The workers in the vineyard

The workers in the vineyard February 24, 2009
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, "You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right." So they went.

He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, "Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?"

"Because no one has hired us," they answered.

He said to them, "You also go and work in my vineyard."

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, "Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first."

The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. Especially that douchebag Rick Santelli from CNBC. But each one of them also received a denarius. When he received it, the overpaid, whining, miserable prick began to grumble against the landowner. "These men who were hired last worked only one hour," he said, "and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day."

But he answered him, "Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?"

I changed a word or two in there, but that word "envious" in the final question is holy writ. The perverse irony, of course, is that you're most likely to hear that word tossed about nowadays by exactly the sort of greedy, grumbling sorts described in the parable above. These are warped, stunted, soulless creatures who lie awake at night worrying that somehow, somewhere, some poor person might be catching a break that they didn't 100-percent deserve. Some poor family might be getting extra food stamps. Some poor mother might be using WIC to get the good cheese. Some family might not get kicked out of their home and onto the street when really they should have been responsible enough not to trust the professional realtors and bankers who assured them they could afford that house.

And these awful people — Santelli and his fans who are consumed by this fevered jealousy of hypothetically "irresponsible" and "undeserving" poor people receiving help, relief or mercy — then have the chutzpah to accuse those in favor of helping those in need of "the politics of envy."

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