The Seven Deadly Sins: Envy

FOTSthumb2A StubbornThings Symposium11/27/15
Introduction  •  If you ask liberals the cause of poverty, disease, crime, or war, they’ll answer, “Society,” ignoring the fact that society is made up of troubled individuals. If, however, you ask conservatives, especially a Christian conservative, the cause of the world’s worst problems, they’ll go right to the point – sin. That answer ruffles the liberals because they are dedicated to the proposition that there’s nothing really wrong with man that a government program can’t fix, and because they like sin, so much so that flaunting it has become the norm. Conservatives, however, are not daunted and we know, whether we’re talking Moses’ Decalogue or the medieval Seven Deadly Sins, that disobedience is the knot in the yarn.

We also know in our heart-of-hearts that the sin of envy is the mold spore of most misery and mayhem, and the underlying motivation for most negative, recalcitrant thoughts and behavior. So, here at StubbornThings, we’re going to explore this horrific sin, uncover all its hidden nastiness, examine its effect on society, and generally demonstrate that both the politics of envy, and the personal habit of covetousness, is nothing but evil. We all wish that this deathcap mushroom wasn’t lurking in the dark places of our hearts, but it is and this is our way of shining a cleansing light in the hope of shriveling it to nothing. Enjoy.

Deana Chadwell


Seven Deadly Sins: Envy


 

TIMOTHY LANE

As with all these, there is a place (albeit a very small one) for at least a touch of envy. This is the concept known as “keeping up with the Joneses”, which is what drives the economy. There is nothing wrong with seeing someone else’s possessions, concluding that you would indeed find them good to own, and then seeking to acquire such possessions by legitimate means.

Of course, there are caveats. H. Beam Piper, in Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, had Status as one of modern society’s bad gods, and this can be seen as representing the desire to own things just to show off — a combination, generally, of envy and excessive pride. Even worse is the desire either to own someone else’s property (perhaps because that’s the only way you can afford it), or to destroy it so that they don’t have something you don’t.

This doesn’t just apply to possessions, either. One can envy someone else not only for having, say, a better (or just showier) car, or or having a better (or just showier) wife — or even simply being happier or richer or whatever. Much anti-Semitism is a resentment of Jewish success (which to me is simply an alien sentiment).

Whatever one may say of the role a very mild envy plays in driving up consumption (and thus the economy) for better or worse (there’s a reason conspicuous consumption is not considered praiseworthy), any time it gets beyond that level it can become extremely dangerous. Lust, avarice, and gluttony (and for that matter pride) are all desires for more of something that is basically good to have, and don’t necessarily involve harm to others. But envy of what others have all too easily leads to what Columbo referred to in one episode as “the oldest motive in the book” (adulterous desire in that case). Many a murder springs from envy, and a good bit of vandalism does as well.

— Timothy Lane writes from Louisville, Kentucky and publishes the FOSFAX fanzine. He envies NBC Mystery Movie characters.

 

BRAD NELSON

We’re now up to the sin of envy…which is really no longer a sin. They just call it “social justice.” If somebody has more than you do (never mind if someone worked his tail off for it), it’s considered unjust and in need of equalizing. The green-eyed covetous envy propelling this confiscation never has the spotlight shined on it. It just scurries around in the dark corners, unexamined — or laundered with such nice-sounding words as “equality.”

Well…we do shine the spotlight here, of course. I know from personal experience the bitterness of envy. There is always somebody more talented than you are (Glenn the Greater, for example) And, really, that’s never been my problem. I look at the successful and gain inspiration. I don’t envy them. This is perhaps because I also know that the more “stuff” you have, the more headaches you have as well. It may not be a picnic being poor, but don’t suppose “the rich” don’t suffer their share.

No, the kind of envy that has always gotten me is measuring myself by that milieu of muck we call “the culture at large.” A friend of mine says that the first mistake is to pick up the measuring rod in the first place. But we all do it. It’s unavoidable. And measuring ourselves by others isn’t all bad. If others are living a productive, happy life, then I really ought to try to measure up to them.

And in the day and age when this meant your heroes were of John Wayne caliber, no harm was done. But look at who and what our culture idolizes now. I won’t go into detail. You know. Everything from twerking teens to the celebration of Bruce Jenner’s mental maladies, we have set up the bizarre, the bad, and the just plain crazy as role models.

