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"Viceroy of the carpenter?" and: "Theologians, myth, & religious peace."
The Sins of The Fathers
The Sins of The Fathers
Legal fine print:Abstract:
(I have to start with the legal fine print, because some silly literalist might think this piece of fiction is about the Roman Catholic church. But of course it's not, because the Roman Catholic church is honest and upstanding, and their priests are our children's moral guides and our spiritual besserwissers, and if they lose their head from time to time and play out their repressed sexual urges on their acolytes, well, God will forgive. So you see, this fable can't be about our reverend Reverends, because it's about an evil cabal of horny boy-loving men who for centuries amuse themselves with duping the people into honoring them as God's intermediaries and giving them money so they can protect the people from hellfire and gild the palace of their Holy Father while they screw the people's children. That's my legal disclaimer. This fable refers to no one living or dead, for there are surely none who recognize themselves, or their local Fathers, in it.)
Once upon a time, long ago and far away, a mysterious Holy Father lived with his many somewhat less holy sons in a small but partly gilded palace in a dirty but eternal city. There had been Holy Fathers before, but this pious Holy Father had risen above them all by inventing a Kingdom of the Air. As he already lived in an earthly kingdom, he went to the earthly king and proclaimed that the God of all the universe had spoken to him, and had appointed him, the Holy Father, to exercise God's power on Earth to rule the Kingdom of the Air, the spirit kingdom that encompassed and subsumed all earthly kingdoms. The earthly king, being no brighter than other kings, fell on his knees before God's new power of the air and called for his royal chamberlain, who gave the king of the air money to gild his little palace. And the earthly king proclaimed to all his subjects that they must also pay taxes for more gilding for the palace of the Holy Father.
One day the Holy Father gathered his less holy sons around him and instructed them in his holy and mysterious language: Mei filii; we have done well here in our dirty but eternal city. We have collected enough from our poor subjects to partly gild my palace. But the palace, though it is partly gilded, is small. God our Father has sent me a vision of a large and fully gilded palace, paid for by millions of his loyal subjects. So now, my sons, just as God in Heaven is my father, and as I am your father, I wish you to be fathers to our new flock of millions. I send you to all corners of the Earth, and here is the message you will carry to the kings of all the Earth's kingdoms:
We are The Fathers. We come from the Holy Father who is God's representative on Earth and holds the power of the Kingdom of the Air which is above all earthly kingdoms. The Holy Father welcomes you to his kingdom, and requires only that you and your subjects send money to build a larger gilded palace, and that you give your kingdom's children to us to be as fathers to them. We, The Fathers, will instruct your children, your people, and your Highness, and protect you from God's punishment of eternal hellfire, which will befall all who do not give money for the Holy Father's large gilded palace. God bless you and keep you from eternal hellfire.And The Fathers went out to all the Earth's kingdoms, and earthly kings bowed before them and sent their subjects' money for the larger, fully gilded palace for the Holy Father. And the people of the earthly kingdoms suffered starvation and disease because their bread money was sent to gild the Holy Father's palace and to feed and house The Fathers among them. And The Fathers in the earthly kingdoms collected more bread money to build high and glorious assembly halls where they might remind the people of the horrors of God's hellfire that would be their lot should they fail to give their bread money for the Holy Father's gilding. And the people were sore afraid, and they gave their pennies to The Fathers. And The Fathers, who were celibate and horny, said, "Give us your young boys to instruct," and the people were afraid of The Fathers who could send them to hellfire, and they gave them their young boys to instruct. And The Fathers liked young boys, and shared their seed with them, and instructed them that if they spoke of the sharing they would be sent to eternal hellfire.
And the Holy Father was happy in his new large and gilded palace, and he said to his favorite Fathers, "I hereby promote you to Princes of the Air, and you shall live with me in your own palaces in our dirty but eternal city." And the princes of the air needed gilded palaces, and the Holy Father and the princes needed gold brocaded robes, and The Fathers in the kingdoms told the people that God commanded that the princes should have gold brocaded robes, and the people dug out their hidden pennies and gave them to The Fathers. And The Fathers rewarded the people by instructing their young boys in how to satisfy The Fathers, which God mightily desired. And The Fathers were satisfied, and God was satisfied, and the people were not sent into eternal hellfire.
And the centuries rolled on, and the Holy Father bade his subjects bring into the world as many more subjects as possible, and the horny Fathers were happy raping the new young boys, and the Holy Father was happy about the peasants' bread money that bought luxurious decor for the palaces of the princes and the Power of the Air. And the centuries rolled on, and the Fathers promulgated new sins that would send their subjects directly to hellfire unless they paid protection money to have their sins forgiven by God, and the Holy Father was most pleased at the holy profits.
Then one sad day it happened: the gig was up, Jackie Paper came no more. An acolyte broke his vow of silence and told. And the people, seeing that the Fathers were wicked confidence men, said to them, shame, shame. You told us you were our children's moral guides and our spiritual besserwissers, but you were our children's rapists and moral reprobates. And great masses of the people said, "You screwed us, Holy Father, now screw you!" and they left the flock and lived ever after with the guilt the Fathers had instilled. And the Holy Father was sad, and the master confidence man commenced a PR campaign to regain his people's confidence.
And here is the good news: It was all for the best. As P.T.Barnum reputedly said, there's a sucker born every minute. A master con man will always best a gullible flock. The people of the Holy Father's Kingdom of the Air said, Yes, we know we are being raped and ravished by The Fathers, and robbed and duped by the Holy Father, but they are after all sent by God so it must be for the best. We still trust The Fathers, and we still worship our Holy Father. May they long continue to provide us with God's moral guidance.
P.S.: The second chapter of Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus (King James version of 1611) begins: