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11/06/2006 Archived Entry: "If I were a god ..."
IF I WERE A GOD (it's probably a very good thing I'm not, but if I were), I'd opt for maximum mercy in most cases. No going to hell for fibbing to your Mommy. No indiscriminate smiting. No plagues of boils inflicted merely to win bets with adversaries. That sort of stuff is so very Old Testament.
But certain sins -- mostly those exclusive to the powerful, like genocide or debasing the currency (which slaughters cultures, even as it leaves bodies alive) -- would not be forgivable, no matter how many acts of contrition were enacted or how many pious prayers were promulgated by the miscreants. The harm is too vast. And it's committed by people who ought to know better.
Hypocrisy in high places would be among the few unforgiveables -- particularly the smug moral hypocrisy of the Mark Foleys, Ted Haggards, et al. and ad infinitum.
People who lead crusades demanding punishments against behaviors they themselves practice might present complex cases for pop psychologists to ponder. But from a god perspective, they're the simplest of the simple. Dealing with them doesn't require a brain the size of several small planets.
If I were a god I wouldn't merely insert such creatures into the mouth of Satan. (Dante not only picked the wrong people to punish most severely; he was really far, far too nice.) Wearing the godly equivalent of surgial plastic gloves, I'd shove every politically or religiously powerful hypocrite up the devil's hairy anus, where they could spend all eternity enjoying an atmosphere uniquely matched to their nature, occasionally getting their skin stripped off by huge sulphuric, Satanic farts.
Only way they could ever get forgiven is if, before they died, they managed not merely to "repent" (ho hum, how cheap and easy that is for such folk), but to undo every act of harm -- physical, legal, psychological, marital, financial, etc. -- that their hypocrisy-from-on-high ever caused. Can't do that, boys? Then it's up the devil's backside with you with nary a regret.
Posted by Claire @ 12:55 PM CST