Thursday, August 10, 2006

My Conscience, My Publicist

With reference to the Gentiles who, unlike the Jews, were not afforded the privilege of God's written revelation, the apostle Paul states that they are nevertheless culpable for their sin because "They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them (Romans 2:15)." The conscience at times wears the hat of the prosecution, at others, that of the defense attorney. Or, to draw from the world of entertainment, the conscience at times serves as a publicist whose duty it is to present his client in the best possible light (though in this case the public is oneself).

I'm continually stunned by the readiness with which I am willing to take credit for what is noble and to come to my own defense for what is not. I thought about that today when I read the statement comedian Robin Williams offered the media to explain why he is again in rehab for alcoholism after twenty years of sobriety. According to Mara Buxbaum, Williams "found himself drinking again" and
"has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own wellbeing and the wellbeing of his family." So worded, Williams is portrayed as a hapless victim with respect to his excessive drinking and a responsible agent with regard to his rehabilitation. Why do we never hear of people voluntarily overindulging themselves and finding themselves in rehab?

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