Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I prefer an interesting vice to a virtue that bores.
- Moliere, playwright
I think that I am in general agreement with Moliere. With a certain caveat. I would say that “virtue” is not intrinsically boring. I have met some virtuous people who were not ….. boring. Very few. But some. Interesting is an interesting adjective. One can be interested in lots of things without necessarily liking them or “approving” of them. Including Vice.
I have met many people who consider themselves virtuous. Unfortunately they are often also judgmental, priggish, condescending, high-and-mighty, wedded to stereotypes, fanatics, and emotionally and in many other ways stunted, sometimes by choice, sometimes by their unexamined upbringing or their unexamined fears. My sense is that while Jesus tried to “enlighten” a lot of the boringly virtuous of His time, He seemed to prefer the company of those with interesting vices. I suspect He found realism more interesting than self-deception - and more open to “revelation” about themselves and about God and about the human heart.
Much “religion” in our World today suffers from boring virtuosity. Which sets human beings against each other. And which, more importantly, puts it totally out of touch with the understanding that most of us are transfigured into human beauty and sympathy not by condemnation, but by acceptance and Love.
Guess God got it right, eh?