Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Evil in a Deck of Cards I

Scott Bradley


I once witnessed a freshly repentant backslidden Christian became all worked up as he proclaimed the evil inherent in a deck of cards. My memory is vague as to the details, since I was too amazed at the time to take it all in, but it went something like this: "The king is God, the queen is Mary, and the joker is Jesus!"

This obviously left a deep impression on me (it was in 1970, in a hooch on LZ Grant, Vietnam; the Christian was a member of The Church of God of Prophecy and Signs that Follow, the ones who play with poisonous snakes). For me, a deck of cards is just a deck of cards. For him it was evil incarnate. Where did this sense of evil come from? It came from himself. He made it up. Why would he do that? Perhaps getting righteously worked up made him feel better; identifying and renouncing this evil, he was able to see himself making a move toward righteousness. This may be saying way too much; how could I know what motivated him? All that was sure was that he truly believed it and it greatly upset him.

Let us assume that he was right, that a deck of cards is a creation of satanic sacrilege. So what? Why should we care? Why should it upset us? Does God care? Well, yes; and that is where my present line of argument hits a wall. His God does care and gets most upset when people make fun of him. So why shouldn't our Christian? Every conception of God is necessarily a human one; it is unfortunate that so many of these were formulated at a time when our baser instincts were more readily affirmed.

So, I must reset my argument; let us dispense with Gods who care about preserving their good name. Let's assume a Source beyond all imagination (or no Source at all). It does not care. Why should we? If we also have no name, claim no good name to preserve, how could we get upset when someone tries to besmirch it? Talk about my mama; I don't care; my mama doesn't either.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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