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Friday, May 11, 2012

Duty versus Obsession


Somebody asked me my position on same sex marriage, and I answered that I do not very much concern myself with it. I said that the evils that are afflicting and will afflict us do not include people's living arrangements.

In the New Testament, Faith is stressed over the ancient teachings on sexual matters, for there is only one matter of strictly sexual mores spoken of in the New Testament, moicheia. The matter at hand comes down to a metaphor that Sodom itself - under the new teaching - would be quite safe if it had faith, indicating that whatever sins we might ascribe to Sodom - and it is not entirely clear what they were - they were small potatoes next to lack of Faith.

I believe Faith to be things done and acted on, not "systems of belief", which are spiritual grocery lists. I believe we ignore the demands of faith, and we do so to our increasing peril. It is ourselves who must be changed: all of us will die, but not all of us are changed!
No one listens to the quaint stories of the lilies of the field, the turning of the second cheek, nor the giving up the child's way of thinking and taking up one's cross: those notions have been pushed aside, while various political causes have sucked in the focus of the Religious.

The demands of Faith task us to the extreme, as Moby Dick tasked Ahab into his obsessions and his paganism of futile pursuit.
Ahab seeks to kill the whale, for he believes it responsible for his handicap. However, it is also the case that Ahab was at least as responsible for the loss of his leg, for Ahab chose the life-work of killing whales, which brought him into constant danger.
The things Ahab has to do to live are the entire opposite of an obsessive lust for death and violence, but he will not leave behind the old ways of thought... old thoughts and concepts going back to when he was much younger and first was impressed by the death-business of whale hunting.

That which obsesses us will destroy us.

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