Lead Us Not

The media love the story of the fallen. Sometimes even those in religious institutions secretly delight in seeing the foibles of their infallible leaders. Part of the problem is that many clergy (but by no means all) place themselves on a moral precipice impossible to reach by mere mortal standards. So the Associated Press carries the story of a Neptune, New Jersey pastor who’s taking a sabbatical. What makes this leave noteworthy is that Pastor Miller railed against his flock using Facebook, arguing that it leads to adultery. So far, so good. This is standard pastor-babble. The problem is a decade ago the good reverend was involved in a ménage à trois, thereby predating even Facebook and still finding access to adultery. The response of Living Word Christian Fellowship Church: take some time off.

The real problem, the Republican symbol in the room, is that human nature likes to place the blame elsewhere. “The Devil made me do it,” was the 1970’s version (thanks, Flip!). Many religions, uncomfortable with the implications of humanity’s evolution, have devised means of shifting the blame. Augustine gave us “original sin,” suggesting that the true blame went back to our first biblical ancestors and forever made sex dirty. Somebody else must take the fall, as the Neptune preacher has discovered. The words of another famous New Jerseyan capture the sense exactly: “Now he walks these empty rooms looking for something to blame, if you inherit the sins you inherit the flames. Adam raised a Cain.”

Coming to grips with being human may be the greatest challenge bestowed by consciousness. There are primate survival strategies inherent in shifting the blame. Where evolution is disallowed, supernatural agency – even Facebook – is placed in the dock. Facebook may encourage the wasting of time on trite sentiments endlessly repeated across this universe we call the Internet, but it can hardly be blamed for adultery. For that, the beast is within. And those who place themselves on pedestals have a great distance to fall.

Lead us not into Facebook...

2 thoughts on “Lead Us Not

  1. Lemme see, trowelling facebook to meet someone local enough to commit physical adultery is of course facebooks fault.

    This of course means that shopping aisles, associations, churches and workplaces should all be considered enough motive for adultery as well.

    I think you are right Steve, someone has their head screwed on the exact right way to know opportunity and how it could be used.

    Practice indeed makes perfect.

    Please leave my lunch clubs and dinner parties out of this tawdry business! Truth be known, sweating it out over a stove leaves one just a tad odifereous. Should you be inclined to adulterate the guests, dont go crazy on deepfries and seafood. I know, my son is a chef and he reeks when he gets in the car at the end of a shift.

    Like

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