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Saturday, June 16, 2007 

The First Commandment, Comic Book Shops, And Sin

From the Small Catechism:

As the head of the family should teach them in a simple way to his household.

The First Commandment.

Thou shalt have no other gods.

What does this mean?--Answer.
We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Why bring this up? Well, last weekend my wife and I went to the local art museum to see an Egyptian exhibit that focused on, imagine this, tombs. I really had no desire to leave the house on a perfectly good Saturday being content to get caught up on some reading and all. But the missus want to see the exhibit because she like all things Egyptian and she assumed that maybe a DHD might even be on view. It wasn’t but the exhibit was ok without it. I’ve seen better exhibits but I thought it passable. And it was also good for the museum to see a bunch of slack jawed yokels walk around looking a public monies being spent. Everyone benefited.

After the exhibit the missus wanted to get some ice cream and what the missus wants she normally gets. So we went to a local Ben and Jerry’s and paid eight dollars for four scoops of ice cream. I cringed while handing over the cash as I know the local megastore only would charge me two dollars. One has to wonder if the megastores are really as evil as everyone charges. I'm suspecting they are not.

Anyhoo, it just so happens that the local comic book shop was less than a mile away and I thought I would save myself a trip the following week and drop in. That’s where it all went down, bad.

We walked in and briefly looked around at the table with Wednesday’s offerings (comic books always come out on Wednesday) and there really wasn’t a lot that caught my eye. But apparently, we caught everyone else’s eye. Even my wife noticed that it was noisy when we first walked in and then it got quiet, really, really quiet. So what was wrong?

I walked in with my wife, that’s what was wrong! I broke norms and I caused others to sin. Every fanboy knows that you don’t bring a date to a comic book shop! What was I thinking? The reason it got so quiet in there is that no longer were the customers (all male, imagine that!) looking for cool stuff, they were looking at my wife. They were breaking at least the tenth commandment which is explained this way:

The Tenth Commandment.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his.
What does this mean?--Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice away our neighbor's wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and [diligently] do their duty.

Was that the worst thing going on, comic book geeks like myself ogling my cute wife? No! You would have had to be there to properly understand what was happening but they were looking at me differently as well. The customers were clearly confused and thinking to themselves “this guy walks in with a date so he’s not one of us. And yet he’s talking smack about Joe Quesada (EIC at Marvel Comics) so he must be one of us. Maybe he is the promised one who will show us how spend all our time reading comic books, playing Halo3 and talk to real girls? Maybe he is the chosen one!”
At the end of the day I realized the real sin was mine. I should have immediately demanded that they stop prostrating themselves and stand upright like men for crying out loud! But that’s not what I said and for that reason the sin is mine.

I allowed myself looked upon as something I wasn’t. We all want to be perceived as important or puffed up one way or another. When we decide that we know more than we really do we make ourselves out to be gods. We like to think that the Mormons and other sects have that little market cornered, but they don’t. Everyone likes to say we make money or “things” gods, but we all, because we are poor miserable sinners, often elevate ourselves to god-like status. Those who say they don’t haven’t seen a mirror in a while.

Adam’s sin wasn’t as my pastor is fond of reminding people a fall at all as many like to refer to it. Adam’s sin was an upward overreaching because he wanted to be like God. Just like Adam, I wanted the limelight and the attention that came with it.

I know that the self appointed saints of sanctification will probably have a field day with this one but who cares. I sin daily and I know it. That is why every time I make the sign of the cross I force myself to remember that Christ has made me his own in the waters of Holy Baptism. That is why every time I look at the corpus on the cross I’m reminded of the price of my sinful nature.

So I’ll repent and go back to trying to figure out this convoluted mess that is Countdown which I picked up last weekend. Hmm, why the heck would Jimmy Olsen have powers and where is Ray Palmer for crying out loud?

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Often we tell people that money can become our god but forget to leave out that we fail to keep the First Commandment (and every other commandment) in every way. You make a good point that in many ways we, because of our sinful nature, we want to be God. but your Mormon analogy falls a little short because they believe if they live a good life the will become gods. They don't think they're gods yet. Just a clarification.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
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