The Old Rugged Cross

by Henry on March 22, 2005

My various thoughts on l’affaire Volokh are superannuated by now, but at least I can give a relevant reading recommendation. Terry Bisson’s short story, “The Old Rugged Cross,” was first published in Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s Starlight 3 anthology. It’s a re-imagining of Dismas, which speaks directly to punishment as spectacle and the desire to inflict as much torment as possible on the condemned. To say more would be to weaken its impact. I don’t think the story is online anywhere, or I’d link to it.

{ 2 comments }

1

Jeremy Osner 03.22.05 at 3:58 pm

I was thinking along similar lines, about “In the Penal Colony”.

2

Chris 03.22.05 at 8:01 pm

Tertullian, one of the fathers of the church, was of the opinion that one of the pleasures of the blessed in heaven was peering over the edge and giggling at the torments of the damned,
Mind you, he also thought shaving was heretical;
“Nor may men destroy the hair of their beards, and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the law says: “Ye shall not mar your beards.”22 For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men. But if thou do these things to please men, in contradiction to the law, thou wilt be abominable with God, who created thee after His own image. If, therefore, thou wilt be acceptable to God, abstain from all those things which He hates, and do none of those things that are unpleasing to Him.”
Which should be fine with John Quiggin, at least.

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