Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Deadly Sins, Cardinal Virtues, and Congress


One of my favorite movies is the very dark thriller "Se7en" (or "Seven," to use the actual orthography*), in which detectives Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt chased a killer who was murdering people guilty of the seven deadly sins. It was the film that contained the wonderful line (concerning one of the murder victims): "He's experienced about as much pain and suffering as anyone I've encountered, give or take, and he still has Hell to look forward to."

Wow.

Anyhow, I've written about the Seven Deadly Sins a few times before, most recently in September of 2010, where I discussed the traditional Seven Deadly Sins (Wrath, Greed, Pride, Sloth, Envy, Lust, and Gluttony), the Vatican's updated list** thereof (Polluting, Genetic Engineering, Being Obscenely Rich, Drug Dealing, Abortion, Pedophilia, and Causing Social Injustice), and the list of traditionally positive traits which can become evil when abused (Truth, Beauty, Love, Loyalty, Tolerance, Self-Confidence, and Faith). Depressing stuff.

But there are also, I have learned, the Seven Cardinal Virtues***, which oppose the traditional Seven Deadly Sins. The paired list is:

Humility, which opposes Pride;

Generosity, which opposes Greed;

Chastity, which opposes Lust;

Meekness, which opposes Wrath;

Temperance, which opposes Gluttony;

Brotherly Love, which opposes Envy; and,

Diligence, which opposes Sloth.

It occurs to me that, while the Seven Deadly Sins are in frequent and obvious evidence in Congress, the Seven Cardinal Virtues certainly aren't ... particularly diligence (what have our elected reprehensives actually accomplished lately?), generosity (can you spell GOP?), and humility (Darrell Issa and Ted Cruz are exhibits A and B).

Sins and virtues. Would that we could expect our elected officials to minimize the first and emphasize the second. Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.

And neither should you.

Have a good day. Be virtuous. More thoughts later.

Bilbo

P.S. - My next post will be this week's Cartoon Saturday, which is already prepared and scheduled to be automatically posted on Saturday. Agnes and I will be traveling to Pittsburgh for a family reunion over the holiday weekend, and I don't expect to have time to write the usual post on Thursday. For pictures and stories about the weekend, check back on Monday or Tuesday. I'll be back.

B.

* No, Mike, "orthography" doesn't mean "the art of writing about weed and pest control."

** I wonder if Pope Francis will be addressing this list ... he seems like the pope in recent history most likely to do so.

*** Cardinal Virtues don't always seem to apply to cardinals, particularly in the Roman Curia.

6 comments:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Congress is definitely virtue-deficient and sinful; but they were elected by us voters and, ultimately, we need to take responsibility for them. Throw the obvious bums out; and serve notice on the rest that we're tired of their sloth, envy, wrath, lust, pride. The can enjoy gluttony to their heart's content.

John Hill said...

Enjoy the holiday with your family!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Have a great Fourth!

It seems to me that one of the deadly sins of Congress was left out: Acting Like a Dick!

Mike said...

Sure, you tell me what "orthography" isn't but I still have to go look it up.

Duckbutt said...

Congresspersons are sometimes lacking in moral fiber at all -- even simple civility.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Enjoy your holiday :)