Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It’s Strange, Isn’t It?

My grandfather has a penchant for spreading Christian inspiration via email. In general it’s best to avoid these. At best they’re a reminder that he thinks about me regularly, which is nice. At worst they’re full of one-sided despotic prejudiced right-wing propaganda. At the end of this particular email I was told I’d be deprived of being blessed if I didn’t forward it along to all my friends (maybe referencing it in a blog entry can be the happy medium). It would be wise to delete these messages without opening them. Unfortunately that’s just not the kind of person I am. Usually I am quick to bemoan my assiduous curiosity for these communications. I think it might be hereditary – my father used to listen to Rush Limbaugh just for laughs. It drove my mother crazy.

At any rate, today’s potentially insidious special grappled (as they often do) with the widespread tendency to shirk Christian responsibility, albeit ineffectively. “Isn't it strange how difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?; Isn't it strange how 2 hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?; Isn't it strange how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?”, etc.

Is it strange?

There are a few human qualities I’m particularly interested in as of late:
  1. People don’t like to be made to feel in any way obligated to do things;
  2. People often feel obligated to do things that they are not, in fact, obligated to do; and
  3. People will do some pretty ridiculously stupid, harmful, awful things to themselves in order to demonstrate their freedom to do whatever they want in the face of what may be a completely erroneously identified obligation. In fact, they do things that make them feel worse much more often than things that will make them feel better, in what is effectively an act of self-flagellation.
  4. This cycle perpetuates itself endlessly without some serious self control.

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