Soebeck Song, B.A., Preaching, Lincoln Christian College
No, Brant, your desire to pummel John Mayer does not, in and of itself, constitute "sin".
What we're dealing with here is a very understandable temptation. VERY understandable. But temptation, my friend, is not "sin", as you know.
There are many times when I would hear him on the radio and think to myself, "Man, it would be great if someone would, you know, go after him with a trident."
Now that mere thought is NOT sinful. It becomes sin when in fact I dwell on the act. Say, I start looking at the internet to see what a trident costs ($125.50) and start making plans to attend one of his concerts (St. Pete Times-Forum, Dec 6-9) and try to figure out a way to smuggle (overcoat) the aforementioned trident inside. But a mere thought is in no way sin!
I mean, think about it: Just as it is a "natural" reaction for males to notice a pretty female as she walks down the street, it is just as "natural" to notice that you want to immediately douse Mayer with gasoline and set him on fire when you hear his croonings! The noticing is not sin. It is when it goes beyond the mere notice that sin happens.
So you see, very clearly the answer is "no", the desire in itself is not sinful.
Brant Hansen, B.S. Journalism, University of Illinois, Former Fellow, Institute for Government and Public Affairs
Sorry, Soebeck, but I do believe my desire to pummel John Mayer constitutes "sin", in a sense.
Despite his over-affected, namby-pamby, "breathy" vocals, and his hyper-sexualized pubescent lyrics aimed at 13 year-olds, I believe my desire to grab his acoustic guitar, break it in half, remove the "B" string, and begin wrapping around his head is just flat-out wrong.
Yes, it's "natural" -- and certainly would feel GREAT -- to react this way toward John Mayer's unique brand of acoustic folk-pop. But I believe most evangelical and orthodox theologians, for example, that "natural" is a term fraught with moral danger.
While such an attack on Mr. Mayer may prove emotionally fulfilling, this hardly constitutes an argument for its moral "right-ness". It may prove only that I'm disturbed, and -- quite possibly -- my violent thoughts may be evidence of sin rooted in artistic jealousy.
So it would be self-consciously wrong. No doubt about it.
Granted, this becomes less obvious if one's desire is to pummel, say, Prince.