America Meets God
(An Updated Parable for Our Times)
by Andy Joppa
“On every parable you ride to every truth.”
Once upon a time, America was on a sinking boat in the middle of a vast ocean. It had been a luxury yacht, the pride of the seven seas, admired by everyone, but had fallen into neglect and disrepair. America had been drinking heavily and ignored the “swampy” bilge water that was dragging it down. You would have thought they would have noticed the stench and that their boat was already listing to the far, far, far, far, Left. The crew knew nothing about boats…but it was diverse…so, what could go wrong? They kept hoping they had enough parachutes on board, decorated with rainbow colors and unicorns, so everyone could be saved.
Fearing its demise, America pleads loudly, over and over again, for God, any god, to help. Then, seemingly, out of nowhere, and to a flourish of trombones, six string Spanish guitars and, of course, trumpets, comes a large red, white and blue boat, riding high in the water…The MAGA. It was captained by Donald Trump with his first mates Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. These first mates working valiantly to keep the original strength of their old, but solid vessel, and making sure it was always seaworthy.
Captain Trump says to America, “Grab my hand, come on board and I’ll save you.” America, in its arrogance, screams back in a strangely falsetto voice, while roughly pushing his hand aside, “We won’t be saved by the likes of you, we’ve read rumors on twitter, through anonymous and unidentified third party sources who refuse to be named, that you’re not a nice man, a racist, a misogynist and, besides, we’re waiting for God.” Trump says, “Huh”, “What? Oh well…have it your way…it’s your loss,” and leaves.
Trump, not one to give up, then invests a tremendous amount of his own fortune and returns with a nuclear-powered submarine. Trump, through a bull horn, says, “Get inside my sub, it’ll dodge the waves and avoid the rocks that lay just ahead, and I’ll take you to safety and get you where you want to go.” America, contemptuously, wails at Trump, “Your vehicle isn’t the type we want. Nuclear power, indeed. Your sub goes low and we go high. If your submarine was powered by solar or wind, we might consider it.” Trump, baffled by these remarks, smirks, flips his hair to one side, and waits for them to continue their rambling incoherence.
They add their now memorized refrain, “…and, and, and, besides, Mr. Bad Guy, Mr. Awful Guy, we’re waiting for God to save us.” Trump’s sub submerges, as that’s what subs are prone to do, and departs. As he does, America swells its chest with pride, trying to not inhale sea water, which was now up to their nose, “We showed him.”
Trump, however, still never being one to give up, quitting not in his genes, returns with a helicopter, piloted by a now fully employed blue collar worker from Wisconsin. Trump lowers a rescue rope woven out of the debris of eliminated regulations and strengthened with strong fibers of tax relief, and says, “Grab hold America…I’ll lift you to safety.”
America, whose boat is now more than half submerged, with only the bow still above water, says, “Trump, we’d rather drown than have you save us, rather die than accept what you offer…and, besides…we’re waiting for God…and we know he’s on our side because we’re very lovely people…perhaps the loveliest anywhere to be found.” A tear then escaped their eyes as they thought about just how wonderful they were…how much they cared…and how much they loved to spend other people’s money. They were truly lovely.
The American boat then sinks unceremoniously into the deep, without the universe even noticing…or caring. America having had its own way…drowns. Its final breath is spent cursing God for not having saved it but feeling really good about itself for having refused the help of that rogue…Donald Trump. “That’ll teach him,” are words that surfaced with one of the bursting bubbles from America’s last dying breath.
As America reaches the pearly gates of heaven, it is then, all but an historical footnote, and was met by God trailing clouds of glory. America looked at God with admonishing eyes and asked with a condemning tone…” Where were you? We begged, pleaded and prayed for your help…and we’re lovely…why did you abandon us?” God looks at America incredulously and responds, as only an Old Testament God could…” Oy-yoy-yoy, what schlemiels! I won’t even mention you did nothing to save yourself…I won’t bring up that you neglected taking care of your boat. I will mention, his voice now booming with the thunder of his terrible wrath, that you turned down my help.” (This was also the first moment America realized God spoke Yiddish…the original gift of tongues.)
First, I sent Trump with a boat, it had room for everyone. Then I sent him with a submarine with which you could have dodged the treacherous waves. Then I sent him with a helicopter where he could have lifted you out of your dilemma and taken you to safety. Not only did you turn down my help, but you insulted him…and me. Feh…you schlumps, who were you waiting for…that alter cocker Bernie Sanders, the shmegegge Joe Biden, the momzer Chuck Schumer or the alte makhsheyfe Nancy Pelosi?”
God then went on, “Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on you America. Your boat now lies in a graveyard filled with boats just like yours. Boats that were manned by silly people just like you. Boats that were neglected by self-indulgent, spoiled, ignorant, thankless, folks, always kvetching. People who had lost the ability to navigate through difficult waters and couldn’t tell the difference between me and the devil.
These wrecks have been piling up for the past 5,000 years. You thought you were so special that natural economic, political, and moral laws didn’t apply to you. You were wrong. The difference, though, between you, America, and them is…I never sent them as much of a chance to be rescued as I sent to you.
Perhaps, therefore, heaven isn’t the right place for you. Get back to me in a million years and I’ll let you know what I’ve decided. In the meantime, you are condemned to purgatory. To help you get there…it’s in the San Francisco zip code…you can’t miss it. You’ve always wanted the Golden Gate more than the Pearly Gate…so…enjoy.” P.S. Try not to step in the drek.
All that passes is raised to the dignity of expression; all that happens is raised to the dignity of meaning. Everything is either symbol or parable.