The unforgivable curse…I mean sin
Recently, the final Harry Potter movie came out in theaters. Loved it, by the way. I was a fan of the books and quite enjoyed that the darker tones in the literature were continued on the screen. (And I’m glad I avoided seeing the screen actually get darker by viewing the film normally, not in unnecessary 3D. )
As good literature, and good films, have a habit of doing, it started making me think. Within the Harry Potter universe of magic and the supernatural, there are three unforgivable curses. They are called this because using any of them and getting caught will earn you a life-sentence in jail. (It appears that even the fictional, magical British are against the death penalty.)
Saving you the pseudo-Latin names of the spells, these curses amount to mind control, torture and murder.
Seems reasonable enough. And even within the mostly black-and-white reality of these novels, there are understandable allowances for certain situations. Harry, for example, must use the mind-control spell at one point in his mission to defeat the dark and evil Lord Voldemort.
But as I was saying, the film made me start thinking about religious topics that I find myself involved in online. And one of those topics happens to be strangely similar to Potter’s unforgivable curses. That would be the unforgivable sin in Christianity.
This is a sin that is so horrible that it means, no matter what, you are being sent to Hell to roast for all eternity. (No doubt alongside heathen wizards like Harry and his friends.)
Now, if you’ve never heard of the unforgivable sin, what would you think it would be?
You’d be wrong. In fact, the unforgivable sin is, in actuality…not believing.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” Mark 3:28-29
Now to be fair, the sin isn’t actually just not believing. It’s not believing and then dying. If you do that, well, then, you’re screwed. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. See Lucifer about a room, the ice machine is at the end of the hall.
Well, maybe not that last part.
Does anyone else have a problem with that?
Two issues immediately come to my mind. I will allow, hypothetically for the rest of this post, that a god does exist, and that this is his unforgivable sin.
Issue the first: why is my time up when I’m dead?
Ignore the fact that this royally screws over anyone who dies at a young age. Let’s say you live to the exceptionally old age of 99.
According to most Christian doctrine, you get to live forever. Never mind where you do it, you get eternal life whether it’s playing a harp or getting a pitchfork in the thigh.
If that’s the case…isn’t death an arbitrary line at which to say “if you don’t believe in me before then, you go to Hell”? 99 years is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. And once dead, finding myself in an afterlife and finally given actual evidence of the existence of a deity, why can’t I ask for forgiveness then?
It comes off as ridiculously petty and immature. “Do what I want in 5 seconds or you get nothing!”
Issue the second: non-belief and blasphemy…that’s really the worst thing?
Not rape. Not mass murder. Not child abuse. Not mass rape and mass child abuse. Not genocide.
Not believing. That’s what ticks this deity off.
And I’m supposed to respect, love and worship this being…why, exactly?
Posted on July 26, 2011, in Atheism, Books, Entertainment, Movies, Theism and tagged apologetics, atheism, atheist, bible, catholic, christian, Christianity, harry potter, religion, sin, unforgivable sin. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.