Jesus wants Maine’s House of Representatives to expand Mainecare coverage. We know this because. Diane Russell (D-Portland) mounted her pulpit last week to preach the gospel according to Mathew 25-31-46. She prophesied salvation and eternal bliss for some of her colleagues; the fiery pit and eternal torment for others. More explicitly, she assigned places in heaven to her Democratic brethren and hell for most of the Republicans.
I must advise my literal-minded readers that Maine’s House doesn’t actually have a pulpit. St. Diane carries a metaphorical pulpit wherever she goes. Nor did she explicitly predict the ultimate destination of her GOP colleagues. This is simply an inference from the closing line of Matthew 25-31-46: “And these [Republicans] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous [Democrats] into life eternal.”
Verse 32, describing final judgment day, is the same both the King James Version (KJV) and the Representative Diane Version (RDV,): “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep [on the right] from the goats” [on the left]. The two versions diverge in distinguishing the sheep from the goats.
The KJV reads as follows: “ 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”
The RDV is significantly different, i.e., “ 35 For I was hungered, and ye gouged no taxpayers to give me meat: I was thirsty and ye raised no taxes to give me drink: I was a stranger, and ye failed to park me in Section 8 housing: 36 Naked, and ye took no garments from anyone to clothe me: I was sick and you didn’t provide me with health insurance at somebody else’s expense; I was in prison, and ye didn‘t even let me vote. 40 And the King shall say unto them, Depart from me, ye cursed ultra-rightwingers, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
The Representative Diane Version follows the liberal exegetical tradition, known in secular terms as “Social Justice on the Cheap.” Conservatives, assuming that there is no such thing as a collective conscience or a collective soul, traditionally interpret the KJV Mathew 25-31 as an obligation that falls upon the individual. So it is you will find voluntary organizations around the country which invoke the passage (e.g., Matthew 25 in Nashville was established to help homeless men who want to help themselves; there’s a Matthew 25 AIDS Services in Henderson, KY, the Latter Day Saints Matthew 24 ministries, a Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic in New York, and the Matthew 25 Ministries & Miracle Village in Pahokee, FL helps “ex-offenders to re-build their lives in a safe & friendly housing community” while the Matthew 25 organization in Cedar Rapids, Iowa exists to “strengthen core neighborhoods on the west side of Cedar Rapids”) The members of these organizations may be Democrats or Republicans but they all assume a personal obligation.
If you are a true Leftist your duty to the unfortunate can be done in the voting booth or in the legislature. There you can put the power and penalties of the government to work helping the poor devils. After which you can go about your business taking advantage of every possible deduction and loophole in the revenue code.
For myself I look forward to St. Diane’s sermon of Luke 10:25-37. In the KJV a man injured and stripped by robbers is left lying in the road as a priest and then a Levite pass by indifferently. A Samaritan takes pity on him, bandages him, and carries him on his donkey to an inn where he pays the innkeeper to care for him.
In the new alternative version a Tea Party supporter is beaten and stripped by a posse of tax collectors, after which a liberal activist riding by on donkey chides him for not paying his taxes with a self-congratulatory smile on his face.
Professor John Frary of Farmington, Maine is a former US Congress candidate and retired history professor, a Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United and publisher of www.fraryhomecompanion.com and can be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org