What should we do with Occam's Razor? Cut the Gordian Knot ... or our own throats? Now we can do the "To Be, Or Not To Be" two-step all day long but by the time the clock tolls the Midnight of the Soul ... what are we going to do? Do we snuff it and light out for the undiscovered country or do we take back the one we live in?
I was in my twenties when I stopped tying my shoes and bought boots and sandals. I discovered that if I bent down to tie my shoes when I had a really bad hangover my head would explode. The solution was different footwear ... not abstinence.
I jettisoned God in the first few seconds after receiving my first Holy Communion when I was seven years old. The delusional nuns and priests had led me to believe that I was going to be filled with Jesus Christ the moment the wafer touched my tongue.
I waited. No heavenly flash-bang. So I chewed up the Body of Christ and swallowed him. Maybe He had to hit the stomach before He made His presence known. Nope. Not a peep from the Son of God. Not only that ... He didn't even taste good. In fact ... He didn't taste like anything. A Necco wafer had more going for it than the King of Kings. So my first realization was that Jesus tasted kind of blah ... and my second realization was that I had memorized a ton of nonsense for nothing. I had to take catechism classes and after those were done, I had to go into the confessional closet and confess my sins to Father Powers. How many sins would a seven year old have committed? I was on the spot and had to think fast. Just what the hell had I done? I've never really been very good at extemporaneous speaking. I stumbled and mumbled until the priest finally got tired of my litany of kiddy-krimes and gave me what turned out to be the typical penance of 5 and 5 with a bump.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
I went through all that just to find out that Andy Griffith was right. A Ritz cracker is better than a mouthful of Jeebus any day.
I went to Catholic schools for 12 years. Every history book we studied should have been titled, "Something in this Book Might be True." As it turned out ... they got the dates right ... most of the time. Everything else was junk.
Now when it comes to defining sins the Catholic Church arguably knows no equal. It's a sin to even be close to a sin because of the gravitational pull of an "occasion of sin." For example: take one 13-year-old boy, add an "occasion of sin," in this case a Playboy magazine, and before you know it there are sins all over the place. Mortal sins. The sins that are an express train to Hell unless you can get thee to a confessional. And if you can't ... well ... as my fourth grade teacher, Sister Mary Insanity used to intone, "Woe Betide You!"
But I digress ...
One thing I did take away from my upbringing was knowing the difference between a sin of commission and a sin of omission. A bad thing a person does, and things a person doesn't do so Bad Things Happen. If you add up all the important stuff left out of our school books, you'll end up with more sins of omission than Hugh Hefner could count if he lived to be 86. Oh wait ...
While we're waiting for our biosphere to be completely poisoned, The Dominant Culture is busy draining the 99% for the benefit of the toppermont of the poppermost. The LIBOR scandal is just another aspect of the Dominant Culture's MO. And Matt Taibbi wonders why Americans aren't outraged by it.