Excuses, excuses

Separating the sheep from the goats. Original photo by Nick in exsilio.

I’m not a believer, but I reserve the right to appropriate the religious literature with which I was raised for my own ends. That’s pretty much what Jesus and xkcd did, anyway. And once I thought of this one, I had to write it down.

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, with all his holy angels, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.

And before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry, and you gave me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink;

I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in; naked, and you did not clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.”

Then shall they answer unto him, “Lord, we did indeed see you hungry and thirsty, a stranger, naked, and sick and in prison. We’ll totally cop to that.”

And the Lord shall say, “Wait, that’s not in the script.”

And he shall look on them in great vexation and ask, “If you saw me, why in my name didn’t you help me?”

Then shall they answer, “But Lord, we had perfectly good reasons! Behold:

When you told us you were hungry, we were pretty sure you could stand to lose some weight.

We saw that you were thirsty, but we were afraid that digging a well for your village might distort your local economy and stunt its development.

Some of our best friends are strangers, and we would have been happy to invite you in, but there were other folks inside with us who have old-fashioned ideas about that kind of thing, and we didn’t want to make them uncomfortable.

We saw you needed clothes, but if we just gave you clothes, wouldn’t it undermine the profits of clothing manufacturers? And aren’t they the real job creators, after all?

And, we totally wanted to come visit you in prison, and while you were sick, but you would not believe what a lot of bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through if you want to visit someone in prison or in the hospital. There are forms you have to fill out, and you have to come at a specific time.”

And the Lord shall say unto them, “I liked it better when you pretended you didn’t even know I needed help. Go to hell, the lot of you.” ◼