The Good American: An Atheist’s Parable

There once was a Syrian man who was fleeing from Damascus to New York when he was attacked and beaten and left for dead.

The first American to walk past him was a Christian pastor on his way to preach to his congregation. He looked down at the man and said, “He does not dress like me, speak like me, or worship like me. If he wanted help, he should have assimilated.” And the Christian pastor went on his way.

The second American to walk past the Syrian man was a state governor. The governor said, “This man dresses, speaks, and worships like other people who have done terrible things. I am afraid for my safety.” And the state governor went on his way.

The third American who went by was an undocumented Mexican immigrant. He looked down at the Syrian man and immediately gave as much medical aid as he knew. Despite knowing he risked facing deportation, the undocumented immigrant dragged the Syrian man off the side of the road and took him to the hospital. When he learned that the Syrian man had no health insurance, he paid for the expenses out of his own pocket.

When asked why he would do such a thing forĀ a Syrian, the Mexican immigrant replied “I too have been hungry and tired and have yearned to breathe free.”

So tell me. Which of the men who passed by demonstrated true American values to the Syrian who was attacked and left for dead?

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