Friday, March 09, 2007
I'd Totally Bang Satan
It's true: I have a thing for Satan. Blame it on my up-bringing in an Evangelical Christian home, but I just think he's dreamy. Blake and Shelley thought so too, thanks to Milton's "Paradise Lost." He was the proto-Romanticist, the pre-Byron Byron. (I actually think Byron was a bit of a hack, but that's for another post.) Because of this, I find most things pertaining to Lucifer, that don't involve blood letting or Hot Topic, to be fairly fascinating, and so I was well pleased to discover something new about my favorite Fallen One while watching The Power of Myth.
Here's the little tidbit: One of the differences between Christianity and Islam is their reasons for why Lucifer was cast of out heaven. Both agree it happened after a war in which the angelic hosts chose sides and warred, but it's Lucifer's reasons for rebellion that differ. God created his chorus of angels and told them that they would worship none other than him. Check. Then, he created man, and told the angels that they would serve man, and bow to him. Lucifer refused. Check.
The Christians believe that Lucifer refused because of his ego, that he could not stand to put man above him, no matter if his God decreed it, and for his pride he was banished. The Muslims believe that Lucifer couldn't bow to man because his love for God was so consuming, so powerful, that he could not bear to bend to beings so decidedly below the Creator. He loved God so much, he was willing to be banished to hell for rather than give that love up. The Muslims teach that hell is the absence of God, who is love, and so to survive, Satan (stripped of his original name) clings to the mere echoes of God's voice as he condemns his once beloved son to eternity in hell.
Of course, this is all more interesting if you spend half that paragragh misreading it as about why Santana was cast out of paradise.
I was thinking about this difference this morning, and was struck by how emotional, how poetic, this take on the Fall is. It's certainly more bitter sweet than "Satan was a jackass who wouldn't suck up." But in view of how desperately people are trying to understand the mind frame of fanatical Muslims who are willing to blow themselves up for their beliefs (a sect that does not represent Islam as a whole), this could be something that is illuminating. If one believes in this largely sympathetic depiction of Satan, it's an affirmation of sacrifice at the cost of that which you're sacrificing for (Lucifier loved God so much, he gave him up to sustain that love - like that shitty cliche, "If you love something, let it go.") So if:
(Self-Sacrifice) - (God) = Good / Poetic
then it follows that
(Self Sacrifice) + God + Virgins = Having Your Cake and Eating It Too
So, for the record, Satan is still hot, I'm still creeped out by organized religion, and blogs are not the place to pontificate about Muslim Extremism.
Maybe I should go back to NOT posting.