Envy in ‘Paradise Lost’

In Paradise Lost, Satan’s ambition was fueled by envy, not jealousy. There is a great difference between the two. Jealousy is the desire to have or get something someone else has that is better, while envy seeks to destroy that which is better than it, not to acquire it. Envy is far more evil than jealousy, and it was the primary motivation for Satan’s deeds.

In Paradise Lost Satan called together a council of other powerful devils to try to determine their next course of action after being thrown out of heaven. Some believed that they should bide their time, others believed they should engage in a suicidal battle with God and his angels. Still others said that they should become totally autonomous from the kingdom of God, and begin a new kingdom of their own. All of these suggestions were rejected in favor of a final one by the devil Beelzebub. He stated that they should try to hurt God by destroying his most beloved creation, man. They would achieve this by causing mankind to rebel against God for the same reason that Satan rebelled against God. This strategy was centered on envy. It was not the reclaiming of God’s kingdom, or the institution of a new kingdom, but the destruction of God’s most beloved creation.

Jealousy is bad, but envy is a far greater evil. Those who are jealous want to improve their own condition. They see the benefits of others and have a desire to achieve those things for themselves. This jealousy can fuel great ambition, which can lead to great things. However, envy does not seek to gain that which it does not have. It seeks to destroy the goods of others, and fuels hatred rather than ambition. Jealousy can be a constructive force, inciting men to better themselves, but Envy is a solely destructive force that may even go against self-interest. Satan was envious of God, because he knew he would be unable to defeat him, or gain that which he desired.

Satan did not have the ability to defeat God, but he did have the ability to destroy some of His most beloved creation. If Satan had attempted to make his kingdom autonomous, as was suggested by one of the other devils, then he would have been succumbing to envy. However, he sought instead to cause God pain by destroying what He loved. Envy was Satan’s motivating force in Paradise Lost, not jealousy.

Personal Experience in Bacon’s Essays

An English politician and successful writer, among many other things, Sir Francis Bacon has had great influence on the literary genre of the essay, taking inspiration from the pioneer of the style, Michel de Montaigne. However, he did not provide a great deal of authority in his essays. They had numerous quotes and Biblical references, but these were not regular throughout. He had great familiarity with many of the subjects he wrote about, especially those concerning money and power. Montaigne often digressed into anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, but Bacon stayed very much away from that area entirely. The arguments that Bacon set forth in a number of his essays could have been backed by his own extensive personal experience, and could have been made far more convincing. However, Bacon failed to do so, and his credibility suffered.

An influentiafrancis_bacon_viscount_st_alban_from_npg_2l politician in England, Francis Bacon served as Lord Chancellor and Attorney General in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He ran up great debt during his career and was charged with 23 counts of corruption in 1621 by his nemesis, Edward Coke. He was forced to leave Parliament, and devoted the rest of his life to study. Luckily, he escaped degradation, the reduction of his title as Viscount. He made great contributions to the scientific method, which is alternatively referred to as the “Baconian”. His disgrace and the ending of his political career must have had an extraordinary impact on his life, and yet they are not referenced in his works.

Bacon explored the theme of personal riches and wealth in several of his essays, none of which used his valuable personal experience as evidence. His essays Of Fortune, Of Riches, and especially Of Expense do not mention Bacon’s own circumstances. He was no stranger to riches, wealth, or great expense, as he had a large income and huge debt.He had a wealth of experience in the matters he wrote about, but he did not provide examples to attest to his authority on the subject.

In the essay on fortune, Bacon described how good fortune can come to men by accident, but more often “the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.” He did not describe the bad fortune he encountered in his disgrace, and he did not describe his good fortune in avoiding degradation and retaining his noble title. These relevant personal experiences would have given Bacon far more credibility and authority as an essay writer.

The essay on riches is largely critical, and it again fails to provide information from personal experience. Bacon calls riches “the baggage of virtue”, impeding the way of virtue much like baggage impedes an army: “it cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march”. Bacon was familiar with riches. He knew what they could do to a man who had them, and no doubt he drew from the knowledge he had acquired during his position in the royal court. However,the source of this valuable knowledge was withheld from the reader, again diminishing Bacon’s credibility.

