Slavery is good.
Slavery is good?
What do we think of that statement? Hopefully, we find it distasteful.
We rightly associate slavery and bondage with a lack of freedom, and to most of us freedom is king. Freedom and choice are among our most prized possessions.
Some of you have literally been enslaved by another human, or are not separated from many generations of a heritage of human slavery. More of us have willingly chained ourselves to something that ended up making a slave out of us. Our muse became a chain that entangled every part of our body so that we only moved when this “other” pulled on us.
The “other” can take many forms. We may immediately think of those dependent upon heroin, crack, meth, alcohol or another insidious substance that we initially viewed as a blessing and escape, but which only ended in an abusive relationship. We may think of a sexual slavery — not the “supply side” of enslaved girls and boys that The Blind Project normally deals with — but the “demand side” of this vile equation. The “demand side” is fueled by the man ensnared and driven by lust, selfishness, and pride and goes to any level to violate man’s laws, God’s laws, and almost all moral codes.
Sexual slavery from the man’s perspective is not new and it is not uncommon. Leonard Cohen’s clarion hymn “Halleluiah” tells the story of a man who wants. The man in the song wants “love,” I would guess. The struggle for him is to know how that love should manifest itself, and in the song it comes in the form of sexual relationships. This sexual fulfillment is fleeting and the subject hopes his longing for touch doesn’t doom his soul to nothingness or separation from love … the very thing he was chasing.
His words, “I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch,” are telling and anyone who has pursued love but ended up with a substitute can relate, whether that substitute was sex, booze, shopping, porn, chocolate cake (not a metaphor … I really mean chocolate cake … the layered kind with great icing) or some equally non-satiating thing or substance.
Recently, two men I looked up to as being better, advanced and even as spiritual mentors, chose what was to them freedom but, like this fallible non-hero in Cohen’s song, actually became enslaved. For one of these men, he will most likely live out the rest of his life locked away. The other man lost the organization he worked so hard to create and has been reduced to an invalid, former-champion for this cause we fight against.
In C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, a book that imagines the ways an older demon might mentor a junior devil-in-training, Lewis has Screwtape (the mentor) say this about the idea of choosing a “false” freedom that will end in the loss of real freedom:
“We [devils] want cattle who can finally become food; He [God] wants servants who can finally become sons.”
Slavery is good, if in fact you submit to the proper thing. This is merely the idea of discipline and what Paul the Apostle promotes as being a “slave to righteousness” in 1 Corinthians 9: 26, 27.
So what is our goal? I suggest it is to offer more than a “cold and broken Hallelujah.” Many men, much better and more disciplined than myself have had this goal and only offered a broken Hallelujah, but we still must try. We must persevere. And how do we persevere? We just do. We keep walking. We keep getting up after we fall down. We take one more step because, as C. S. Lewis’s senior devil says in The Screwtape Letters,
Author’s note: This essay is written from a Christian’s view. While I represent The Blind Project as Faith-based Liaison, I do not necessarily represent the beliefs of other TBP members or supporters. In short, if you are an atheist, a Buddhist, Muslim, or a humanist, we can still hang out, talk, eat, have a beverage or six and talk about music we both like. (Unless you like Ke$ha, then all bets are off)
“Our [evil] cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s [God’s] will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”
Image created by photo from Amodiovalerio Verde
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