Pick a Little, Talk a Little
WTF? I know Johnny Hart tries to get Christian themes into B.C. from time to time, and my guess is that this is one of those times. I also think it’s a pun: “idol” for “idle.” But the phrase I’d always heard was “Idle HANDS are the devil’s playground.” At least that was what Professor Harold Hill told the good people of River City, Iowa. This is back when the River Citians had trouble, or more properly, “Trouble” (with a capital T) in the form of a pool table! Then they got a boys’ band and everything was A-OK.
Anyway, as far as I can tell, the proper pun would be “Idol HANDS are the devil’s playground,” but I’m guessing that “An idle MIND is the devil’s playground’ may be a variation on the old standard that I had not heard. So, OK. It’s a pun. Got it.
So, that’s one Christian message on the importance of a strong, Protestant work ethic. Or at least I thought that’s what the adage always meant – if you weren’t busy, you’d get in to trouble. But the use of “idol” in the pun also calls to mind “Thou shalt not worship graven images” which is one of the Commandments, which makes the strip JUDEO-Christian.
But, still, it just confuses me. Why did he carve a devil? The point of the commandment against idol worship was that you shouldn’t think that God was in a statue or other graven image. The representation of a god was just that – representation, and you shouldn’t worship it. An "idol mind" would not necessarily carve an image of a devil. It could just as easily conceive of a Clay Aiken statue. It didn’t HAVE to be a devil statue. The point of the commandment, as I see it, is you should worship God, not random other stuff. So I guess the devil statue just makes the point more obvious. Or would, if I understood the point.
How did the guy end up under the devil statue’s pitchfork? Is he, indeed, worshipping the devil’s statue? If he is a Satanist, worshipping the devil, then I think there are larger problems than him worshipping an idol. I mean, he worships the DEVIL. The DEVIL! Who cares if he also worships a statue? He worships the DEVIL!
Maybe, though, he’s not worshipping, but he fell under the pitchfork. Carve a devil statue, then get stuck under its pitchfork? Sounds like karma to me. But karma’s a Buddhist thing, and I don’t want to get another religion all mixed up in this.
Is the carved devil wearing lipstick?? Is it a cross-dresser??
In conclusion: Don’t worship the devil. Don’t say the comics never gave you guidance for your life.