Doug Giles

Obama, in his State of the Union address and during his initial five-state, multi-million dollar taxpayer funded re-election jaunt has stated repeatedly that his platform and policies are not about class warfare, which means, of course, that his ticket is all about class warfare—or “fairness,” as he likes to call it … or as the Scripture labels it, envy.

You don’t hear much about envy anymore, do you? We hear a lot about greed being bad, but in Obamaland envy is no longer a rank vice but a right and a virtue. However, historically speaking, envy has always been seen as a high-ranking sin. Envy, matter of fact, is second on the Seven Deadly Sins list as it lags behind pride a wee bit in being the nastiest and most common vice.

Ancient in its poison, envy forms a big chunk of the foul compost heap that stimulates the growth of human stupidity. Envy is an extremely toxic sin that doesn’t get the verbal hailstorm that other sins receive in our current entitlement culture with its totemic view of vice. Someone who has been saddled by the envy monkey will probably not make the evening news like a politician who has been caught in bed with a live man or a dead woman or who keeps his freezer stuffed with cash.

No, envy is not that sexy and doesn’t have the buzz that zings around a greedy Goldman Sachs exec. Because this sin doesn’t get MSNBC’s attention like the more juicy transgressions, we tend to see it as less naughty. But be not deceived, my brethren: This sin is disastrous once it sticks its talons into a person, party, religion, or nation.

Another distinguishing feature of the funk of envy is that it is no fun. All vices sport a momentary spice. All of them, that is, except for envy. Envy is the one sin the sinner will never like or admit. You’ll never see someone who is envious chilling out, laughing his butt off, or relaxing with his friends while this demon rules the roost. The more envy grows, the more it drives its impenitent coddler nuts.

So, what is envy? Well … let’s start with what it is not. It’s not admiring what someone else has and wanting some good stuff also. This desire will make you get off your butt in the morning and get busy. It is good to crave; a man’s appetite will make him work. Where envy differs from admiration/emulation is that envy is “sorrow at another’s good” (said Thomas Aquinas). Someone who is centered can watch another person, party, or nation prosper and not grow hateful because of it.


Doug Giles

Doug Giles is the Big Dawg at ClashDaily.com and the Co-Owner of The Safari Cigar Company. Follow him onFacebook and Twitter. And check out his new book, Rise, Kill and Eat: A Theology of Hunting from Genesis to Revelation.