I Am Heretic #20: Envy (Seven Deadly Sins #6)

"I Am Heretic" is a satirical comic, often accompanied with commentary in the form of an article. Download the comic strip from this issue (right click, save as...).

ENVY is one of seven deadly sins that are supposedly so wicked they’re one-way tickets all the way to hell. If you commit any of these sins, you deserve to be tortured for all eternity. Well, at least that’s what God thinks.

Envy can be tough to define. Everyone can agree that envy is the desire for possessions owned by other people. It is often a resentful feeling, too, but I don’t think that’s necessary. And this is a sin, and like many sins it’s a thoughtcrime. Being resentful, angry, and hateful is bad, but those feelings are just feelings, not actions that hurt others; thoughts cannot be crimes, only actions can. Envy without feelings of resent, i.e. just wanting something someone else has, is actually a good thing, which, as George Carlin has pointed out, drives the economy forward.

My biggest problem with envy as a sin is that it is, indeed, a thoughtcrime, but feelings of envy and jealousy, which is related to envy but rather the worry that someone will take what you have, are pretty much the basic plot of the Bible. God is afraid his followers will be claimed by other gods or just human idols, so he’s jealous, and he wants the followers of other gods and idols, so he’s envious. This is the premise of Christianity, which says you must worship God through Jesus Christ to gain entry into heaven. Many religions claim they’re the ONLY path to heaven.

Apparently, assuming Christianity and the Bible are correct, God thought it was more important to command humans not to worship another dictator than to command them not to rape. Stupid rules like not misusing the lord’s name (*cough*Yahweh sucks*cough*) and not worshipping other gods are even placed above MURDER. I don’t see torture or slavery amongst the Ten Commandments or seven deadly sins either.

Like most sins, envy is a thoughtcrime associated with much hypocrisy. The sin of envy is hypocritical, because God is jealous and envious and his followers have throughout history enforced his envious and jealous will, often by breaking the commandment of murder. God dislikes wrath, greed, and envy, yet he tortures those who worship other gods. While feelings of resentment toward other people cannot be said to be good, they don’t hurt anyone. Our thoughts are our own, not God’s, same as our bodies.