τί γὰρ ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt 16:26)
Literature is full of tales, poems, and songs about deals with the devil — Hades, Satan, Lucifer, Scratch, Mephistopheles, whoever. The plot is always the same. Driven by desire for fame, fortune, knowledge, sick chops, whatever, the protagonist strikes a deal. In exchange for that which he craves, he agrees to eventually cede the one thing he could theoretically take with him — his “soul.” The stories end with the devil coming to collect this due, but every so often the debtor finds some way to get out of the deal without paying up. “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” “The Devil Came Down to Georgia,” and the movie Crossroads (the one with Karate Kid Ralph Macchio, NOT the one with Britney Spears) are some of few versions that end on a happy note.
The New York Times recently featured an excellent op-ed piece by David Brooks titled “The Republican Fausts.” It is worth reading. The question is leaves you with, is what price are people willing to pay — and how exactly do they expect to profit?
We, as a nation, are at a crossroads….