So putting down that measuring stick is now more important than ever. And that is not to say you’ll get any two-bit new-age fortune cookie wisdom from me that says that you therefore need to go out and find your “authentic self.” I don’t believe there is any such thing, per se. (Or, as Dennis Prager notes, your “authentic self” is the one who doesn’t shower. What could be more authentic then your natural oder?) We are all to a large extent a product of our culture. That is to say, who we are is very much a product of what other people are doing.

Still, what do you do if what other people are doing is crazy, stupid, vulgar, destructive, or all of the above? Then one must indeed go in search of something authentic while hopefully steering clear of the Deepak Chopra-ish fortune-cookie-fication of life.

Sin is sin and is unavoidable to some extent. But in this case we can use envy — noticing the presence of it — as a guide or a wake-up call. And if you think that the culture as it is is just spiff-o, then go back to Facebook and share cat stories or whatever. But if you have been consistently finding empty calories in aping the superficial, the popular, and the inane, then the envy that often propels us to do what everyone else is doing can be a light leading us out of the mindless milieu of muck.

— Brad Nelson is editor and publisher of StubbornThings.org. He is a sinner but assures you that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman…not a single time.”

 

ANNIEL

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS AS SET FORTH IN PROVERBS 6:16-19
#5. Feet That Be Swift In Running to Evil, KJV; Feet Quick to Run To Evil, TANAKH; Feet That Are Swift In Running to Mischief, Peshitta.

We live in a day of very swift and running feet. Mischief can be used to stir people up and leave them more vulnerable to actual evil. Never do the leaders let a crisis go to waste. And we also see that a crisis can easily be manufactured, if publicized quickly.

A cop has to shoot to preserve his own life? He’d better make certain his actions are righteous or he’ll be hanged, drawn and quartered. If he hesitates he’s probably dead. If he’s white he has no chance at all if the “victim” is black, the only ones with lives that matter. If he’s shot in the back pumping gas then he had other intentions and just shouldn’t have been there.

How many times has the ruinous regime in Washington, D.C. been “quick on the draw” about shootings, especially mass shootings? Not just quick, but wrong? Is that mischief, or is it evil? What other kinds of mischief are our supposed betters up to?

Scheming abounds as evil triumphs for awhile.

The Rules of the Deadly Sins

The Rule of the First Deadly Sin: By their haughty look ye shall know them.

The Rule of the Second Deadly Sin: The Lying Tongues blanket the whole
land in Deceit.

The Rule of the Third Deadly Sin: In all ages the blood of the innocent is
shed by those who want to sow discord among the people.

The Rule of the Fourth Deadly Sin: The Hearts and Minds of the Leaders
turn first to dreaming of, then planning and promoting evil.

The Rule of the Fifth Deadly Sin: The Feet of Makers of Mischief and Evil
run swiftly when opportunity arises.

— Anniel is a frequent contributor to StubbornThings.

 

DEANA CHADWELL

I’d like to make two points about this business of envy: that it is the original sin – literally (unless we start with arrogance) , and that it’s a progressive disease (pun free of charge).

Let’s look first at Lucifer, Son of the Morning, God’s favorite angel (think 4-winged, 4-faced, glorious creature) standing in the throne room of God. What does he want? What could he want? God’s favorite angel desires “to be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14). He envied the omnipotence, the omniscience, the sovereignty of God. That’s where all trouble starts. Now, think back on the Garden and that conversation Eve had with the serpent (i.e. Lucifer) and what does he promise Eve? He dangles in front of her a variation on his own temptation – that if she ate the fruit she would be as smart as God. That bite she took of the “apple” was the culmination of her sin of envy – she wanted what only God can have. Whether Satan put that idea in her head, or she was already stewing about it, we’ll never know.

When Cain and Abel set their sacrifices in front of God and God didn’t like Cain’s offering (it ignored the principle of sacrifice for salvation). Cain, instantly angry with both Abel and God, kills Abel. Here envy went from zero to sixty in a split second. Boom and the first murder happens, and all over the coveting of a gold star on a good-boy chart.

Now think about where most sins come from. If we steal, it is because we first coveted. If we kill, it is because envy drove us. If we commit adultery, it is because we lusted after someone else’s partner. If I bear false witness it is because I don’t want the subject of my lie to have the reputation he or she is enjoying. Same-sex marriage has reared its ugly head because gay people envied what straight people have.

This gets us to my second point – the stages of envy. This fungus in our souls has been there for so long that we barely notice it’s there, but we need to be reminded and to be on guard; it’s sneaky.

You see, first it just appears as admiration, appreciation of something that belongs to someone else – our neighbor’s house, his wife, his, car, his dog. If it stops there and doesn’t creep over into comparisons with what we have, we’ll be fine. I always call to mind G.K. Chesterton’s remark, “Comparisons are odious.” Most of the time this is true, and true because it so often leads to envy.

The next step is wanting to have a house-car-wife-dog like the neighbor’s, dreaming our way into a facsimile of our neighbor’s existence. Note that in doing so, we are slowly erasing the neighbor and placing ourselves in his place. It’s slight and subtle, but there.

But we feel OK about it because we just want something like the neighbor’s stuff. Soon, however, we will progress to the third stage of envy and want the very things themselves. It will no longer be enough to admire the man’s wife, to wish you had a wife as pretty-smart-talented as she is; soon you will be wanting the woman herself. The neighbor is fading further into the back of your brain.

Alas, though, she can’t be lured away from her husband; he’s not willing to sell you his house or car, and his dog (who knows full well what you really are) bites you every time you stop by. At this point a wise man would back off, take a cold shower and find something else to think about.

But, who’s wise? Very few of us. Most of us get mad, and some of us actually act out that rage. If we can’t have her, no one else should either. Now the wife is in danger; her house and car and dog aren’t long for this world either. Murder is made out of envy, and envy is made out of admiration that turned sour and self-centered.

Envy fuels most divorces, a large part of our politics, and most teenaged angst. (For over 20 years I guided high school kids through Shakespeare’s Othello, a play that spins in dizzying circles around jealousy. At one point Emelia, the villain Iago’s wife says, speaking of husbands in general, “Oh, they are never jealous for the cause./ They are jealous for they are jealous.” My students always got that – they navigated the envious halls of a high school and they knew plenty of people who would work themselves into jealous rages over nothing, just because they wanted to indulge in a good, miserable, ranting covet.

Yet, God gives us all that we need and all which we have the capacity to enjoy; anything more and we lose control and spin right back to wanting more, wanting what we can’t be trusted with, wanting that which already belongs to someone else and wanting it for no reason, thinking it should be ours just because we think it should be ours. No excuses or explanation possible. No my-mom-was mean melodrama, no I-was-drunk exemptions.

Now, swing back to where we started; Eve had no reason to be envious of God, either. He had given her everything; why would she want more? Because she could. Free will.

OK, OK, but why did Adam eat the apple? That’s another matter altogether.

— Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com and is a writing and speech professor at Pacific Bible College in Southern Oregon.

 

PAT TARZWELL

Envy

Well, here I am again, so far behind that I envy all of those who found time to write their piece And, no, I have not read any of them yet, so I am not tempted to use their ideas or steal what I am sure are far more well-written pieces.  See, there I go again envying everyone else’s skills.

Is envy always bad? Absolutely not!  I envy the talent of the other writers on this site, and it serves as motivation for me to keep trying and to work on improving my own skills.  That is a good aspect of envy.  Healthy comparisons to others or envy of their talents can motivate us to work harder, and to improve our own skills. We have plenty of bad examples of envy though.

This Leftists in our society seem to live on this one, both sides of the spectrum.  They have developed one part of their philosophy based on following the rule of this particular deadly sin (or at least a perverted following of it).  Here is how the Left does try to follow this idea in one sense.  For our children, they can say, competition is bad, competition breeds envy, no-one is better than another, do not envy those guys because they beat you and they say they are better than you, (even though they are), you are all winners, yeah mediocrity!

For our society to follow this form of non-envy is to destroy one of the main things that made this a nation great: competition.  The drive to be your best self is inherent in envy of others that beat you in the game of life.  Losers never get any better if they never feel the sting of losing.  And winners will not stay winners if they are never challenged. The desire to make one’s life better or the lives of our children better begins because we see what is possible in or for others. Envy, if you will, is one of the fundamentals to America’s success; as long as it is not perverted by the Leftist.

But wait, all is not lost for our Leftist countrymen; there is hope for the Left on the other side of the envy spectrum.  There will always be the rich, and this is where real individual envy becomes deadly.  As soon as their envy becomes covetousness, their goose is cooked. He does not deserve what he has!  Why should he have … (that big house, such a beautiful wife, that big bank account, those nice cars, those great kids… fill in the blank).  That kind will consume him.  His envy will cause him to become bitter and to devise all manner of ways to take what he thinks he is entitled to.

Envy is not just a sin of the Left (but it is a tool they wield so well and they do tend to pervert it more than we do).  We on the right do our own fair share of talking envy to an extreme.   Win at all cost for example, crush your competition, hits all sides, the left and the right; greed is not the only thing that drives the uber rich.  It may be what got them to a certain level, but their envy of the guys above them on the fortune 500 list, and their need to surpass them, becomes their reason for living.  Not that all the guys on that list are all on the right, they are not, but some are.

As long as there is evil in the world, men will be twisted by it.  Taking something that can be good, motivational, and enabling, and then turning it into a deadly sin.  So like all of these deadly sins, in moderation, it may not be bad, but taken to the extreme, it will take you down a road that will be the end of you.

See Also:
The Seven Deadly Sins: Lust
The Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony
The Seven Deadly Sins: Greed
The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride
The Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath • (1628 views)

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38 Responses to The Seven Deadly Sins: Envy

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Of course, the connection between envy and “social justice” is why I have commented that the Tenth Commandment (“You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s”) is one of the two main reasons liberals dislike the Ten Commandments. (The other is the Ninth, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Without smears and covetousness, liberal politics would disappear.)

    Dr. Watson observed in one of the Holmes stories (I think referring to one of the better Scotland Yarders, an admirer of Holmes) that mediocrity recognizes nothing better than itself, whereas the talented can appreciate greater talents.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      For every person I wish a warm bed, a hot meal, a roof over their head, family and friends who love them and whom they love, a fulfilling job, good health, and peace in their life. And there’s no reason that a good society can’t ameliorate some of the rough edges.

      I’m just saying that you can’t get that through envy even if you call it “social justice.” And as a Christian might say, thank God we don’t get the justice we often deserve.

  2. Rosalys says:

    “Without smears and covetousness, liberal politics would disappear.”

    As usual, leftists decide it is much more productive to change definitions than to change oneself.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There was a controversy a few years ago when a liberal Indianapolis church put up billboards claiming that the New Testament was pro-homosexual. Many religious people pointed out the errors (including sometime science fiction writer Marti Steussy of the Disciples of Christ, who once described herself as a Minnesota socialist). One noted that some people, when faced with how their behavior contradicted the Bible, would seek to change themselves; but others would seek to change their Bible.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        One noted that some people, when faced with how their behavior contradicted the Bible, would seek to change themselves; but others would seek to change their Bible.

        I think that’s the exact dynamic of it.

        What I most get out of that famous quote by Pascal (“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone”) is not the need for meditation, although perhaps he meant it that way. It’s that we need to work on our stuff instead of inflicting it on the world.

        Where does personality end and dysfunction start? What should be corrected and what is just the spice of diverse life? That’s a fuzzy line…as fuzzy as the line between what behavior should society accept and what should it not accept. And as you well know, society as a whole, as an organic uber-creature, is plagued by its own set of maladies — especially as the individual is dissolved within it.

        But one’s attitude should be to work on one’s own stuff instead of trying to “fundamentally transform” society to make our own afflictions seem normal. Perhaps that’s what “the plank in your own eye” is all about.

        Our minds have been trashed by the Big Three: Darwin, Freud, and Marx. And it is Freud who is particularly pertinent in that it is considered “repression” and psychologically unhealthy not to just let it “all hang out.” Well, just as shirts should be tucked in, so should a whole lot of other stuff.

        In the case of envy, a little introspection is required. If you so much like your neighbor’s fancy car that you want one for yourself, then work for it rather than trying to take your neighbor’s car via government (aka “eating the rich”).

        Socialism (even if called “social justice”) is poison. And Catholics, for one, have long lost site of this fact and it is probably why even now they have a Marxist pope, not a Christian one. Ideas matter.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Yes, the modern liberal notion is “If it feels good, do it.” There was a time when such notions were considered satanic (e.g., Aleister Crowley), but when the young radicals of the 60s took over liberalism, they refused to learn from whatever experience they had. (Which is why, today, they’re so eager to bring in Muslims who seek to destroy us precisely because they hate the moral corruption wrought by libertinism.)

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’ve just added Deana’s introduction to “Envy.” And it’s very much worth reading. She’ll be contributing an essay as well. She’ll also be scrubbing the windows of StubbornThings and any other tasks we can find for her.

    • Now, wait a minute there. Me? Scrub windows? 🙂

      • Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

        If you scrub windows like you write, then please visit.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        If this doesn’t cause any gender confusion, I can say that your enthusiasm for writing tickles me pink, Deana. And you seem ready to fill a task assigned to you. I won’t abuse your good-heartedness, although I may take advantage of it. 😀

        And if you don’t do windows, well, I have gutters that need cleaning. Many hands make for lighter work…or so it’s been said.