Finally, Bacon’s essay on expense focused on an extremely relevant topic to him, but like the others, it did not invoke the authority of personal experience. Bacon lost his career because of debt, no doubt brought on by too great expense. The essay is largely concerned with giving good advice for what to do with riches. He said that if money is spent in certain areas, then it must be conserved in others: “A man had need, if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to be saving again in some other… if he be plentiful in the hall, to be saving in the stable… for he that is plentiful in expenses of all kinds will hardly be preserved from decay.” Bacon knew this, as he himself fell into great debt, which cost him his dignity, his career, and nearly his title.

If Francis Bacon had referenced the great authority of his personal experience, he would have better shown his own credibility. He experienced the effects of both good and bad fortune, the result of what great riches do to a man, and what happens when expenses are not kept in check. All of these things and more did Bacon write about, but none of them invoked the powerful authority of personal experience.

The King James Version Vs. Shakespeare

The influence of the King James Bible is greater than that of of Shakespeare, and it is the reason why the King James Bible is easier to read among members of today’s audiences. It is responsible for many of today’s idioms and phrases, and has had a huge audience since its publishing in 1611. The popularity of the King James Bible has caused its language to become familiar to us because it has influenced the English language itself.

The language of the King James Version (or KJV) is extremely eloquent, and has come down to us through the ages, more so even than Shakespeare. According to David Crystal, the King James Version is responsible for around 257 common idioms used in the English language. This number is double that of Shakespeare. In the modern world people do quote or reference the works of Shakespeare, but these people tend to have studied it to a certain degree. However, idioms from the King James version abound in common everyday language. Phrases such as “a broken heart” (Ps. 34:18), “a two edged sword” (Prov. 5:4), “go the extra mile” (Matt. 5:41), “see eye to eye” (Isai. 52:8), and many more are well-known to almost all English-speakers. One has a greater probability of encountering a King James phrase in everyday life than encountering a phrase from Shakespeare. This is all not to say that Shakespeare has not had a great influence on the English language. Shakespeare has had an absolutely tremendous influence, but the influence of the King James Bible has been greater.

The eloquence of the King James Version has been lost on other more recent publications, such as the English Standard Version of 2001, but the KJV still is more recognizable. In the King James, the extremely well-known verse, Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.“, is reworded in the English Standard Version as follows: “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” Which version seems more familiar? “cast ye your pearls before swine”, or “throw your pearls before pigs”? This is but one of the many examples of the eloquence of the King James Bible which has been lost in later versions. However, the eloquence of the KJV has lasted beyond the modern versions in the simple facet that “pearls before swine” is more recognizable than “pearls before pigs”.

The King James version has had a greater audience than the works of Shakespeare. While Shakespeare has been watched and read by many people for pleasure and for academic study in the English-speaking world, the King James version was read to nearly every single citizen who went to church. Shakespeare was a form of entertainment, while the King James Bible was a necessity. Up until recently, the King James Version was the most widely used Bible in protestant churches. The extensive exposure to this version by the general public has lead to the familiarity that we have with its language.

The reason it is easier to understand the language of the King James Bible over the language of Shakespeare is simply the fact that the King James Bible has had more overall influence. It has given around 257 idioms to the English language, whereas Shakespeare has given roughly half that number. The King James was widely read across protestant circles over the world among common people, while Shakespeare was read for entertainment and study among, at least these days, by the intellectual elite. The King James Version has enjoyed enormous popularity over the centuries, but as its influence wanes in the future, so will the quality of the English language.

The Importance of Covenant Sanctions in Selected Sections of the Bible

In certain sections of the Bible, we find examples of the threat or promise of sanctions, and in some cases the fulfillment of these sanctions. These sanctions can be either positive or negative, bringing benefits or curses. They are incurred in a systematic manner by either the breaking or the keeping of the covenant with God. In Deuteronomy 28, Moses tells of the positive sanctions that will come from obeying this covenant. In the book of Ruth, positive sanctions are provided to a woman who enters into the covenant with God. In Lamentations, there is shown the outcome of negative sanctions incurred from breaking the covenant. These are all examples of the sanctions that can (and in some cases are) incurred by acts contrary to or in accordance with the covenant. Sanctions are very important in these selections form the Bible.

Deuteronomy 28 through 34 are referred to sometimes as the Farewell of Moses. The first chapter of the farewell deals with positive sanctions if the commandments of God are upheld: “Now if thou wilt hear the voice of the Lord thy God, to do and keep all his commandments, which I command thee this day, the Lord thy God will make thee higher than all the nations that are on the earth.” (Deut. 28:1). However, also in this chapter negative sanctions are promised to those who fail: “But if thou wilt not hear the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep and to do all his commandments and ceremonies, which I command thee this day, all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.” (Deut. 28:15), and then a bunch of curses were listed. This chapter is an example of covenant sanctions, both positive and negative, being proclaimed.

In the Book of Ruth we not only see the promise or threat of sanctions, but the fulfillment of these sanctions. Ruth was a woman from Moab who married a man from Juda who was escaping a famine. The man died eventually, along with his father and brother, leaving only Ruth’s mother-in-law. The mother-in-decided to travel back to Juda, but the widowed Ruth refused to stay behind in Moab and traveled back to Juda with her. She offered to join the covenant of the Israelites and accept their God as her God, saying to her mother-in-law: “For whithersoever thou shalt go, I will go: and where thou shalt dwell I also will dwell. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” (Ruth 1:16). According to Mosaic law, a widow shall marry her husband’s closest relative so as to carry on his name. Therefore, she sought out and decided to marry Boaz, a man she had also been gleaning (collecting the extra of a harvest) from. She was encouraged by her mother-in-law, who told her to go to his room and offer him marriage. He accepted, and she was married to him and received the positive sanctions associated with it. He was a wealthy man, and she was very happy, in addition to having her husband’s name carried on through his relative. In contrast to Deuteronomy 28, this section shows positive sanctions received from the entry into God’s covenant in action.

The Book of Lamentations is just the opposite of the Book of Ruth in that it shows the negative sanctions incurred from breaking the oath with God. It is told by Jeremias, who laments the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. This is precisely the warning that was given by Moses in his farewell, and is the fulfillment of the negative sanctions threatened if the covenant oath was broken.

These sections of the Bible are heavily reliant on the idea of covenant sanctions, positive and negative. The Farewell of Moses laid down the sanctions associated with either keeping or breaking the covenant. The Book of Ruth showed positive sanctions that came from joining the covenant, and the Book of Lamentations showed what would come of disobeying and breaking the covenant. These sections of the Bible all focused on the issue of sanctions, and gave accounts of why and how they were incurred, and what they entailed.

Oaths in ‘Don Quixote’

In the book, Don Quixote, an old man in the 16th century became obsessed with tales of chivalry and knight-errantry. He eventually abandoned his family and his estate to pursue his delusion of being a knight, vanquishing evil and winning the love of his lady. In truth knighthood in the medieval sense had died out long before, and Don Quixote was embracing a culture that was extinct. At the end of his life he renounced his oath of knighthood and came to his senses, realizing that he had been completely mad.

Don Quixote had an estate and a small family, along with a few friends. Locked away in his library he devoured book after book on chivalry until he was totally obsessed. He eventually resolved to leave his family and his property to become a knight, and travel around righting wrongs to win the love of his lady. In truth he hardly knew this woman, who was simply a local farm-girl. He gallivanted off in search of someone to dub him a knight. He eventually found himself at an inn, which he saw as a castle, and was dubbed by the innkeeper who was just playing along. What followed were a series of misadventures in which Don Quixote went about trying to destroy what he thought were villains, but in truth were just normal people and objects. Perhaps most famous is the case of the tilting at windmills, in which Don Quixote charged at what he thought were giants, but turned out to be windmills.

Don Quixote lured a peasant, Sancho Panza, to be his squire with promises of wealth and fortune. Sancho also abandoned his family, breaking his obligation to his wife an children. Eventually it seemed as though Sancho was just as mad as Don Quixote, playing along with his flights of fancy to such an extent that it seemed impossible to think otherwise.

Don Quixote’s oath of knighthood was at odds with the oath of his state of life, that is, as the head of his household. On his deathbed, Don Quixote finally realized that the books of chivalry he had once been enthralled by were nonsense and a waste of time. He realized that he had wasted the latter half of his life pursuing ridiculous dreams. He renounced his knight-errant oath and re-embraced the original oath that he had abandoned. It was almost too late, but he finally realized the errors of his ways.

Cycle of Death in Macbeth

In Shakespeare’s classic play, Macbeth, the violence that started with the murder of King Duncan morphed into an uncontrollable loop. Murder after murder took place, justified only by the previous ones. Macbeth found himself in an inescapable cycle when he committed his act of treason. His only way out was for the score to be settled and for him to be killed.

The witches in the beginning of the play were the ones who seeded the idea of treason into Macbeth’s head. Macbeth was already Thane (a form of Anglo-Saxon nobility) of Gladis, but the witches predicted that he would be the Thane of Cawdor as well. In addition they said he would be “king hereafter”. Macbeth was puzzled because he knew who the Thane of Cawdor  was and that he did not hold that title. However, this had all taken place during a war with the invading Norwegian king, and Macdonwald, the original Thane of Cawdor, had defected to the Norwegian side. For that he was stripped of his title and executed. A fellow Scotsman informed Macbeth of what had happened, and that he was the new Thane of Cawdor. This got Macbeth thinking; if the witches’ first prediction came true, than what about the second? It now seemed feasible that he could become king.

Macbeth’s thoughts that were inspired by the witches were greatly amplified by his wife, Lady Macbeth. She was an extremely ambitious woman, and she encouraged her husband into committing the act that he was already contemplating. He held a party at his estate, at which the king and his guardians attended. After everyone was asleep Macbeth resolved (with the help of his wife) to kill Duncan. Then the string of violence began. He had to kill the two guardians because he intended to blame them for Duncan’s murder. His plan was to admit to killing them in a fit of rage for having killed the king, which he did. The cycle had started, and there was no way of stopping it.

After the killings, Macbeth remembered something else the witches had said which troubled him. They had said to his close friend and cousin, Banquo, “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none”. This meant that Banquo’s heirs would be kings even though Banquo himself would not be one. Macbeth worried that all he had done succeeded only in paving the way for the heirs of Banquo. He resolved then to murder Banquo and his son, Fleance. At this point Lady Macbeth consoled her husband by saying “what’s done is done”. Banquo was killed, but Fleance managed to escape. Lady Macbeth was wrong in her statement because it was not done. The killings would continue when Macbeth felt threatened by Macduff and killed his family to lure him back to Scotland. The killings would have continued had not the witches’ prophesy turned against him and he was slain by Macduff.

Lady Macbeth’s remark, “what’s done is done”, was not accurate. In fact, what was done could not ever be undone. The only thing that broke the cycle of murder was the retribution of Macduff in the killing of Macbeth.

Dr. Faustus

The macabre, and especially the theme of selling one’s soul to the Devil, has been a very popular theme in Western literature since the 1580s. Many movies, plays, and songs feature this theme, and all trace their origins to a book that centered around the story of Dr. Faustus. The tale tells of a man who conjured up a demon, named Mephistopheles, and eventually made a bargain to have 24 years of good fortune, knowledge, and worldly pleasure. At the end of the 24 years Faustus would have to give up his soul to Satan and face eternal suffering, but he was deceived by Mephistopheles into thinking that his payment would not be so painful. This tale is the origin of the recurring theme of bargains with the Devil in Western literature.

Dr. Faustus was deceived by Mephistopheles, a fact to which he admitted later on in chapter nine. He was granted the ability to foresee events and to create accurate almanacs and horoscopes concerning them. He visited hell, traveled through the stars, and went on a world tour to visit many countries. Faustus was also able to conjure up long dead people, but these were not the actual spirits of the dead people, just demons imitating them. Charles V wanted to catch a glimpse of Alexander the Great, so Dr. Faustus arranged it so he could. Many things of this type did Faustus do with the unseen assistance of Mephistopheles.

As his days wore out, Dr. Faustus became increasingly distressed. He realized that he had been deceived and blinded by the promise of great power. In the final days Mephistopheles deceived him once more, saying that Satan would give Faustus a body that would be totally insensitive to the tortures of hell. On his last night he called together his friends to tell them of what he had done, and to convince them to never follow his path. He realized what he had done was wrong, but he was totally unable to bring himself to repent. In the end he was horribly killed and thrown onto a dung-heap, his body twitching. The demon had lied, and Satan had his due.

This theme of selling one’s soul for worldly benefits has come down through the ages. Many examples of modern entertainment exhibit this trend, including the play that this book was made into, the many adaptations of the short story The Devil and Daniel Webster, the 1986 film Crossroads, the well-known song The Devil Went Down to Georgia, among many others. It seems as though the story of Dr. Faustus started a trend that has persisted to this day, and has tapped into a desire among some for the dark side of things.

Montaigne’s Essays

Montaigne, a French writer from the 16th century, is regarded as the father of the essay. His essays were quite compelling to read, but there were aspects of them that were rather dry and hard to understand. He published his works in two volumes, containing a total of 107 essays. A statesman, he gave up politics in order to write. He was somewhat of a skeptic, and is quoted famously as saying “What do I know?”. He remains very influential, and his engaging style has allowed him to endure the centuries.

A very compelling writer in many respects, Montaigne was famous for his pithy aphorisms, many of which have come down through the ages, such as “Saying is one thing and doing is another”. A relatively short work, the essay does not generally require a huge investment of time to read. This is one of the reasons the essay gained much popularity in the beginning. Montaigne also made many references to his own personal life, digressing into anecdotes and little stories that engaged the reader. For these reasons Montaigne’s essays were very compelling and have drawn in many readers.

The essays in Montaigne’s books were not related to each other. They were all completely separate entities, discussing many and various topics. Having no universal theme, they were just many individual discussions. It may be hard to find an ultimate purpose to his essays, but it is easy to read them individually. If they were all entwined and built up to a final conclusion, then they could not have been enjoyably read as separate little works. Considered very self-indulgent at the time, his frequent references to his own personal life seem charming and entertaining to modern readers. His aphorisms were clever, but they often occurred in the midst of very difficult and dry sentences. For example, in his essay That the Soul Expends Its Passions On False Objects, Where the True Are Wanting, there was a paragraph about how vision needs something to see, rather than to go off into infinity. Long and cumbersome, this sentence was unfortunately not the only one of its kind:

This But, in good earnest, as the arm when it is advanced to strike, if it miss the blow, and goes by the wind, it pains us; and as also, that, to make a pleasant prospect, the sight should not be lost and dilated in vague air, but have some bound and object to limit and circumscribe it at a reasonable distance.

This passage is admittedly hard to follow, and is not an example of the wonderful pithy style with which Montaigne has charmed so many.

Groundbreaking works of literature, the essays of Montaigne were a new genre that influenced very many people. Montaigne inserted anecdotes and little stories from his own life and the lives of many historical figures, prominent and obscure, that made his essays quite enjoyable. There were sections that were somewhat dry, but they were more than compensated for by the pithy aphorisms and interesting anecdotes that carried his works down through the ages.

Rhetoric in the ‘Acts and Monuments’ of John Foxe

The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, first published in 1563,  told a detailed history of the Protestant religion and of the martyrs for Christianity. In his book Foxe effectively used rhetoric to achieve various ends, producing eloquent arguments in the mouths of his subjects that were pro-Protestant and against Queen Mary and Catholicism.

In the story of Lady Jane Grey, Foxe painted a picture of an extremely intelligent and well-spoken young woman. A protestant, she was named successor to the crown of England by her cousin, king Edward VI, while he was on his deathbed. However, Edward’s half-sister, Mary, was proclaimed Queen instead and Lady Jane Grey was sent to the tower of London and sentennced to death for high treason. Before her execution, Queen Mary sent her chaplain, John Fecknam, to try to convince her to convert to Catholicism. Foxe described the debate that followed, showing Lady Jane Grey to have a strong command of the English language and an extremely firm grasp of the bible. In the debate, Fecknam could not get anywhere with her. They did not discuss the political issues involving her claim to the throne (for which she admitted guilt), but focussed entirely on theological issues. Lady Jane Grey was only 17, and yet she had enough understanding of the bible to successfully debate an adult who had spent nearly his entire life studying theology. Either she was a master of rhetoric and had an uncommon knowledge of the bible, or Foxe was slightly distorting just how savvy Lady Jane Grey was in favor of his powerful Protestant convictions.

