Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sed Libera a nos Malo!

The last petition in the Lord's Prayer or Pater Noster is translated as "deliver us from Evil". Christians have been praying that ever since. But Garry Wills, a renowned Catholic scholar of the Greek New Testament says that the phrase really means more than what it says. When we read the koine or marketplace Greek, he proposes that a new translation should say "Wrest us from the Evil One!" The Greek has the original sense of the prayer that has been lost in translation.

The Latin (from which we get our English Our Father and the Filipino Ama Namin) implies that evil is a concept and not a person. Wills says that the evil is really a person. So we have to capitalize the "e" into an "E" in evil.

So Evil is Personified. We have Dr Evil and now a President Evil if Jun Lozada recalled correctly what his friend Romy Neri really said. (Neri doesn't remember what he said!) According to Austin Danger Powers Dr Evil wants to rule the world. What about President Evil?

Now we know you are on the road to Hell if in a majority Christian country, people start to refer to you as "evil". Some theologians have opined that Hell is actually a place of your own making. The word "hell" comes from the Hebrew "gehenna". Now gehenna is the name of the garbage dump outside Jerusalem. We can say that this is probably the first toxic dump in history and we humans are responsible for it. We ought to clean it up.

If President Evil is in "hell" she can't blame anyone but herself. After all, think about it why should an infinitely Good God send someone to hell? Sending a person to hell takes a lot of energy and time. If your were the big Honcho up there, wouldn't you just wait for someone to go to hell him/herself?

Of course people have been known to drag other people to the hell of their own making. That is the morality play now playing at the Philippine Senate. Jun Lozada by his account with the infallible blessing of the Jesuits and the La Salle Brothers seems to have "wrested himself from the Evil One". The the so called liars according to them are deeper in the clutches of the Evil One.

Filipinos like to see this kind of theatre. Even with His Blessed Political Turbulence in People Power Heaven (or is it Hell?!?!), it may very well happen that we need not somebody like him to see how this story will play to its logical conclusion. The wimps at the Catholic Bishops Conference pine for the late Cardinal. For God's sake some of them have been granted the Red Hat too. They should turn away from Sin and believe in their own Gospel they need to write.

And if I were with President Evil's Legion, I should not be condescending at all.

Maybe it is time to wrest ourselves from Evil One as the Paternoster advises.

Dr Evil ended up as the brother of Austin Powers and Scott Evil took over the Empire.


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