forgive me father, for i have sinned.
yes, and what is it that brings you here, my son?
father, i’m sorry. what i’m about to tell you–i don’t know what came over me. i…
i wasn’t thinking. maybe it was the jet-lag. i don’t know what–
whatever it is, there is no way it won’t go unforgiven if you confess it and ask for forgiveness. i am here to listen. go on and confess, young man. it’s alright.
yes, well, you see i was out of town last week. i went to london for work. it was a long flight and i had to go straight to a meeting from the airport. the meeting was a couple hours, and i guess after being crammed into a plane and then a meeting right after i felt like walking and getting some air. so i started towards the hotel and then i saw this woman on the street corner.
it’s not what you think, father. although now i wish it was. she was poor and homeless. she was old, too, and dirty. i noticed her. i accidentally let my eyes look at her, i don’t know why. i guess that’s the first thing i needed to confess.
so you looked?
yes but i never look at them otherwise, i swear it. or i didn’t. i don’t know what it was that got me that day, but i looked even though i know it was wrong. still, i saw her and i looked at her face. and she looked just like…
yes? just like what?
my mother. her face was much darker, either from the sun or the dirt or both i don’t know, but she did. she looked just like mom. when we saw each other i really thought she was her. i even felt that she recognized me.
of course it wasn’t your mother, was it?
no, she wasn’t her at all. my mother was here, clean and at home. and she would have been so disgusted by this woman had she seen her.
yes, as we all are.
yes, i know that’s how i should have felt. like i said, i never normally even look. the few times i have looked i’ve felt the disgust and have confessed for even breaking the commandment.
that’s a good boy.
but, honestly father i haven’t even told you the worst of it.
dear. well go on and tell me.
well, when i saw her there i sort of stopped. like i said we looked at each other with a feeling of recognition. i looked at her and i must have smiled because she smiled at me too. i don’t know what it was that happened, father, but all of a sudden we were both just there. by that i mean it was like we were bonded. without saying anything at all. we just saw each other and it was like we had the same love–maybe even a deeper love–that i have with my mother. of course i know this sounds crazy. but it felt that way.
but how could that be? even if it did feel that way?
i know it couldn’t. i know i’m better than her. i know she doesn’t even deserve a glance from me, let alone what i gave her which was my acceptance. i can’t deny it. even if i tried. i know in my heart i accepted her. i wish i knew what i was thinking.
yes, well, did anything else happen after you two shared this…this ‘moment’?
i gave her my watch.
you did what?
i gave her my watch, father.
oh my. this is very bad.
i know, i know. please, just tell me what i can do.
this is very bad, my boy. you know that giving out anything to the poor is a cardinal sin.
i know, father.
you know that anything given to the poor is akin to murdering their own will to work.
and murdering a person’s will, that’s…
father, please! i’ve never done anything as awful as this.
that’s leading a disciple away from the benevolence of the Economy. and that’s furthering the sin which led them to squalor: entitlement.
do you think this woman, your second mother, will ever find her salvation in the free market now?
how much longer will she suffer the torments of poverty because you thought she needed a hand-out?
i don’t know. i gave her the watch because i thought she could use the money to–
to do what? buy a meal? if you tell me you bought her a meal too, Economy help me, i’ll–
i didn’t. just the watch.
my boy, do you at least now see the momentum of our sins? one minute you’re glancing at a vagrant, and the next you’re committing economic heresy of the highest order!
i know father, but please! i am a faithful worker. i love the Economy. i hate the poor! i’ve confessed the awful deeds i am guilty of, now please let me be forgiven!
i cannot forgive you of this; only the Invisible Hand of the Market can rectify this assault on our beloved Economy.
but surely as an Economist you can do something!
you have confessed, and i have heard your confession. let us pray now and ask for your forgiveness:
oh holy Economy who are on Wall Street,
hallowed be thy name.
thy kingdom come,
thy will is done with Money
as it is in Free Markets.
give us this day our
way low taxes,
and starve all the lazy,
as we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.
and lead us into temptation,
as we sell guns to the evil.
for thine is the Money,
and Triple A credit rating,
with merciless debt forever,