Foxe described the executions of Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, and Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester and Chaplain to Edward VI, in great detail. This acute attention to detail was perhaps a way to give his writing more historical credibility. Probably the most memorable quote from the book comes from this section. Latimer was recorded saying to Ridley in Acts and Monuments, “We shall of this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out”. He was referring to their eminent execution, which was to burned at the stake. Latimer was extremely eloquent if Foxe accurately documented this phrase.

Finally, we come to the execution of Thomas Cranmer, a figure who was instrumental in the Protestant reformation in England. He was Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I (for a short time). When Mary brought Catholicism back to England she executed many Protestants, including Thomas Cranmer. In 1553 he was put on trial for treason and sentenced to death. He was moved from his prison to the house of the Dean of Christ Church, which was a very different experience. In this place he was treated as a guest, not a prisoner, and engaged in scholarly debate with Catholic clerics. In Foxe’s account, some of them tried to persuade him to renounce his Protestant beliefs, promising him that the Queen would be lenient towards him and that he may escape death if he made a recantation. At this point Foxe’s account and historical fact parted ways. Foxe wanted to paint a very dramatic picture of Cranmer and Queen Mary, so he omitted some things from his otherwise extremely detailed narrative. He told the story of a weary and broken former Archbishop who had held on until the end, but had finally succumbed under pressure and recanted:

But at last, when they made no end of calling and crying upon him, the archbishop, being overcome, whether through their importunity, or by his own imbecility, or of what mind I cannot tell, at length gave his hand.

However, according historical fact, Cranmer recanted not once at the very end, but a total of five times, the first four only around a month after he had been moved to the house of the Dean of Christ Church. Foxe wanted a dramatic story, and frankly, four recantations within two months of being installed in a comparatively luxurious facility could simply not make the cut. Foxe wanted to portray Queen Mary as a deceiver because she went ahead with the execution even though various clerics had made certain promises to Cranmer. He was told to make a final public recantation at his execution so he prepared a speech. Towards the end of his speech he very memorably deviated from his prepared text, and renounced his previous recantation(s). He was liberated by the fact that Mary could do nothing more to punish him but kill him, which was about to take place. He said with great eloquence that he would punish the offending hand that wrote the recantations by thrusting it into the fire first, which, according to Foxe he did. Foxe made Mary the ultimate loser in this story, because in the end she could not do anything about Cranmer’s reversal. The story did indeed concern actual historical events, but Foxe did some doctoring to make it much more dramatic.

John Foxe told the histories of the martyrs of Protestantism, but he shifted them around a bit to get his across his convictions. He may have made Lady Jane Grey slightly more eloquent and knowledgeable than she was, or perhaps he did not. He may have over dramatized Latimer’s famous quote, or perhaps he did not. However, one thing is for sure: He definitely altered the story of the imprisonment and execution of Thomas Cranmer for dramatic effect and to showcase his particular beliefs. Foxe was biased in favor of the protestant cause, and used his skills rhetoric to emphasize certain aspects of history in a book that remains compelling to read to this day.


Thomas More’s Utopia: Risk of Persecution?

Thomas More’s Utopia was a satire on the idea of a perfect society. Thomas More did not risk facing persecution bay the Church for this book because it was quite obviously not meant to be taken as a serious political commentary. The very word Utopia was coined from Greek by Thomas More and means “no place”. The name of the main character who vouched for Utopia’s political organization means “talking nonsense” in Greek. There can be little doubt from reading Utopia that it was intended to be a satire. More presents solutions to social problems that clearly go against human nature. The religion of Utopia is quite at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church, to which More ardently adhered (to the point of his own execution). It was written in Latin, and therefore was intended for the educated, and not the common audience. If Thomas More was trying to preach social and political reform to the people and spark a movement, then he would have written in the vernacular. For these reasons Utopia can be taken as satire, and therefore Thomas More was not in danger of getting in trouble with the Church.