A Modern Retelling of the Good Samaritan

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A Modern Retelling of the Good Samaritan

Post  Sweedle P. on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:27 am

Currently, I am attending an independent fundamentalist baptist church for worship, though not really by choice. (By "worship," I mean "right-wing political indoctrination.") The pastor is charismatic and knows how to hold the attention of his congregation. Unfortunately, I often find myself grinding my teeth while attempting to endure the intolerant rantings of a man preaching conservative politics disguised as God's Word. During one memorable session, I listened to him berate homosexuals and proclaim that any preacher willing to defend or tolerate them surely wore "frilly underwear." Thus sayeth the LORD, eh?

Well, recently this same pastor admitted to being prejudiced against gays (oh, really?) and Muslims. Incredibly, many in the congregation 'Amen!-ed' at this revelation, as if they were all in the same little club where being unable to treat one's fellow human beings as equals is somehow perfectly acceptable. "Well, I'll be, Pastor. I hate them fags and terrorists, too! It sure is nice that my spiritual leader is just as bigoted as I am!" That wasn't all. The pastor had the gull to beseech the congregation to pray away President Obama's heath care reform bill, which was being voted on that evening, as it was sure to provide funding for abortion(!). [Good call on his part, huh?]

Inspired by this wonderful Sunday of worship and an essay I read on Elroy.net, I decided to do my own little retelling of Jesus's parable of the Good Samaritan. Perhaps the next time fundamentalists are quick to place themselves above other people, they will remember the lessons learned by the actions of the self-righteous religious characters in Jesus's story. If you ask me, they serve to fit the role perfectly.

Jesus said, "A certain single mother was going down from East St. Louis to Belleville; and she fell to a pre-existing condition and the high cost of health care, and insurance companies stripped her and denied her treatment and went off leaving her half dead.

"And by chance a certain pastor of a fundamentalist baptist church was going down on the road, and when he saw her, he passed by on the other side.

"And likewise a member of the congregation also, when he came to the place and saw her, passed by on the other side.

"But a certain gay man, who was on a journey, came upon her, and when he saw her, he felt compassion, and came to her, and acquired for her proper medication, pouring sunshine and rainbows on her, and he put her in his own car (a 2006 Porsche Cayman S), and brought her to a clinic, and took care of her.

"And on the next day he took out two hundred dollars and gave them to the doctor and said with a lisp, 'Take care of her, and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.'

"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the mother who fell to the greed of insurance companies and fear-mongering of religious conservatives?"

And the Muslim he was teaching said, "The one who showed mercy toward her. Praise Allah." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same." And from then on, all of Christ's followers' 'Sunday best' became that much more fabulous.

In the original, it was a Samaritan who stopped to help a man beaten by robbers. When Jesus used a Samaritan as the hero, he picked what most Jews saw as the enemy of righteousness. Who knows? Maybe Jesus did wear frilly underwear. It seems the pastor of my church would agree.
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Sweedle P.
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