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December 27, 2009

In terms of love and virtue, Knights emphasize dichotomies. Religious Knights, for example, see the world in “either/or” terms and conclude that one can only choose to obey or disobey God’s law. Oftentimes this means religious Knights categorize men and women only as saints or sinners. As a result, as Knights see it, virtuous men and women have only two moral options—to resist temptation or succumb to it.

Some self-proclaimed “outlaws” or “rebels” delight in flouting the ways of virtuous Knights. However, by defining themselves by what they are not, they still follow the “either/or” mindsets and ways of a Knight, just from the shadow side. Willie Nelson is a modern example, as are members of biker gangs who aspire to live life by their own rules rather than by the constraints of polite society. Evangelist Franklin Graham, who rebelled against the ways of his father Billy Graham until he “surrendered” to the ministry later in life, is another modern outlaw-turned-champion of virtue.

Occasionally, Knights will play both the saint and the rake—and other Knights will enjoy living vicariously through them. James Bond is a modern Knight who both saves the world and beds exotic beauties. Indiana Jones splits his time between teaching university students and hunting archaeological treasures—and killing Nazis. Han Solo from Star Wars is a smuggler and pirate whose attack of conscience spurs him to join the Rebellion against the evil Empire. Robin Hood robbed the rich and corrupt and gave to the poor. Johnny Cash knew about—and sang about—both virtue and vice.


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