  4. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    Envy is a diabolical foe. Many sins are obvious and easily avoided by rational Christians, but envy is stealthy. For reasons I won’t bore you with, our family has been challenged by number six. For me, as a common tool of analysis, the clarifying insight into the challenge is to discern whether the situation involves a manifestation of Satan. Not in the sense wherein I’m Googling for an exorcist, but as in a layer of malevolent deceit that must be penetrated.

    Envy is a seductive false path and leads to angst and separation from truth. In its virulent form, it leads to destructive personality disorders such as narcissism and psychopathy, which certainly infect those who purport to lead our society. Only if we keep our own minds clear and focus on Christ’s teaching and example can we regain our national moral footing by more wisely choosing our representatives.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Deana’s essay has been added at the end. And it’s pretty good. I’m…errr…envious.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      She does a superb presentation of the stages of envy. However, I do think she exaggerates a bit in presenting envy as the sole cause for murder and even false accusations. It’s a frequent motive, but there can be others. I will also note that the first 2 original sinners she cites (Lucifer and Eve) were motivated by envy and pride in combination. But they do combine frequently.

  6. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I think that at a deep level, envy is the result of a feeling of inadequacy.

    If anyone has already written that, sorry for the tardy comment.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Deana wrote:

    The next step is wanting to have a house-car-wife-dog like the neighbor’s, dreaming our way into a facsimile of our neighbor’s existence. Note that in doing so, we are slowly erasing the neighbor and placing ourselves in his place. It’s slight and subtle, but there.

    Arguable much of our modern consumer culture is based on this — for good or ill.

    It’s interesting to consider Timothy’s point about whether or not envy is the sole (or primary, let’s say) cause of murder or false accusations. I think there is something to be said for calling at least some, if not many, criminal transactions what they are: a short-cut to gain and a disregard for the rights and property of others. This certainly could be fueled by envy, but people are bent in a myriad of ways.

    I find it also interesting to consider these sins from the perspective of intelligent design. We could no more see the color blue than feel envy if this capacity were not built into us from the get-go. So one must wonder also what the positive aspects of these sins are. Are they good things just carried to extreme as “compassion” can be (as, for instance, Europe self-destructs by welcoming invaders)?

    Our consumer culture may be the bane of us all, but there is an upside to keeping up with the Joneses. Man might live in squalor otherwise. No, there is more than material wealth to a good and happy life. And certainly “squalor” can be (probably is) more a moral factor than anything else (even dirt-poor farmers living in a one-room cabin could sweep their dirt floor clean).

    But we should be propelled to mimic the good results of others. It’s the means that differ and are decisive. Stealing is the bad means (whether by breaking-and-entering yourself or doing so via government as the middle-man). Working your keister off to buy that big-screen TV is the better way. And perhaps the ascetic would say the best thing is not to desire the TV in the first place and to raise the value on other, less material, aspects.

    Maybe admiration becomes what we call “envy” by degrees. I can admire Dr. Carson, for example. And I really ought to. But if I trash him simply because his mere existence points out the gap between his success and mine, then surely that is green and gangrenous envy in play. But at the end of the day, we’ll likely judge my behavior via my means. Do I bust my butt to get a medical degree or do I bad-mouth Dr. Carson as a psychological way to try to lift myself by lowering him?

    Our emotions/morals and our actions combine in such complex ways. I can foresee green envy being used either productively or immorally. We can, of course, simply define envy as that which leads to bad results. If a bad result, then ex post facto, you were being envious. If a good result, you were just using someone else as a positive role model for success. But I doubt it’s that simple.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That’s a good explanation at the end for the difference between a desire to emulate someone else’s success (including acquiring possessions of similar value and/or utility) and toxic envy.

      The reference to keeping a dirt floor clean reminds me of the haunting scene in the dust bowl sequence of the Centennial miniseries in which a women is driven berserk by seeing the dust blown in under the door as she’s trying to sweep the floor clean. She murders everyone in the family except the young son, off at a rodeo, who comes home to see how quickly triumph can turn to tragedy. (The scene comes from the book, but I don’t recall if Michener explained why she went berserk — and he could never match the visual power of the scene on TV.)

  8. Timothy Lane says:

    I just finished reading Dan Jones’s excellent The War of the Roses (a very fine sequel to his The Plantagenets), and there is a connection late in the book to this topic. Discussing the efforts to place Lambert Simnel (in the guise of Edward of Warwick) and Perkin Warbeck (in the guise of Richard of York, the younger of the Princes in the Tower) on the throne, he suggests that this was a result poisonous envy, especially by Margaret — the dowager duchess of Burgundy and daughter of Richard of York (the older) — even though her niece (Elizabeth of York) was married to Henry VII.

