1. I love that anime. I really do! I’ve missed out on the last three years writing, but I can’t wait to get back into it.

  2. Have you read The Silmarilion? There’s some especially interesting oaths and consequences. I read an interesting blog yesterday about covenants (oaths/vows) – Saul broke a vow and David and the Israelites suffered for it. I hadn’t thought about it but it is scary how lightly our politicians take their vows and the consequences that could follow because of it… https://freedomintheology.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/2-samuel-21-famine-and-giants/

    • Julie D says:

      The version of Feanor’s oath in the Lays of Beleriand is as follows:
      “Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean
      Brood of Morgoth or bright Vala,
      Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
      Man yet unborn upon Middle-earth,
      Neither law, nor love, nor league of swords,
      Dread nor danger, not Doom itself
      Shall defend him from Fëanáro, and Fëanáro’s kin,
      Whoso hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh,
      Finding keepeth or afar casteth
      A Silmaril. This swear we all…
      Death we will deal him ere Day’s ending,
      Woe unto world’s end! Our word hear thou,
      Eru Allfather! To the everlasting
      Darkness doom us if our deed faileth…
      On the holy mountain hear in witness
      and our vow remember,
      Manwë and Varda!”
      It also says in the published Silmarillion, near the end, when the remaining sons are quarreling, “everlasting darkness shall be our lot whether we keep or break our oath, but I judge less harm in the breaking.” Not that they follow through on that insight…

  3. LM Burchfiel says:

    For counterpoint, we could bring up Robocop for oaths (transposed into programming) used to manipulate people and situations, that prevents Robocop from acting against The Man despite his programming/desire for justice. Promises made in good faith being used against a person.
    In fact, that’s an interesting idea in of itself, comparing promises with programming. Of course the kicker is one of choice vs imposition, with ideas about hierarchy thrown in.
    Of course, you can make miles off the ideas of hierarchy alone. Burnett is for hierarchy, being a white male Calvinist and all, but even if we contrasted the ideas of European and, for example, Japanese ideas of hierarchy, there’s some contrast already. It’s not anime, but Kurosawa’s adaptation of Macbeth (Spider Web Castle, go watch it) had the common soldiers executing Japanese-Macbeth because he failed in his duties to his people. In the European original, Macbeth had to be killed by a social peer to suit the European ideals of hierarchy.
    It’s kinda funny when you think about dueling ideas of things like rebellion. Even as Americans, there’s a weird duality in celebrating rebellion (Revolutionary War) to crushing dissent in the name of patriotism (Cold War).
    This essay brought to you by my essay-writing reflexes caused by college.

    • “Hierarchy.” As the man said, you keep using that word. … Also, what hath the terms “white,” “male,” or “Calvinist” to do with anything?

      • LM Burchfiel says:

        Do you like “authoritarianism” better?

        • It doesn’t sound like you are being serious. It makes it difficult even to take a false accusation seriously. To be sure, Biblical Christians do believe in an ultimate authority — God’s — and authority among human beings. But why use the term “authoritarian” or “hierarchy”? Aren’t these flippant terms that deny the potential goodness of these gifts?

          People similarly use terms like “escapist” or “occult” carelessly to deny the goodness of fantastical stories. Of course, if they have not experienced that goodness themselves, or only know people who abuse the gift, that would make more sense. But if they are simply repeating something they’ve heard, or else trying to fit with the zeitgeist of their evangelical subcultures, theirs is not a charge they can be serious about.

  4. Julie D says:

    The whole idea of oaths really connects to the concept of trustworthiness. Even if the oath wasn’t sworn, there’s an undercurrent on whether or not you can trust someone..

What do you think?