NOTE: Go to American Catholic for a wonderfully appropriate animated music video.
Scene: Canaanite Hebrew Refugee Welcoming Commission Headquarters.
Dramatis Personae: Bazar, a minor functionary; Tukal-Baal, vice chairman.
Bazar -- Vice Chairmen Tukal-Baal, there's something I feel I should bring to your attention.
Tukal-Baal -- Will it take long? We have hundreds of thousands of Hebrew refugees on the way. Did you hear that they crossed the Red Sea? Probably thousands lost on over-crowded papyrus rafts. That kind of determination to seek a better life moves me to tears.
Bazar -- But there's a problem, sir.
Tukal-Baal -- Problem? What kind of problem?
Bazar -- A copy of their holy books fell into our hands. It's not good.
Tukal-Baal -- Not good? Their god will fit in with ours, I'm sure. It's good that we have their holy books. It will help with our interfaith efforts.
Bazar -- Sir, their holy books say they intend to wipe us out, man, woman, child, and livestock. Even our pets.
Tukal-Baal -- Wipe us out? That's ridiculous. I'm sure you're misreading it. Perhaps there is a symbolic interpretation. They're refugees for Baal's sake. All they want is a better life. We owe them that!
Bazar -- Listen to this, right from their holy books: When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you -- I'll skip the list of our neighbors, but include "the Canaanites" -- and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them; then you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them." That's what it says. And may I respectfully again invite your attention to the mention of "Canaanites?" And look, sir. "Utterly destroy them," right here, and "show no mercy to them," there. That's why I said it's not good. I mean, you can read it right there in their holy books!
Tukal-Baal -- And you think a bunch of four-year-old refugees looking for a better life are going to pay any attention to that? Seriously? Our civilization is destined for immortality! They'll just be assimilated like everyone else.
Bazar -- These are the same determined people who broke free of Egyptian slavery, crossed the Red Sea, and spent forty years in the desert, sir. And I'm not so sure they used papyrus boats to get across the Red Sea. It is suspected they used nuclear weapons in the devastating attacks on Sodom and Gomorra centuries ago. These people don't fool around.
Tukal-Baal -- You really believe they're going to bother chasing down Buster after they've slaughtered me and my whole family?
Bazar -- They take orders from a reclusive cleric named Moses. Moses has a military lieutenant named Joshua. We know their spies have scouted out our defenses. At best this has terrorism written all over it, if not outright conquest. They are as numerous as the sand of the sea.
Tukal-Baal -- That many? Well, all the more reason to stop this nonsense and redouble our welcome efforts! Next you'll be saying they'll stamp out Baal worship and impose their god over everyone! [Laughs.] Maybe build a temple in Jerusalem! And why not a king, as well? [Laughs uproariously.] You can't take these things seriously, Bazar. They're just pitiful refugees. Put those Hebrew holy books away and attend to your regular duties.
Bazar -- Yes, sir. I'm sure you're right.
Tukal-Baal -- Of course I am. Like Hebrews are ever going to amount to anything, anyway. You forget. We're Canaanites! We're not afraid of refugees! [Pause.] By the way, book a vacation for me to one of the Mesopotamian resorts. Maybe Sandals.
Bazar -- They're all Sandals, sir, but I'll take care of it.
Tukal-Baal -- Make it a long one. Better include my family. And all my livestock. Yes, livestock vacations are the latest thing.
Bazar -- And Buster, too, of course, sir.
Tukal-Baal -- Of course. Buster, too. I'm sure you can manage if the Hebrews, er, should arrive before my return.
Tukal-Baal exits stage right.
Bazar -- Somebody else can manage. I've already bought my own livestock vacation. [Hangs up an enormous, gaily decorated placard that says "Welcome Hebrews!"] Our work is finished here. [Addressing audience.] Oh, yours has just begun.