From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cheating and heart attacks: Are they related?

(Autopsied Human Heart)
Coveting thy neighbor’s wife (or husband, or friend) has been an age-old recipe for disaster – but now there is new evidence to suggest that it might also be a recipe for death.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that “most people being treated for heart disease can safely have sex”; however, “the risk of sudden cardiac death may rise for men when the amorous activity occurs during an extramarital affair.”  Nevertheless, Professor of Medicine Glenn Levine states that he’s never yet had a patient who asked him “about the cardiac risks of an extramarital affair.”  (Bet he’s never had a patient who asked him about the spiritual risks of such, either.)

Levine - who conducted the research behind Bloomberg’s report - goes on to elucidate that in the “autopsy reports of 5,559 cases of sudden death” which he and his team reviewed, 75% of those men who died while having sexual intercourse “were having extramarital sex, in most cases with a younger partner and after excessive food and alcohol consumption.”  (Maybe those seven deadly sins weren’t so far off the mark, after all.)

Now this isn’t to say that all sex is sinful – or even that all desire is sinful.  However - there’s desire, and then there’s covetousness.  The Free Dictionary defines “covetousness” as “excessively and culpably desirous of the possessions of another” – but also more simply as “marked by extreme desire to acquire or possess.”  So if your desire for either your neighbor, his/her possessions, or both is morphing you from Good Neighbor Sam (who wasn’t that good to begin with) into Casanova – then internalizing the Tenth Commandment may be long overdue.


Copyright January 23, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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