Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Devil is Sterile

My son and I spend Sunday evenings watching classic films. Recently we’ve seen "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” and “They Made Me a Criminal.” The idea here is not just to see old films, but to see cinematically important films, and so, when my son suggested “Rosemary’s Baby,” I went right down to the library and got it. It’s important for several reasons; it’s the first “Hollywood” film by Polish director Roman Polanski, it’s one of the first films that combines psychological horror (like “Psycho”) with actual supernatural events (like “Dracula”), it’s the last film produced by William Castle, it features notable performances by John Cassavetes and Mia Farrow.

The whole trick of the film is that you are not supposed to be sure what the witches are up to until the end of the film. Most of the evidence is that they want to offer up Rosemary’s baby as a human sacrifice but, if you pay close attention, there is also the possibility that she is going to have the Devil’s child. Pod-Man, being a very close viewer of film (and, ever since seeing "The Battleship Potemkin," especially of montage sequences), picked up on the unmistakable clues that it was to be the Devil’s child. So, when I asked how he liked it, he replied, “I figured out the secret twenty minutes in and, since I knew that could never happen, I wasn’t ever really scared.” Now, you might think that the Devil could never impregnate a woman because he doesn’t exist, but this wasn’t Pod-Man’s meaning. He, being a well catechized Catholic boy, knows that the Devil, like all of the angels, is a purely spiritual being who may only take on the appearance of a physical form. Though he is a person (in the sense of a rational being), he is not a body and cannot impregnate a woman. Go screw him all you like: he can’t knock you up or even give you a disease!

And this just burns him up!


He knew that Adam and Eve could participate in God’s creativity and that’s why he tempted them, out of jealousy. He knows too, that we are at our most Godlike when we create life (within marital union, of course) and so he does everything to poison this. Birth control, abortion, homosexuality, pornography are all about turning our healthy instinct for creation towards sterility, sin, and indulgence. Feminism, as it denigrates motherhood and exalts sexual consumerism, is perhaps his most perfect creation.

I was recently at the wedding of a friend. He’s a lawyer and his wife is also a professional, they are young, healthy, intelligent, good looking, honest, hard-working, decent people. Just exactly the sort of people you expect to be good parents. Yet they have no desire for children. I put this down to their being secular, since I know of no genuinely pious people who desire marriage without children, and I take it as one of the most powerful condemnations of godlessness that in a secular society it is the very best elements of the population who fail to reproduce.

Contrast this, if you will, to another friend of mine who is due to be married in August. She is deeply in love and has been engaged for some time, yet has had to delay her wedding for several years because she has lupus. When her lupus acts up she experiences crippling arthritis and must take powerful steroids just to function on a normal day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, these steroids make horrific birth defects not only possible, but probable. Of course, her doctor simply recommends that she use birth control and then abort if this fails, but my friend will have none of this. Recently, however, things have begun to get better for my friend. She has been weaned off the steroids and is only experiencing slight symptoms. She will be clean of the medication and ready for pregnancy in August and she just can’t wait! The chance to be fully one with her husband, and to share in God’s creativity with him, represents the fulfillment of her every ambition. She’s even plotted out her fertility and discovered, to her utter delight, that it will be at its very peak on her wedding night. She is saturated with happiness at this development and it is such a delight when she calls me with more good news.

Can you imagine how green with envy the Devil must be at this?

1 comment:

John Jansen said...

Can you imagine how green with envy the Devil must be at this?

Indeed. In your face, Satan!

May God be praised for His infinite goodness!