Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Priest's Dilemma

Bacchus, High Priest of Gaia, gazed out from his sacred grove to the steel towers beyond and shook his head. He wondered why so few took the state religion seriously. They showed up for the feasts and did some basic duties like recycling. But then went on their way, ignoring Gaia, the embodiment of the Earth. There were always the few serious, who left the cities to live in nature. But most of the people went back to their mechanized world, little moved to change.

Apollo, his assistant, came up to him."I have heard there are Christians infiltrating," he stammered.

"I need proof and names," said Bacchus firmly.

"But I also heard about some sort of treachery within the priesthood," said Apollo undeterred

"I cannot act on rumors," said Bacchus firmly. "Get me facts."

Then came Thor, a new member of the priesthood. "We are ready for the blessing of the new generator in B-12 sector," he remarked with distaste.

"You do not approve?" replied Bacchus.

"I wonder, if these generators failed, whether people would leave those sterile halls and return to the bosom of Gaia. It is the machines that separate them from true communion with nature."

"An interesting thought. But more likely it would lead to violence and destruction."

"Violence is not necessarily a bad thing. Survival of the fittest is a principle of nature."

"The way of peace is the way of Gaia," stated Bacchus firmly. But Thor walked away, not looking particularly convinced.

Bacchus walked over to Richard, the city manager."Ready for the blessing of the generator tomorrow?" asked Bacchus.

"Everything is prepared," replied Richard.

"I had an interesting conversation with one of my priests. He claimed violence is the way of nature. But the standards say the way of nature is peace."

"The problem with nature is it has so many contrary things in it. It is almost like you need something outside of nature to judge it by."

"You watch that," said Bacchus sternly. "If you are not careful, you will fall into heresy."

"It sounds like your priest is in the same danger," replied Richard. "I would watch him carefully if I were you. If he starts down that path, who knows where he will end up."

Bacchus headed toward home, that thought spinning in his head.

The next morning, as he approached the generator room, an enforcer ran out to meet him."Don't go in yet," the enforcer blurted out.

In a few minutes the enforcer sergeant waved him in. "Good thing you called us," remarked the sergeant. "This could have been a real disaster."

He came in to see Thor sitting in the corner in restraints, glowering at them.  "He was planting an energy feedback bomb," continued the sergeant. "When the generator was turned on, it would have blown. It would have created a feedback wave that took out all the generators in the area, probably the whole city. Who knows when they would have been repaired? Good thing you warned us to keep an eye on him."

"It is the only way," interrupted Thor. "It is only if the machines are destroyed that people will return to living in nature like they should,."

As Bacchus walked away, Apollo came running up to him. "I have the facts you wanted," Apollo proclaimed. "I have a list of people who are secretly Christians. And the ringleader is City Manager Richard."

"Looks like we will have two arrests today," remarked the sergeant.

Bacchus walked away, shaking his head, not sure what to think.    

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