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Was It…SATAN??!!

The title, of course, refers to the catchphrase of Dana Carvey’s iconic 90’s Saturday Night Live character the Church Lady.  This post, however, is a little more serious than that.

I went to the vigil Mass yesterday, and the first reading, from Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24, struck me (my emphasis, of course):

God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
and there is not a destructive drug among them
nor any domain of the netherworld on earth,
for justice is undying.
For God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.

That got me to thinking about some of the themes I’ve discussed in this series, and indicated to me an actual Scriptural warrant, slim though it may be, for them.

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The Second Most Evil Song of All Time!

Here we go again….  😉  As with the Most Evil Song of all time, it’s not about musicianship, or whether the song is a “good” pop song or not, or what your feelings about Justin Timberlake may be.  It’s not even about the conscious intentions of the songwriter(s).  It’s about the message contained within the song.  Let’s jump right in.  Here are the full lyrics (which can be found lots of other places, too); and I’ve quoted the part I want to look at below, my emphasis, as usual:

‘Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it’s clear as this promise
That we’re making two reflections into one
‘Cause it’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me

Superficially, this is better than Savage Garden’s “I Knew I Loved You”, which implies that the lover is brought into very existence merely at the whim and pleasure of the narrator.  Here, the beloved has a separate existence, at least.  The first line of the song, not in the block above, says, “Aren’t you somethin’ to admire/’Cause your shine is somethin’ like a mirror” which at least acknowledges the lover as a “Thou“, a real Other, and compliments her.  However, in the very next line, the narrator says, “And I can’t help but notice/You reflect in this heart of mine.”  Well, it was good while it lasted.

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Quote for the Week

I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business con­cern.

–C. S. Lewis, from the Preface to the Paperback Edition of The Screwtape Letters

Excursus: Evil, Part 3–Who’s In Charge Here, Anyway?

As I discussed in the previous post, I’m examining the hypothesis (discussed in greater detail there) that while natural evils–hurricanes, floods, disease, etc.–existed before humans, they were not actually evil, or perceived as such, by humans before the Fall.  That is, presumably, if Adam had broken his leg, got a bad cold, come down with cancer or tapeworms, or got third-degree burns from the lava spewed in a volcanic eruption, nevertheless he would not have perceived or considered such things as being evil, as long as they occurred before he ate the Forbidden Fruit.  As strange or unconventional as this view may seem, it does have a certain internal consistency, and it can’t be falsified as such.  Nevertheless, I don’t believe it to be accurate.  Thus, I want to explain here why this is so, from my perspective. Read the rest of this entry

Excursus: Evil, Part 2–Your Wicked Ways

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.  This is the very word of the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.–Isaiah 55:8-9, NEB

Last time, I discussed how I was rather taken aback by the following statement by A. Sinner in a discussion we were having at Vox Nova (given at greater length in the last post) regarding the Fall of man and evil in the world (my emphasis):

Earthquakes and animal bodies decaying and all the “chaos” you see in the world…are only evil inasmuch as Man constructs it as evil, only inasmuch as Man fears it, only inasmuch as Man has defined himself as self-contained and therefore mortal.

I want to discuss this at length.  To do so will require substantial unpacking.  Read the rest of this entry

Excursus: Evil, Part 1

The time before last, I said,

Nasty things–evils–existed long before humans came on the scene.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, predators, disease, pestilence, cancer, and so on have been around for eons.  Thus, any system that posits their existence as coming after the Fall of Man is not going to work.  There are a few subtleties here that I will save for a later post, but right now let’s just say that evils or Evil can’t be blamed on Eve’s apple.

It has generally been held by Christian theologians that the Fall affected not only humans but the whole world itself.  Some examples, with my emphases added and with sources: Read the rest of this entry