I am a human being. I have a heart. I weep at tragedy.
The Christian Bible is alone in teaching that God has a heart, that suffering is real.
Only the Christian faith provides the psychological and theological elements necessary for true tragedy – which reached its height of artistic expression in Shakespeare, at the apogee and center of European Christendom; he will never be surpassed.
When I weep, I have two options for how I may interpret the experience.
One: I can say to myself, “You are a mammal, designed to pair bond with a mate and care for live-born children. Your tears and heartache are adaptive traits, no different than the pain receptors that keep your fingers from flame. Had Earth possessed a different climate, had a timely volcano or ice age or meteor not intervened, sentient lizards would dwell here, eternally dry-eyed. The miracle of consciousness may be unique and inexplicable by appeal to physical causes, but mammalian emotion is arbitrary chimera. Indulge your sorrow, and when it passes let it affect you no more, for it is unpleasant and often contrary to your interests. Would you not take Advil for a headache?”
Two: I can say to myself, “God has a heart, like mine. Love is real. Suffering is real. Tragedy is real. These things are more durable than the heavens, more ontologically primary than physical laws. This moment has meaning, and though one day all suffering shall pass, it will do so in a way that is humane and ennobling, rather than a simple erasure of memory. Though now we are lost in merciless seas, one day all will be made whole again. Let me not weep constantly like Cassandra, but let me remember the tragedy surrounding us all, for that is what it takes to be human in this place, as Jesus exemplified.”
If you are a secularist, you have only one option.* And I despise you for it. Because I know, in your heart, you must spit upon the suffering of the world, of Christ, the martyrs, and the innocent.
You are worse than the pagans, because as a post- and anti- Christian, your heart is hardened against tragedy whereas they only have yet to hear of it.
Your hearts are buried beneath tons of slimy lies – petrified, sunless, bottomless, stinking, gurgling, fit only to be shoveled out and burnt like noxious peat to heat hell.
For my Christian readers, I recommend the series The Tudors. You will weep for the clergy who die, and be reminded of those dying today.
*Don’t like it? What are you, five? Take it up with Sartre and Nietzsche. M-E-A-N-I-N-G-L-E-S-S.