  9. Glenn Fairman says:

    I loved The Plantagenets…….

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’ve added Pat’s essay to the bunch. And, Pat, I must say that you have really brought an even-handedness to this topic. I think you’re spot-on and have noted what surely is the more productive aspect of envy. Well written. I envy your straightforward eloquence.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      A nice piece, based on the same principle several of us also used. I like his point that liberals believe that competition in any way leads to envy (even as they stoke it for other purposes). That ultimately leads to “Harrison Bergeron”.

      • pst4usa says:

        OK I will show my ignorance Timothy, who or what is Harrison Bergeron?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          “Harrison Bergeron” (which I believe is in the Bookshelf) is a short story by Kurt Vonnegut about the United States going all-in for equality in all respects. So people are handicapped down to the lowest level — the strong carrying heavy weight, the intelligent with earphones sending occasional signals to break up their thoughts, speech impediments for those who have no stammer or stutter, even a rubber ball on the nose of someone who’s too handsome/beautiful.

          • pst4usa says:

            Thank you again, I will have to look that one up. The real question is, are we there yet? Bruce Jenner is picked as women of the year by some less than intelligent magazine, Terrorism is caused by Gore-Bull warming, up is down and right is wrong. If we are not there yet, we sure are in the neighborhood.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Pat, you can read it online here: Harrison Bergeron

      • pst4usa says:

        And thank you for the complement Timothy.

    • pst4usa says:

      Thanks Brad, but I have to say, I just got finished reading the rest and I do “feel” envious of the fine writings that proceeded me. I would have to say that Deana’s take on the topic most resonated with me, but they were all very well done.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yes, Deana had a nice take. If I were a Koch Brother, I’d pay her for her pieces. As it is, I’m on the other end of things…begging for contributions. (But not from you, buddy, this site’s official Koch Brother. You’ve given enough for now. I’ll hit you up later when daddy needs a new set of servers or something.)

        • pst4usa says:

          I am going to give up for a while, my computer is just giving me fits. I think a severe brown out we have last week may have damaged our fire wall or something. Or it may be me that needs a new server.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            The power surges and brown-outs killed one of my Ethernet hubs. I bought a new one at Amazon and all seems to be working well again.

            By the way, my consulting fees for tracking down computer problems are very reasonable. It will only cost you a pizza.

            • pat4usa says:

              Fair enough, one pizza it is. I had started down a road in my post, which I deleted in the end because if got too long, that tried to tie envy into the atheist philosophy. Why do Atheist envy religious people so much? How can some atheist get so wound up over something they deny exist?

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Why do Atheist envy religious people so much? How can some atheist get so wound up over something they deny exist?

                Pat, that’s a great line of inquiry. And I have the answer to that (just as you do): Those whose lives are not at peace, where turmoil is their ground, and angst is their idol, cannot stand it that there are people who believe there is more to life then their genitals, their pot, or their politics.

                People who are irreligious tend to be stuck proving every day that their scuzzy behavior is normal. Not all atheists are that bad. But atheism itself is inglorious. It’s the glorification, if you will, of the unholy. And anyone who thinks there are holy things, that there is more to life than their genitals, their pot, or their politics, must be mocked. It’s a form of whistling past the graveyard.

                And I know this well because I haven’t always been of the same super-duper wise mindset I have now. I’ve made many mistakes. And I think I understand the atheists better than they do themselves, just as most conservatives understand liberals better than they do themselves. Atheism is pissing into the stream of life and calling that good (thus that famous sculpture in Germany glorifying a woman policeman who is squatting over a puddle of her urine). Christians, on the other hand, have a hankering for the source of living water.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                How can some atheist get so wound up over something they deny exist?

                Misery loves company!

  11. Timothy Lane says:

    I was just listening to Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and noticed that at one point the prisoner-narrator, admitting that he deserves to be in jail, says that what really tortures him is that the people on the train outside the prison — unlike him — are moving around instead of stuck in one place. It’s interesting, and I don’t know if Cash (who did a fair amount of religious-oriented music — I also like his “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, which is playing right at this moment, and he did others as well) meant this specifically. But note that the prisoner is tortured not so much by his lack of freedom but by others’ possession of it. Perhaps it’s natural that someone who belongs in prison would be so heavily driven by envy.

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