Monday, January 19, 2009
Every year around New Year's Day the Sci-Fi channel broadcasts a Twilight Zone marathon. One of the episodes they aired this year caught my attention and it got me thinking. In The Howling Man an American becomes lost while on a walking trip through post-World War I Europe and seeks shelter from the rain in a nearby castle. The castle is inhabited by a religious order that has literally imprisoned the Devil. David Ellington, the American, believing that the order has imprisoned an innocent man inadvertently releases the Devil upon the world. During the Devil's imprisonment the world experienced 5 years of peace but shortly after his release Ellington spent years hunting him down through World War II, the Korean War, and the development of nuclear weapons. This all takes place in a flashback as Ellington is explaining to the hotel maid not to release the Devil from his room. The episode wouldn't be the Twilight Zone without its signature twist and so the curious woman releases the Devil once again upon the world.
How much of the world's pain and suffering do we attribute to something else other than ourselves? Was hurricane Katrina actually sent by God as a punishment against the modern day Sodom, New Orleans? Some would say yes, yes indeed. Having a supernatural excuse does seem handy for those that want to impose their religious view on others but it also gives them a clear conscience.
"God will destroy the homosexuals because of their sinful nature! They must repent or face destruction!" We don't have to feel guilty for those that bring the wrath of God upon themselves. Even saying that their lifestyle is acceptable or supporting their movement (and also supporting companies that supports them) puts us in danger of God's wrath.
Does this bring us any closer to God? If we hide behind the supernatural as a moral shield will we ever learn to take responsibilities for our own actions?
Drawing strength and depending on God, for those that believe in Him, is one thing shifting responsibility upon the Divine is another. We can not grow as individuals, as a global community, and as a species without learning from the harm we personally cause. Things we can not cause, like the weather, is not our fault but those caught in Nature's path are still our concern. There is suffering that we bring upon ourselves and there is inevitable suffering due to our mortal existence. If we mold and shape our destructive attitude into a constructive one we wouldn't need to "blame it on the rain". We would understand and try to alleviate natural suffering of our fellow Man. If we could grasp at least this much we could spend our resources and time on nobler causes instead of chasing our own demons.