|Luther in 1533 (by Lucas Cranach)|
The freethoughtalmanac.com presents this anguished excerpt from Burton's 1969 diary: The more I read about man and his maniacal ruthlessness and his murderous envious scatological soul, the more I realize that he will never change. Our stupidity is immortal, nothing will change it. The same mistakes, the same prejudices, the same injustice, the same lusts wheel endlessly around the parade ground of the centuries. Immutable and ineluctable…
Martin Luther couldn't have said it better. Born on the same day of the year as Burton (November 10th), he too believed that humans are immersed in what theologians call "sin." Luther not only lamented human weaknesses, but also weaknesses of the Church itself. That is why he famously posted his Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum (otherwise known as The Ninety-Five Theses) on the door of Wittenberg's Castle Church on All Hallow's Eve of 1517.
The main difference between these two dramatic Scorpios lies within their theological conclusions. Whereas Luther was convinced that God's Grace could overcome even the heaviest of sins, Burton was far less of a believer. The conclusion that he came to within his aforementioned diary entry was this: I wish I could believe in a god of some kind but I simply cannot.
Copyright November 10, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved