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The Sins of Our Fathers

Posted by Jew from Jersey
15 July 2003

Once upon a time there was a small group of poor immigrants who lived in a rich country. They saw the gold that was not theirs, the large houses they did not live in, the powerful positions they did not hold. They saw that the people who did have these things were very different from them, spoke with a different accent, had different colored hair, maybe even worshipped a different God. In the countries they had come from, everyone had been poor. Yet in this new land, it seemed some were not poor, and yet they remained poor. Who was this God of theirs to deny them what was so readily available to others?

The immigrants soon left their God and turned to other gods with strange names: Historical Determinism, Central Planning, Social Justice. The names changed but the impulses were the same: disorientation and envy. The immigrants longed for both the riches the others had and for a sense of belonging. But the others were powerful and seemed to have no inclination to either enrich or accept the immigrants. The new gods the immigrants worshipped promised to wrest the riches away from the others, destroy their society, and redistribute their wealth in a new world that everyone could feel they belonged in.

The new gods demanded sacrifices. On a personal level, they demanded alienation from one’s heritage and family. Socially, they demanded treason, sabotage, espionage, sedition and incitement. The immigrants sacrificed all, thus losing both their own history and their welcome to their new home.

But something amazing happened. While the poor and alienated immigrants sacrificed to bring about a revolution that never took place, they slowly began to accumulate wealth and attain powerful and influential positions in their new country. Eventually, they came to be overrepresented among the ranks of the successful and glamorous. Indeed, to later groups of immigrants, they looked more like members of the established elite than anyone who had ever been underprivileged immigrants themselves.

But the old immigrants didn’t see it that way. In their minds, they were still alienated and persecuted. If they had wealth, they felt guilty about it. If they had influence, they used it to try to spread the false gods of envy and sedition among the newer groups of immigrants. Years of worship of these gods had made them blind to the fact that these gods had never delivered on their promises. Not content not to learn from their own experience, the old immigrants insisted on trying to convince others not to learn from this experience, too.

The new country has shown itself ready to accept them after all. Surely this country can’t be more merciful than the true God Himself. He too must be waiting to have them back again, if only they will renounce these false gods that have sown nothing but misery and strife.

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