Book and enshrine it here in this Hall so that all may know how we have loved and revered it.”

Hallelujahs and huzzahs greeted his suggestion.

“Yes, yes,” shouted a priest of the upper order from the Town of Morris. “But, hear thee, we must do this not because our Book is sacred — though all know it is so. Nay, we do this because of the Book’s place in our history and our culture — yea, even in our chugging economy.”

The multitude roared in approval. For was it not true that the passion flower had been enshrined in the Hall, and it was a symbol of the divine as well as a pretty flower? So, too, the Ladybug flew proudly in the Pantheon, a genuine miracle-worker for its eating of aphids as well as being cute as a bug.

Among the clerics, though, were certain prelates and a senior pastor. And the spirit moved them to not move so fast.

The high priest called Ramsey rose and called to the assemblage: “Know thee all that I love the Book above all things. But placing it here, amongst salamanders and bugs, is just creepy.”

His right-hand holy man, Norris, spoke, too: “Brothers and sisters. None love the Book more than I. I know that thou must care for thy flocks and they are eating this up. But for God’s sake …!”

…Another voice tried to be heard, then. But it seemed to come from a distant time and from far, far away.

“Whenever you pray,” the Voice said, “do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.”

And lo, a miracle occurred. Some priests of the higher order heard the Voice — and listened, at least for this session.