For the last couple of weeks or so, Dylan seems to have discovered this new toy he always had on him. While he has his baths, he often plays with this new toy of his.
Normally, this wouldn't be something people talk about or mention. I, however, do not see much point in such an attitude; on the contrary, I think that hiding such behavior, especially when it is obviously very innocent behavior, could lead to significant issues with one's personality.
Allow me to put it this way: If you play with your toy, that means you're human. If it wasn't for your ancestors playing with their toys with much delight, your existence here today would be very much in doubt: others who did play would stand a much bigger chance of generating offspring, and when you multiply the probabilities by thousands of generations it quickly becomes obvious that it is the players that had to survive.
Today we went out with friends to Frankston's beach promenade. Normally, Frankston would not be an area we would be visiting, but they're having this sandcastle exhibition there and we thought it would be a nice baby excursion.
Next to the sandcastle thing there was some live music. Jo was wondering how come they have music on Easter (and Good Friday for that matter), but a closer inspection revealed that it was some sort of a Christian music affair - they had this huge Jesus thing at the center of the stage.
Anyway, while walking on the pier I was handed this leaflet by one of those Jesus campers, which basically tells me that unless I stop sinning I will find myself in an eternity of hell. It was like something taken out of a Richard Dawkins documentary, and the first time we have encountered Christian evangelists of the lowest grade live in Australia; Jo was noting how sad it is that proper Christian values are ignored and instead they're trying to buy people with fear.
As I said before in this blog, I don't think too highly of the good old Christian values to begin with; some of them are nice, to one extent or another, but they're quite unrealistic and impractical. I also don't think the image of Jesus as this purer than pure character is a valid one, for various reasons including that he was still a proud Jew that, like most other Jews, thought the more noble of rules are to apply to Jews alone (as in "thou shall not kill" really meaning "thou shall not kill a Jew", otherwise wars with other nations could never be fought). That, however, is irrelevant; Jesus was still a major personality given the context of his time.
The reason why I'm mentioning all of this is that this "be nice to god or go to hell" brochure we got quotes Jesus as saying "Whoever looks at a woman to lust after her committed adultery with her in his heart". What is wrong with this statement? Lots.
First of all, let's not forget that the chances of Jesus actually saying these words are quite low. All of the Bible books involving Jesus were written long after his death and were second hand accounts of his adventures to begin with. To think about it in modern terms, the books about Jesus would be the equivalent of someone starting to write a book about Hitler today with nothing but hearsay to do the work with.
Second, and more to the point, Jesus' words make us all sinners. Obviously, that's the intention - to make us feel guilty. But should we, really, feel guilty for something that is really and purely natural? We are all of us designed to feel lust given the right stimulation; as I said above, if our ancestors didn't feel this way they wouldn't have had their offspring that led, eventually, to us being here. The same applies to Jesus himself: even if you really go for the son of god bullshit, his mother wouldn't have been here without some lust in the air. Besides, if you take that lust away, half of the world's advertising industry would die... Come to think of it, half the economy would die, simply because sex is one of our deepest urges and therefore one of our primary motivations to go out and do/consume stuff. The fact is that our brains are designed to be triggered by good looking women; a responsible guy should be tested on his actions, not his thoughts. As Dylan demonstrates while playing with his new toy, looking at women with lust means that you're a human.
By the way, I have a third problem with Jesus' words: What about women that look at men? And, for that matter, what about men that look at men? Or are all Christian fundamentalist women immune of any sexual tendencies while Christian fundamentalist gays simply don't exist?