Here follows the Parable of the Absent Parents - a story of my own invention (credit goes to DaveC for providing a similar tale that was inspiration for this one). A pre-teen boy has no idea who his parents are. They have never been a part of his life. During his childhood, his carers gave him a book and told him it contained all his parents' rules - i.e. the rules that set out how his parents expect him to behave. Rule no. 217 says "When you're at home on your own, don't drink the alcohol and destroy the place." Elsewhere in the rule book, it says "Rule 2001. If you disobey any of the rules in this book, your parents will punish you. The punishment will be life in prison." The book also says things like "Rule 1. Your parents love you" and "Rule 13. It is wrong to disobey your parents' rules." Over time, as he grows up, the boy starts to wonder about the book. He starts to question whether his parents are alive, and whether they really wrote the book at all. He has met people who assure him that, yes, the book was written by his parents. Some of them even claim to have met his parents, themselves, perhaps even receiving private communications from them. On the other hand, he has met other people who tell him the book is a lie: his parents died when he was a baby, and the book contains words of others that are merely attributed to his parents. That he can't verify the writers of the book is one problem. Another is that after reading it many times, talking to other people and educating himself independently, the boy starts to think that maybe some of the rules aren't very good. For instance, Rule no. 31 says "All homosexual people are evil and must be killed by stoning" and Rule no. 87 says "Some people are meant to be slaves. If you want to take and keep slaves, there's no problem with that." One night, when his guardians have gone to a film, the boy drinks the alcohol from the booze cabinet and destroys the house. One year later, there is a knock on the door. The boy opens it. Standing there are a man and a woman, carrying handcuffs, which they slap on the boy. "We are your parents!" they tell him. "We are arresting you for breaking the rules in the Parent Rule Book. You will spend the rest of your life in prison!" The boy is dragged away and lives out the rest of his days in a concrete cell. Here endeth the parable.