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LIFE MATTERS: The Parable of the False King

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By Dr. Dennis Acop

Nabenta was a kingdom floating on a vast ocean. It was rich in natural resources. The people were naturally kind and quite innocent in the ways of the world. Moreover, the land is blessed by the one true faith that visited its shores five centuries before. This supernatural belief in the True Deity came from a world of advanced civilization beyond the vast oceans. Pinagpala was its name then before it became Nabenta.

It took turns of subjugation by powerful kingdoms and at least two great wars before then Pinagpala tasted half a century of relative freedom and peace. Then suddenly the kingdom became beset by increasing rifts about greed among competing vassals. Year after year of worsening moral and material corruption followed. Moral decadence became a way of life away from the once learned teachings of the One True Deity. The rich and powerful vassals lorded it over the working classes and slaves of the kingdom. Even the succession of kings was not spared. The reigning kings themselves became addicted to power and were corrupted. One king after another did no better but even became worse than the predecessor.

The situation in Pinagpala became so bad that the people clamored for a new king who would finally put everything back in order. Corruption was especially endemic and people became convinced nothing could be done unless they had a very strong but also benevolent king. Then one day the opportunity came to finally seat on the throne a new king. All other candidate princes were quickly dismissed as one and the same — competent but corrupt and two weak to stop corruption in its tracks. This one other prince candidate was vastly different, even solely unique. He rid his city of criminals and scalawags never mind his high-handed methods. The people did not mind his bloody reputation more than his perceived ability to clean up the kingdom of the disease that plagued it for decades. They did not even pay much attention to his observed closeness to the kingdom’s godless enemy. Nor to his penchant for vices and discarding the rule of law. This prince played coy at first but eventually gave in to the clamor, especially from people in the south, to be king.

The new king promised everything to the people. To rid the kingdom of every disease and filth. To finally bring it peace and order. Rid it of illegal substances. Make corruption a thing of the past. Being a man of the law, to uphold the rule of law. To be and do what no other king or queen before him has ever been and done. And the people, at least those who clamored for him, applauded. Notwithstanding that he was ill, the people wanted him to rule. They just wanted him. No one else could get the job done.

Then just as suddenly as it came before, Pinagpala became Nabenta. Gradually, all the promises made by the new king disappeared one by one. In their stead, the opposites came about. Illegal substances across the kingdom were pursued and those responsible punished. But alas, only the foot soldiers were being punished, executed really. The brains behind the push were being let free in exchange for largesse. Huge largesse more than the world has ever seen. Soon, the attention of the community of kingdoms became focused on the extent of the executions numbering thousands which merited a crime against humanity. It was just for starters. The king next turned to revealing his friendship with an avowed enemy of the kingdom — the great non-believer in God which invaded Nabenta’s territories in its vast waters where its fishermen made a living. Nabenta’s name is foreboding as it refers to its sovereignty being sold out to its own enemy by its own king. Even the vassals, well not all of them, the generals (well some of them too), and the staff (some of them) were so perplexed as to why their king would do such a thing. But, as fate would have it, the ambitions and souls of these men had already been sold down the road to perdition so being yes men was never a problem indeed. Plus, the worldly pleasures of being in power with the king was just not something one would give up. No concept of heaven or hell there when it came to the pleasures of the flesh. Then there came another plague as the world has not seen in a century. Call it a boon or a bane for the king as it certainly became both. By worldly standards, it was a boon as the king and his minions used the plague to siphon off tons of gold for their own coffers while leaving the people with no or mediocre medicines to cure themselves. But it was also a bane as the plague exposed to the citizens of the kingdom as well as the world what kind of a good-for-nothing rule the king actually had for his kingdom. It is the same bane that got the king’s men and even the king himself ill. Now, Nabenta longs for a new king, or queen. So long as it is no longer the tyrant king. Or his kind. So the kingdom waits.

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