Saturday, December 13, 2008

Exodus: The Golden Calves
A modern day parable...
[Click graven image to enlarge]
1 And the Lord said unto Doses: "Tell the teachers to take up collections for me, and I will promise to make them safe and happy in the waning years of their lives. From every man you shall accept the contribution that his heart and the Ohio General Assembly gives to me and I shall keep it safe." Doses said: "Yes, Lord, it will be done." And behold, generation after generation, it was done. The Lord was pleased, and the teachers prospered.
2 And the Lord looked upon his people and it was good. The Lord said unto Doses: "Find me ten who are righteous with me and bring them before me." Doses went out and selected the ten most righteous he knew of, and brought them before the Lord. The Lord addressed them: "All shall now call you Boardites. Hear me well, o' Boardites. I charge to you safekeeping of the contributions I have received from the people. You will guard the contributions, cherish them, treat them as your own, and keep them safe from all manner of evil. Hear this and obey." The ten fell down before the altar and spoke unto the Lord: "We hear you, O Lord, and we shall honor your word."
3 Many years later, the Lord said unto Doses: "Come to me on Mt.Broadstreet." Doses obeyed, and climbed Mt.Broadstreet, with Joshua. Near the summit Doses was enveloped in a misty gray cloud. For forty days and forty nights Doses and Joshua fasted, prayed, and waited for the Lord. On the morning of the forty-first day, a deep, resonant voice sounded before him. "Hear me, Doses, I am who am. The people have kept the faith, but the Boardites have sinned a mighty sin. Had I not made clear they should not carve idols for themselves in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God."
4 "Perhaps, Lord," said Doses, "It was only a mistake. Have mercy on them, they know not what they do." The ground trembled, lightening flashed, and the Lord said: "Then I will give you a law to follow, a rule to obey. Stand back and marvel at the power of God." And a flaming finger of God thundered out of the sky and etched into the granite stone of Mt.Broadstreet: "Thou shalt preserve capital". Doses trembled in fear; the ground shook and trembled. The heavens themselves were riven asunder. "Lord," cried Doses, "What is the second law?"
5 A deafening voice roared from the sky: "You need no more. Go, see to your people. The Boardites have sinned a terrible sin. Obey the one law, it is enough." When the Lord had finished speaking to Doses on Mt.Broadstreet, he gave him the tablet of the commandment, the stone tablet inscribed by God's own finger.
6 When the Boardites became aware of Doses' delay in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around and said: "Come, we shall make gods of gold who will be our leaders; as for the man Doses, we do not know what has happened to him." They took the people's contributions and cast 88 molten calves of gold to worship. Then they sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel and worship the golden calves. There was great singing and dancing and all manner of sin.
7 As Doses descended the mountain, he heard a great noise rise up from the camp of the people. Joshua said to Doses, "That sounds like a battle in the camp." But, Doses answered, "It does not sound like cries of victory, nor does it sound like cries of defeat; the sounds I hear are cries of revelry." As he drew near the camp, he saw the 88 golden calves, the wild dancing and drunkenness, the licentious acts of the naked, and all other manners of evil worship of the golden calves. With that, Doses' wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablet down and broke it upon the base of the mountain.
8 A voice deep and powerful then rolled down from heaven over the camp, making the ground tremble. "Hear me now teachers of Ohio," sayeth the Lord. "You have sinned a terrible sin. You were warned not to worship carved idols, yet I see 88 golden calves worshipped afront me. You have broken the great commandment. I am a jealous God, and now you will know punishment for your wickedness." When the Lord finished speaking, the ground started to shake and tremble and cracks appeared in the earth itself.
9 "Wait," cried the people as one. "It was not us who made the 88 golden calves, nor led their worship. It was the Boardites. They said we had to worship the golden idols, or be lost. They took our contributions and melted them down to make the 88 golden calves. They warned us unless we worshipped the golden idols, the calves would punish us and leave us destitute upon the land. Pestilence would cover our bodies, our flocks riven red in blood by wolves, our children and their children enslaved by cruel enemies. Some of us warned the Boardites of the evil they do, but we were spurned as ignorant and unworthy. What could we do?"
10 "It matters not," the voice from heaven rumbled. The Lord continued: "It has been done. The sin committed. Now you, the people, shall be punished. The way of the world is harsh and unforgiving; worship of golden idols forbidden. Go forth, and learn from this." The shaking of the ground grew violent, and the people cried in fear. The golden calves fell, one by one, into the bottomless crevasses, and so also all the gold, silver, and jewels of the people plunged into the bottomless chasm. Boardites and some teachers, cast by the hand of God, were hurled screaming into the black abysses of a wrathful God, and were lost forever.
Translation from Ancient Boardspeak
(October 2008 STRS Newsletter)
by Richard A. DeColibus
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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