It’s a true statement of course. No one can dispute it.
Well, actually I can dispute it. Technology gets better. Although it would be fun to own a wind-up Victrola, I would probably put a house plant in it. I can watch Charlie Chaplin movies at home in my pigsty and, because of digital restoration, they look as fresh and clean as they did in 1925.
Oh. And I’m not dead yet! (you may find this hard to believe). I had rheumatic fever when I was a kid and if Penicillin hadn’t been invented, I would have died. But it was, and I lived. Yippee! But I got a severe heart murmur out of the deal and by the time I was thirty I needed open heart surgery to fix it. But, guess what? Somebody had figured out how to do it.
So I got to keep living and beget and raise my beautiful dear daughters. So medicine got better.
What about poverty? To quote Jesus out of context like everybody else does, “The poor will always be with us.” And, guess what? He was right. I will even go out on a limb and suggest the human race as a whole is poorer and needier than it was two hundred years ago. Check it out in the Department of Boring Statistics.
What about child murderers? Well, who can know? People never talked about horror in the old days. But I read a theory once that the werewolf legend evolved from actual medieval child killers in the peasant villages of France. Or what about that count in medieval times who lured little kids to his castle so he could do unspeakable things to them?
What about me? How come I have to have a moral struggle with myself every time I hand out the pie? How about you? How come you still want to sneak off with the biggest bowl of chocolate pudding? You’re a grownup! You should know better! Even if you don’t actually sneak off with it.
When I was six I didn’t have a moral struggle about it. I just lined up all the chocolate pudding bowls on the counter, decided which one had the most pudding in it, and served that one to ME.
I have been reading Evil and the Justice of God. Author N.T. Wright suggests there is at least one thing postmodernism and Christian theology have in common. Both agree there is something wrong with humans and it isn’t going to change.
Postmoderns say we’re not going to change for the better because we can’t. We have no moral center, and we can’t have one. Hey babe, you just a bag of swirling emotions. “I” is an illusion. So you’re not around to take responsibility for your actions, and you grab for what you want. Maybe ALL the chocolate pudding! (Somebody who has studied postmodern thought please write in and improve this.)
Christians call it “The Fall”. The idea that there is a deep and fatal flaw in us all that will prevent our world from ever really getting better. Because we have a deep desire to grab what we want and never think what it’s like to go to bed without any chocolate pudding. Who cares? Get out of here, kid, before I take your strawberry Jello too! Hah! Little shit!
Here’s what the Pondering Pig thinks: Thomas Jefferson was right. The price of anything ever getting better for more than a minute is eternal vigilance. Do I have to spell it out?
Labels: Simple Justice