The 'God People' and the Mayor

This is the story of a large city, the place of my birth and, I suppose, of my death.

A few miles north of the city is a large dam, which from time beyond memory has contained the heavy flow of water from mountains beyond. This flow is especially swift and deep every spring.

Our city has a large number of God-people. They honor God and they honor the mayor, whom they consider God’s representative in the city.

I am a rather unimportant citizen, engaged in trade, and have never been particularly tied to these people. Nor has the mayor, except (to my way of thinking, at least) for political advantage.

You see, these God-people represent a large voting bloc, especially susceptible to the mayor’s choice of key issues. They number among them few poor (which they count evidence of God’s blessing), so they were doubtless glad when the mayor moved to change certain benefactions which the poor had received prior to his term in office. They also number few of the scorned and feared minority groups, so they were probably secretly glad when the mayor neglected these needs as well. And, as is true of all people who have possessions to protect, they were glad for the mayor’s emphasis on law and punishment.

But the mayor cultivated them, in my opinion, for one other significant reason. They accepted his leadership without question, even imparting the seal of God to actions of his that other groups seriously questioned. It was as if they considered God their mayor and the mayor their God.

I mentioned our dam at the beginning of this account. The mayor who held office immediately before this one, had tampered with it, diverting part of its flow toward the east where some small towns lie on a distant plain. Many people of all ages were killed in the resulting flood, which was ostensibly good for our city, since it protected us from them.

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