Jon Sanders

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

In Jesus' teaching, the master has given his manager much responsibility to see to it that his will is carried out in his absence — namely, that his servants are cared for and fed properly. If he carries out his duties faithfully, then when his master returns, the manager finds great reward, greater elevation and responsibility.

The improper manager, however, tyrannizes the servants, making himself fat and drunk on the food and drink the master set aside for them. What the master gave him — and demanded from him — was knowledge of the master's will and responsibility to carry it out. If he thwarts his master's will, his reward will be a heavy beating.

In Jesus' parable, the servants are our fellow men. Each individual hearer is a manager — do we choose to be faithful managers or wicked ones (who get cut to pieces and assigned to a place with the unbelievers)? The master is Jesus.

How, then, does that teaching coincide with Obama's desire to tax the rich? Quick answer: it doesn't, not by a long chalk. But let us try to see it as the president does.

Who are the servants the master wishes the manager to care for? That one is easy; the poor.

Who is the manager? Also easy: the rich.

Who is the master? Well, there's the thing. It has to be Obama, doesn't it? Or perhaps just the government. Either way, in Obama's mind, the rich have been given much — not responsibility; riches — by the government (oh, no, they didn't earn those riches on their own). Now, much riches are required — by Obama.

Who are the hearers to identify with? Why, the poor servants, of course. We are to root for Obama to take much from the rich. And we're supposed to think something about how Jesus would've wanted it that way.

But who gets the money? The government. We the poor get nothing other than the consolation that Obama the master isn't going to ask us for any more.

There ends the usefulness of Jesus' teaching to Obama. If, however, we are to keep the parable decidedly grounded on earth and kept away from spiritual matters, then is not the president himself the unfaithful manager?

Consider: We the people have given him much responsibility. In return, he has given Americans much tyranny, he has pursued policies that have not only plundered this present generation but several future ones as well, and he has handed over power to his big corporations and union allies.

In short, Obama has been an exceedingly wicked manager, and when we return to the polls in November, may we give him a heavy beating.

Jon Sanders

Jon Sanders is associate director of research at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.