Elder One: Who is this man that speaks as if he has divine authority?
Elder Two: He is a popular teacher it seems. But what he teaches corrupts the people, it diminishes the law and our authority over them.
Elder Three: A trouble-maker it seems. Let us send him to the civil authority to be executed. He is guilty of heresy by our laws and of treason by theirs.
Elder Four: Do you think it wise brothers, to condemn a man to death for merely interpreting our creator in a manner that’s proving popular with the people?
Elder Two: It is a corrupted teaching that violates the letter of the law!
Elder Four: But he’s committed no measurable offense.
Elder Two: A slippery slope! He must be dealt with lest we all fall!
Elder Four: Surely this is an overreaction. If he continues and the people follow, their fervor will dissipate over time. Whereas if we rob them of him, they will cling to his message even more.
Elder Three: A quick cut and the infested branch will be gone! There will be no spread of his message once the source is severed.
Elder Four: We are talking about killing a man just because he draws a few crowds? And if the creator placed this man on earth, as he placed us all, who are we to intervene?
Elder One: Enough of this! Let us concern ourselves with more important matters. It’s almost lunch!
Elder Two: Now you’re talking!
Elder Three: Oh thank goodness, I’m starved!
Elder Four: Finally, a reasonable response!
The story of a dystopian world where Christmas never happened.