Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Angela and Dogma

Last night we did a group run to the grocery store. It was me, Jon Vaughn, Matt, and Jon's classmate Angela.

Angela popped an interesting question just as we got out of the car to head into the store. She and I had been discussing the good, bad, and indifferent aspects of soy milk. As we finished that conversation, Angela asked why, in our estimation, humans were the only animals that continued drinking milk after infancy.

Matt, Jon, and I all posed somewhat humourous, or at least seemingly unserious, responses. Our having exclusive access to crackers and cookies and dairy farming technology were all mentioned. Thus, the "somewhat" qualifier before humorous.

Anyway, it seemed like a random question. That is, until this morning. I don't know if it was God or me, but as I woke up the question came back to me and so did an answer: humans are the only animals that can choose to ignore their instincts.

Suddenly the question seemed a lot less random. The first instinct that came to mind was the instinct for worship and fellowship with God. The next thing that came to mind was one of my favorite quotes, which comes from a movie called Dogma.

Dogma is a comedy about an epic quest to stop two fallen angels, Barnaby and Loki, from ending the world. Their plan was to receive absolution from a newly created Catholic rite, thus obtaining forgiveness and reentry back into heaven. According to the lore of the movie, that would prove God wrong, produce a paradox, and end the world.

In one scene, Barnaby is lamenting the freedom and position that God granted humans as his beloved children - a place even above angels. In the quote, he talks about all of the freedoms that God gave mankind, including the freedom to ignore the pain that they feel at being separated from Him.

I'm clearly not saying that milk is bad. In fact, God made a point of telling the Israelites that the Promised Land flowed with milk (and honey).

I, myself, am very fond of milk. Even though milk sometimes disagrees with my digestive system, I still have a craving for it. I still feel entitled to dairy products. I drink soy milk because of it.

It's just an interesting concept. And an interesting example of freewill. At least to me.