Friday, February 4, 2011

Selling Indulgences

Mike Vanderboegh has a posting entitled "Courage is fear that has said its prayers". The quote is from Dorothy Bernard (the author not the actress). Normally I wouldn't pay much attention to it since Mike V is a later-in-life convert and has the "zeal of the converted" typical of that breed. However the following anonymous comment grabbed my attention.
Never was big on praying. Every battle I was in I was scared spitless and I am pretty sure everybody else was too. Some guys prayed. Some guys prayed a lot. Maybe it helped them. Me, I used what time I had to keep my equipment in good repair. I'm sure that helped me.

I guess courage to me is my mind telling there is something I have to do that is more important than being scared.
John Wayne is quoted as saying that, "Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." Courage is a choice a man makes to resist his fear and to master it. Some men pray to their imaginary friend(s) as a means of achieving that; others don't. Courage is something a man has not something he is given and how he finds it is less important that the fact he did.

Then another anonymous poster responds
@ Anonymous 8:38

I'm sure those around you that prayed also prayed for you. So don't pat yourself on the back too hard.
What a load of condescending horseshit. Since when are the Christian rituals so vital that it is not possible the original poster found his personal courage without them? Sounds like the second poster is claiming the first would have been paralyzed by fear if others hadn't been praying for him.

OK, Christianity is grounded in the concept of substitutionary atonement. However, I always thought that was because their God was nailed to a dead tree as payment-in-full for all sins, past and future, in a kind of a celestial welfare state. The above sounds closer to the selling of indulgences.

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