Voices: A Republican and a Democrat: Two Parables

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The Parable of the Good Republican

There was a certain man, a Democrat, who was mugged and beaten as he walked through a Washington, DC, neighborhood.

A few minutes after the attack, a wealthy ACLU lobbyist strolled by, and noticing the man on the sidewalk, shook his head and exclaimed: “I see that you are injured and abandoned, but I’ve an important argument before the Supreme Court, and I really must be on time. I have to ensure they protect the rights of those who are in police custody against aggressive interrogation tactics. You can’t be too careful, these days, with the rights of the accused. Why, just look at you here. The folks who did this to you are entitled to just as much of a fair trial as anyone, and I’m sure you would agree.”

He walked on, giving no aid to the man in the street.

After a while, a minister and advocate of social justice came by, and seeing the injured man, said: “Ah, the system is to blame, sir, for your plight! We must rid the world of the poverty and prejudice around us so things like what happened to you never happen again! Not here! Not ever!”

And he went on his way.

Several minutes later, a conservative small business owner who always voted straight-ticket Republican chanced upon the man, who by now was very weak and unable to move. He helped the man up and put him into his car and drove him to the nearest hospital. There, he offered to pay the hospital whatever medical bills the man accrued, even though the injured one had no insurance because he was too wealthy to qualify for Medicaid and yet not affluent enough to purchase health insurance in the private market.

I ask you, which of the three who stopped was a neighbor to the injured party?

The Parable of the Good Democrat

There was a particular woman, a Republican, who was shot in the leg during an attempted mass shooting. While others in the area were able to escape to safety, she, because of her wound, was stuck in one place.

The first to arrive on the scene was a wealthy Republican donor from the NRA. Seeing the state of the woman’s injuries, he sighed and said, “If you had only been armed and ready when the gunman came along, you could have taken him out and spared yourself this grief you are now going through.”

And the NRA donor went his way.

After a little while, an evangelical arrived on the scene and, seeing the injured woman, declared: “Ah, this happened because you supported a woman’s right to choose and because you didn’t back the latest tax cut package we offered in Congress. Furthermore, God is punishing you because you secretly voted for a Democrat for state representative in the last election.”

And off he went.

Later, another came along, a Democratic activist. Seeing the wounded woman, he called 911 and waited with her until the ambulance arrived. Also, seeing she had no family with her, he rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital and stayed with her until she was stabilized. He informed the hospital staff he would pay the woman’s medical bills because she was unable to afford monthly insurance premiums for herself and her family and had no healthcare.

Again, I ask you, which of the three who attended the woman was her neighbor?

Kevin Holton teaches pre-K Sunday school at First Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas and is an instructor of political science at South Texas College.

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