Friday, May 23, 2014

"In the winds that would blow then"

In a powerful scene from A Man For All Seasons, Thomas More rebukes William Roper for his blind eagerness to cut down all law in order to stop the devil. Roper does not see that in doing so, he would be doing the very work of the devil himself in causing social and moral chaos. Further, Roper doesn't realize his own weakness; he believes that he possesses the internal strength to face the devil directly. More questions:
Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
Consider that there are other winds and other things that we use to protect ourselves from those winds. Consider, for example, the winds of our own weakness, the weakness that Roper was blind to. What have we planted thick with in order to keep ourselves from feeling those winds? Perhaps we're afraid to face them when we know that we should. Perhaps, knowing that we could not stand up to those winds, we fear them and hide behind distractions. What would we do if those distractions were gone? Like the Joker from The Dark Knight, who says, "I'm a dog chasing cars... I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! I just do things." We wouldn't know what to do with ourselves either if we had to face the truth of sin directly. So we distract ourselves.

Now, realize that someday all of those distractions will end permanently. You will have none of them whether you like it or not. And what winds will be blowing then?

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