Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Devil should be Yummie!

Image of the Devil born out of superstition and the desire to punish people instead of helping them

One of the greatest mistakes of Christianity is to depict the Devil as a fierce and ugly entity, with flames coming out of his mouth and horns growing out of his skull and eyes that set you on fire the minute you look at β€˜it’ .

A I see it, most of the evil things that the Church warns against are pure seductions. How come the Devil is ugly, but the evil things we crave for are so desirable? Moreover, why should the Church give out a warning against something disgusting to start with. Why bother?

The prime function of the Church is to propagate love and goodness, and selfless behaviour. And even if this is not a convincing advice for everybody, the Church theorems find support in classic and modern day economic theories which state that acting in the interest of all, also serves the interest of self. There is a multitude of paths to goodness.

And indeed, it is important for the Church – or any institution of morality – to help unmask everything that distracts us from our power of love and goodness in the societies in which we live. Today, this is an especially monumental task given the many distractions that surround us. It is very difficult to be good, or to love and be selfless, when we are seduced with such intensity by all the goodies and yummies that are piled up in our stores, on our TV-screens, around every corner, every minute of our daily life.

And deep down in our hearts we know that to fully succumb to materialism and to a role of mere slaves to the dictates of consumerism, we add little value to our own humanity, let alone to the humanity of those surrounding us.

So, really, it is not the Devil whom the churches and moral leaders should raise their hands against. The Devil is a mere relic of ancient superstition. It is a non-existing, highly unattractive concept of a world that was out to punish people, not to support them. In our world we should disregard this concept althogether as ridiculous and born out of ignorance.

Evil does exist, of course, and it follows every footstep of those who submit themselves to the mere satisfaction of their own desire, who see the world simply from their own viewpoint, without empathy for any one else. Such evil is all around us; it is in us, whenever we demand, rather than offer, whenever we want, rather than wish to give, it is around us whenever we take beyond our real needs.

I am not a Church man per se. Nor do I see the world, or its potential, through the windows of religion. But I do see an important function of religious people, religious leaders, such as the Bishop of Rome, because they are dealing with the essence of our humanity and with the prerequisites of its surivival.

What I am saying here, is that current and future Bishops of Rome would greatly enhance the power of their function, if they abandon ancient superstitions and concepts. I, for one, would be impressed by any bishop who recognizes that whatever evil we should fight against, is not ugly or filled with burning flames. The evil in our humanity is filled with beauty, it is most seductive; we crave for it, we want to eat it, we want to be its image, it is our own dream of youth and beauty; it is the urge to sacrifice everything that stands in the way of our greatest satisfactions. The Devil, in fact, is all Yummie!


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