Seven Deadly Virtues

The Seven Deadly Virtues are no more than the flip-side of the Seven deadly Sins.

Charity (Avarice): "Cold as Charity." Making other people do things that you think is good for them whether they like it or not, and taking a sadistic pleasure in depriving them of power, decision-making control over their own lives, and harmless joys all with the blandest insistence that it is either good for them or good for everyone else. Gun control, anti-smoking campaigns, anti-alcohol campaigns, anti-drug campaigns. Once someone has accepted help from you, you may then take control of their lives.

(Envy): Wanting something that someone else has, but instead of taking it away from him, taking it away from everybody on the grounds that it is bad for them, for society as a whole, or for some other group or category. The person who objects to action not because it hurts or offends them, but because it may hurt or offend some other person or group. The wimp liberal who gets "Amos and Andy" banned from television; the anti-kiddie-porn activist who gets Kodak to refuse to process photographs of people's naked infant children, the anti-fur crusader who objects to fabric printed with a leopard pattern. The person who takes pleasure in the pain of others, Schadenfreude.

Self-denial, temperance, the martyr (Gluttony): Spoiling everyone else's fun by refusing to take part in it, and making clear how much they owe you for your efforts. The anorexic who bakes huge chocolate cakes for all her girlfriends, eats none herself, and remains thin while sabotaging their efforts at diet and exercise. The strict vegetarian non-drinker, non-smoker. One who gives but will not take, fearing to put himself under obligation to others while insisting on putting them under obligation to himself. A check-grabber who never lets anyone else get the check. A sympathetic ear who never shares his own troubles. The party-pooper.

Prudery (Lust): "Women turn to God when the Devil has no further use for them." Human sexuality as a form of evil. Radical feminists who believe that any sexual expression of any kind is rape. Heterosexual congress is by definition rape. Lustful thoughts are rape. Masturbation is rape.

False Modesty (Pride): Holier-than-thou, more Catholic than the Pope, the person who uses political correctness as a weapon. Excessive Truthfulness: Uses truth as a weapon, with the intention of hurting and causing trouble, under the guise of being honest.

Indifference (Rage): not caring about the consequences of your actions. Not caring about others. One who moves others to rage.

Interference in other peoples' business. (Sloth): The busybody, the do-gooder. Socialists, Communists, knee-jerk liberals and Neanderthal reactionaries. The pessimistic coward. Always counts the cost and thinks in terms of loss and liability, never looks at the possible gain. He who, "looks not upon the donut, but upon the hole." In short, a lawyer. The Passive Aggressive, who never shows anger, but just screws you up in ways that you can't quite put your finger on or prepare against. The wife who washes all her husband's pipes in the dishwasher. A spouse who fails to warn his or her mate of a possible danger, letting them make a disastrous error which could have been prevented had they said something in a timely manner.

(August 25, 1999)


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