COURTESY OF “THE NEW REVISED CATECHLYSM,” THE NATION’S EVANGELICALS WILL FINALLY GET THE STORY STRAIGHT!
ADAM AND EVE, IN THE RAW
Prototypes are messy, and that’s a fact. It’s as true of the first electric nose hair trimmer, originated in 1834 by The Shaker Image, a low-profile religious community with a huge mail order presence, as it is of the first crude beach towel, fashioned by David Hasselhoff in 1984. It was also true of God’s experience with Adam and Eve, His 1.0 human beings. There is no glossing over the terrible debacle they were involved in, but let’s stay positive here and deal cleanly with what the great Saint Anselm often called “a teleological shit storm.”
Adam and Eve were slated to be showcase beings in God’s Creation Portfolio, and He endowed them with all the goodies: looks, brains, and plenty of sanctifying grace, which they could trade for arcade tokens once they got to Heaven. They were a charismatic couple, living in a nudist paradise called the Garden of Eden. Though not married, they were very devoted to each other—and not just because there were no other mating choices.
So what went wrong? Well, for some reason, God decided to give them a little test, just to see if they were paying attention, being properly worshipful and all. It was a throwaway, a token self-control requirement involving eating issues. Wouldn’t you know it would end up being about food?
They were told by God not to eat fruit from the Tree of Standard and Poor, yet they were tempted to do so by a talking reptile who told them it would give them the power to rate everything. Some have posited that the reptile was Rupert Murdoch, but persuasive evidence has been offered by many biblical scholars that it was actually Larry King. So the Godsy Twins ate the fruit, failed their test. They were then barred from the Garden of Eden, and, along with their descendants, made to endure all manner of pain, including self-consciousness, an inclination to sin, and needing to cover their private parts with fig leaves. This latter punishment would eventually lead to the even more excruciatingly painful phenomenon of the fashion industry.
Did God have Creator’s Remorse? Very possibly. But even if God doesn’t do regret at all, it is reasonable to wonder why He didn’t take a mulligan, just dump His hand and get all new cards. Were these two geniuses really worth His Infinite Attention? Whatever the case, no one doubts that this epic tale of innocence, petty agricultural theft, betrayal, and redemption has all the makings of a great theocumentary, maybe with the help of Stephen King.
But what is the take-home for you? The major item is: fair or not, you inherit Adam’s problems in a condition called original sin. Maybe you don’t get his hemorrhoids or his shingles, but you are guaranteed some of the basic forms of Adam-quality pain. You have to work. You have to accept sickness and suffering. You have to have relatives. You have to wait in line with your groceries while someone takes ten minutes to get a price check on the 24-ounce Swanson’s frozen Flesh Sticks. And you have to die.
Also not terrific is the fact that you start out stupid and often end up that way, too. Thank the Lord that in such a wretched state, you can still look to the Catechlysm for answers.