Sunday, May 20, 2012

Glamorous Evil

More often than I am comfortable in admitting I take refuge in the eloquence of others. Here is one of my heroes, Terry Eagleton, commenting on, in my opinion, one of the main weaknesses of the church as currently practiced today:

"Yet the idea that evil is glamorous is one of the great moral mistakes of the modern age . . . Once the middle classes get their hands on virtue, even vice begins to look appealing. Once the puritan propagandists and evangelical mill owners redefine virtue as thrift, prudence, chastity, abstinence, sobriety, meekness, frugality, obedience, and self-discipline, it is not hard to see why evil should begin to look like a sexier option . . . the devil seems to have all the best tunes. Suburban virtue is a poor thing compared to Satanic vice. We would all rather have a drink with Dickens's Fagin or Emily Bronte's Heathcliff than a chat with the God of John Milton's Paradise Lost, who speaks like a constipated civil servant."

And let me head off this objection, here is my note I scribbled in the book underneath this passage: "Only thing is, tell us what to put in its place, otherwise you're just being glib." He's not really being glib, you can't say everything about everything, but I do identify with the frustration.

No comments: