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Sunday December 10th 2017Tim Candler9

 

      Saint Augustine of Hippo, when he was a young lad, stole fruit from a neighbor. Not because he was hungry, but because it was forbidden. This for him was a big moment which for the remainder of his 76 years upon earth informed his thinking around the big questions. He realized that he had enjoyed stealing the fruit and he concluded that because stealing fruit gave him a thrill he was obviously flawed, there was something seriously wrong with him, and it wasn't really his fault that he'd got all excited about stealing fruit, he just couldn't help himself which meant something else, something much more profound was happening. For the curious Augustine was a high born male Roman citizen of the 4th Century and back then in the waning days of the Roman Empire kleptomania was more of a moving feast than it was an unfortunate clinical condition.

 

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     There will of course be debate about the accuracy of my claim to an understanding of one of the founding minds of Western Civilization, yet more often than not it's the simple things that become complicated, the point being that between Augustine's idea of Original Sin and Augustine's idea of the Grace of God there is no clear straight line this side of blind faith, so it's down to the political operatives to invent the narrative. And if you think God doesn't use focus groups you need help, which is why Saint Thomas Aquinas produced the brilliant idea of a corporeal hell, an actual place, so that upright, gentle and simple people like me who don't get out much can feel better about what happens to a Chipmunk who steals a Cherry Tomato. Like Corporations, politicians who wear cowboy hats and advertizing agencies, on judgment day they go straight to a fiery hell my friends.

 

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