Monday, August 10, 2015
The Parable of the Two Sons
I've seen a lot of conservative memes condemning the fact that the Obama administration has made a deal with Iran over their nuclear program. They seem to think that the fact that people there chant anit-American slogans is significant somehow. Whenever I hear people getting all upset about the fact that some Iranians have chanted "Death to America" I'm reminded of this parable by Jesus in Matthew:
28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
What I'm getting at is that mere words mean little compared to real actions. Iranians chant "Death to America" but they haven't actually attacked the United States in any meaningful way. Americans talk peace and freedom while bringing chaos, death, destruction and tyranny to nations all over the Middle East. Obviously I'm not saying the regime in Iran is righteous and holy or any such thing, but the idea that chanting annoying slogans makes one untrustworthy and impossible to negotiate with while actually murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent people and overthrowing dozens of governments and throwing an entire region into chaos is just fine because, after all, we say "We mean well and all we want is to spread peace and democracy around the world."