Friday, July 07, 2006

Original Sin

And yet, Dom Paulo's own Faith told him that the burden was there, had been there since Adam's time--and the burden imposed by a fiend crying in mockery, "Man!" at man. "Man!"--calling each to account for the deeds of all since the beginning;a burden impressed upon every generation before the opening of the womb, the burden of the guilt of original sin. Let the fool dispute it. The same fool with great delight accepted the other inheritance--the inheritance of ancestral glory, virtue, triumph, and dignity which rendered him "courageous and noble by reason of birthright," without protesting that he personally had done nothing to earn that inheritance beyond being born of the race of Man. The protest was reserved for the inherited burden which rendered him "guilty and outcast by reason of birthright," and against that verdict he strained to close his ears.

From Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s classic science fiction work, A Canticle for Leibowitz.

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