The curse of the fruit of knowing good and evil.
What is that? For a moment, pretend it’s not Biblical. Just think of that sentence as poem. What is it talking about?
In another post we talked about how “The Curse” (as referred to in Genesis) is often held up as if it was a good thing when it comes to women. It’s a terrible and mistaken thing to do… However, the rest of the curse frequently gets the same treatment.
The curse told to Men (which also sadly applies to Women) basically says, the land is cursed. You’re going to sweat, fret, and work your face off to make a living. You can read the original here.
Why? Why is this the curse? Why do humans have to sweat their faces off to make a living when the birds don’t? When, right now, there is enough food produced to feed everyone on earth? When we can send a man to the moon? When we can talk to someone on the other side of the planet without leaving the spot you’re sitting in right now? Why is this our curse and why is it still in effect?
Well, off hand: politics, economics, and religion (the fruit of knowing good and evil). Let me explain…
When humanity acquired the knowledge of good and evil some things became good and others evil. Death became evil. The power to fight death became good. So anything that reflected death (sickness, handicaps, and any number of arbitrary things like being left handed) became evil. And likewise, anything that reflected power became good. Think of what is considered blessing: wealth, health, position, etc…
The natural fruit of this is hierarchy like nothing seen in nature. Those closer to death (the handicapped, ect) are pushed to the bottom. Those closer to power (kings, priests, the rich, etc) are at the top. (There’s hierarchy and death in nature, but it’s not to the same extent.)
This is how religion is created. Humans want more power over death, so they try to please the gods and atone for any evil they may perceive in themselves. This comes out in sacrifices and morals.
These morals get mixed up with the other giant power struggle areas: politics and economics. Economics and religion measure a person’s worth, and politics negotiates between those two measurements in the community.
So why doesn’t everyone get food? Well, they don’t measure up. Their economic value is too low. You might think religion is supposed to help them, but in many cases it’s the religion of good-vs-evil that put them their in the first place. Think of the oppression of black people in this country or women or the wars over religion or justified by religion throughout history.
This does get complex… I’m not going to try to prove this in one post. …but it is necessary to understanding the story of scripture. How do you deal with complex “heroic” characters like David, Samson, and Ruth, dark and messy stories like those in Judges, and sayings like “don’t be overly righteous” in Ecclesiastes when you can’t see beyond good versus evil?
What’s worse, without seeing beyond good versus evil, we fall into the same traps in our current problems. In a sex saturated culture church folk fight back with purity culture (a sexual culture of it’s own). In the mean time kids still don’t know how to have relationships because both parties are so focused on sex.
It’s the same in government. Because it’s a good vs evil mindset, Republicans voters are trying to eliminate the evil Democrats, and Democrat voters are trying to do the same to the evil Republicans. No one is working for the good of everyone because it’s a good vs. evil world.
Even when it makes economic sense to give the homeless homes there will be resistance. Why? Because it seems like Communism and Communism was “Evil.”
This is a curse that is celebrated in American culture and American churches. It’s often praised around the world! …but the reason I don’t think I’m an atheist is: I believe there’s more…
I believe there is Love.
I believe in a love that is greater than good vs evil.
I believe this Love is all that matters.
Yes, good vs evil has a part to play… but it’s not the main part. It’s not the point of the story. We’re not in a good vs. evil story. We’re in a Love vs. good-v-evil story.
…and spoilers: Love wins.”