Friday, February 04, 2005

The Parable of the Southerner, revisited and revised,

Once upon a time there was a young man who lived in the South. His brother was an abolitionist always flaming away at people and writing pamphlets. But he, on the other hand, well he was nice. He knew this was so because he looked nice and spent his time being nice. He went to parties and made friends. He was handsome and with his dainty hand he put on some perfume, then took a sip from his snifter, then put some snuff in his mouth. He looked at a slave and thought, "Hmmm, they look like an animal. But look at me and how good I am." Then he looked through his family portraits and thought, "How nice!"

There was something niggling in the back of his mind, the type of things that his brother would write. Writing was just words, though....he tried to put them out of his mind and so another image came to his mind, "Maybe my brother is just a stinky animal too. But how nice I must be, for do I not look like it!" Then with his dainty, oh so dainty hands he pushed his long hair back and put on some more perfume. How nice! He went out to the stables and got a slave to get his nice horse ready. It was a beauty. He thought, "Look at my beautiful horse....but the slave, he is ugly."

Then he got on his nice fast horse and road quite fast. He was very vain about this too. He came up behind a poor person riding their nag. The intersection was clear, so why didn't they go, go! But no, their nag did not move. It was a slow nag. So he had to swerve his nice horsey into the ditch and off the young man fell, down into the mud. His horse had thrown a horseshoe and almost broke its leg too. So he walked it back to the stables. It would take a little while to heal his horsey.

There was a second Southerner who was friends with the first. He was even more vain than the first. He wore a big whig. He thought he was a big whig. He read some abolitionists pamphlets and thought, "How intolerant of our way of life, why do they not try to see things from our side?" Then, he read other pamphlets about the latest scientific findings about slaves. He thought, "See how open-minded I am. I read the science of things. Science proves that slaves are inferior and the Bible agrees."

Then, with his dainty, dainty hands which had some dainty gloves on them he took a sip of wine. He thought, "There now, that is settled. Look at how nice I am to care for my slaves." Then he picked up the abolitionist's pamphlets and thought, "What religious zealots, trying to control me." Then he threw them in the fireplace. He turned and walked back to his chair to read something else. He opened a letter and read that his vain friend had run his horse into a ditch. He said, "Oh no, that's not nice!"

Behind him, one of the pages of the pamphlets he had thrown in the fire blew back out. In fact, it had caught the carpets on fire. The flame licked up the back of his chair to his big whig! It was actually quite flammable! He died in the fire and the slaves which he thought he treated so nicely ran away to freedom.

A fragment of the charred page which had burned the house down blew in the wind. Across the top of it the words of the abolitionist were written: ""Veritas vos Liberabit!"

The Truth shall set you free!

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