Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sophie's False Choice & Permission

William Styron had a best seller which turned into a movie called Sophie's Choice, about a Polish woman whose ill-fortne it was to be on the arriving platform at a concentration camp with her 3 yo daughter and 5 yo boy.  A drunk SS captain, desiring to test God, found in Sophie the chance.  The captain told Sophie to choose which child should live and which should die.  Styron makes the whole scene believable, with the terrible argument back and forth, if she did not choose one, both would die, Sophie makes her choice and the doomed child shrieks as it is dragged away.

It was so well written it took me a while to figure out what the problem was.  Sophie did not have permission to make that choice.  She was never given the right to decide who lives and who dies when she was given lives to care for.  When the nazi captain said choose, her answer should have been "I do  not have permission to make such a choice."

The captain would have reminded her both would die.  To which her reply ought to be "If one, both, or neither dies, that is your choice not mine.  I have no power here, only you have the power to decide."

The captain may say he is giving her the power to save one, but her reply should be the ground-shifting "i do not have permission to make such a choice."

Whence permission?  Only from God, He who the captain as testing.  No doubt the drunken captain would have packed both off to die at her conscientious objection, but perhaps he would have reflected on his actions and permission and the God he was wondering about.  And since life went rather downhill from that point for Sophie et fil, the early death of both kids would have been better.

We are all given false choices to consider, but we must be ready to consider whether the power that is given to us is legitimate.  Usually not.  If not, you do not have permission to exercise it.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment