Monday, September 15, 2008

The Red Hen and The Way Things Are

The little red hen called all her friends together and said, 'If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?'
'Not I,' said the cow. 'Not I,' said the duck. 'Not I,' said the pig. 'Not I,' said the goose.
'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen, and so she did.
The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain. Who will help me reap my wheat?' asked the little red hen.
'Not I,' said the duck… 'Out of my classification,' said the pig. 'I'd lose my seniority,' said the cow. 'I'd lose my unemployment compensation,' said the goose. 'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen, and so she did.
At last it came time to bake the bread. 'Who will help me bake the bread?' asked the little red hen. 'That would be overtime for me,' said the cow. 'I'd lose my welfare benefits,' said the duck. 'I'm a dropout and never learned how,' said the pig. 'If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination,' said the goose. 'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen.
She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see. They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, 'No, I shall eat all five loaves.'
'Excess profits!' cried the cow 'Capitalist leech!' screamed the duck. 'I demand equal rights!' yelled the goose. The pig just grunted in disdain And they all painted 'Unfair!' picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.
Then the farmer came. He said to the little red hen, 'You must not be so greedy.' 'But I earned the bread,' said the little red hen. 'Exactly,' said the farmer. 'That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy and idle.'
And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, 'I am grateful, for now I truly understand. But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again baked bread because she joined the 'party' and got her bread free. And all the socialists smiled. 'Fairness' had been established.


lindsay said...

We have this book...well not your version :).... but I love it and Alli loves to read it as well. I would say I like your version, but as witty as it is, I can't say I like it but I can say it is a pretty accurate representation of what our socialist friends are doing and want to continue to do with the government. I heard Obama say in his O'Reilly interview that it was not being socialist, it was being "neighborly". I guess it doesn't sound so bad to people if you don't call it what it truly is. So we pick a nicer sounding name. So why can't I be "neighborly" with my own money instead of giving my money to the government so they can force me to be "neighborly"? The government has such a great record of being responsible with my money! Surely I can count on them to do a lot of good with my tax money and then I won't have to give whatever money I have left to people who need it. We will all be equal. And the church can spend all the money it collects on running the light bill and paying staff salaries and not worry about helping people. Oh, wait it already pretty much does that. Sarcasm anyone? I better quit before I make someone mad.

Blake said...

I was TOTALLY hoping you would move right from politics into "churchianity"...and you did!

Unfortunately so many conservative people scream when the government tells them that they owe money so that people can be helped, institutions can be furthered and staff positions can be maintained yet when their local congregation does the same thing they say nothing and dutifully write their checks. I frankly see no difference in the two.

I feel pretty confident in saying that the government nor the institutionalized church bear the responsibility to help poor people, feed hungry people or otherwise serve "the least of these". If we even kind of assume something else is true I would immediately say that both fail equally and miserably.

By the way and not to mention names but the church you and I both attended most recently...what has their missions budget been reduced to? What percentage of the overall budget supports building and staff? What percent goes to benevolence?
I could be wrong but the last time I was in the loop and knew the numbers they were as follows:
Missions: $0
Benevolence: $0
Building and Staff: >80% of the budget.

I hate to say it but Congress doesn’t' have those kinds of screwed up numbers. Maybe we should give or "tithe" to the government after all :)

lindsay said...

Yes, I know... I'm not happy about the church budget issue. All I'm saying is that I would rather have the choice as to who and where to give money rather than the government make that decision for me. I think the more that we as individual Christians and the church as a whole rely on the government to be charitable, the less we will be charitable on our own.

Blake said...

Choice means freedom and in my opinion, freedom was found in the midst of the empty tomb. "Christ and Him crucified" implies a message of redemption...not just throughout the ages but for here and comes that word many of us have loved to hate-"eschatological" living.

When we hand our choices over to an organization...government or church...we essentially deny ourselves the freedom that Christ bestows upon us.

A very valid question for me is how do I most appropriately remove the institutional controls in my life? You can probably guess what has been one our solutions to control the level of bureaucracy in the life of our family...