Sheldon & Judas Iscariot: Love, Sex and Betrayal

“Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

I recently watched a bible series which included the scene of Judas’ betrayal. Surprisingly, it seemed to dovetail with an episode of "Young Sheldon" I watched on Netflix the same night.

Young Sheldon's Meemaw (grandmother) was teaching him to play poker – an ingenious method of teaching him social cues. She asked him to look at his cards and then look at her. He had good cards, so he smiled. She then did the same thing, but frowned after looking at her cards. Meemaw ended up having the winning hand, and Sheldon questioned how this could be the case given she expressed a sad face.

Meemaw: Sheldon, this is called bluffing.

Sheldon: Do people know about this?

Meemaw: Sheldon, what's on people’s faces isn't always what’s in their hearts.

Sheldon: This changes everything, how do you know who to trust?

Meemaw: You don’t.

"Meemaw liked to teach me things that kept me awake at night" – Sheldon Cooper

So where is the segue? Let us begin …

This piece is about lying, not just regular lying with our words, but something much deeper. So let’s backtrack a bit. Judas, one of the twelve apostles, committed treason, commonly understood as “betraying king and country”. The reason that treason is much worse than other crimes is that it doesn't just affect a few people, but rather affects everybody, making the culpability unfathomable. Treason can't be committed by just anybody; the person must be in a position of power or authority, and it requires a gross exploitation of privilege.

Judas committed treason towards the King of the universe, and the way he did it makes it all the more heinous. Not only did Judas use his words to commit treason, but it was expressed with a physical act of the body.

He betrayed the Son of Man with a kiss. A physical gesture that is otherwise used to express profound love was used to commit a sin of the highest order. And whilst we may regard this lie of the body as trivial, it is not. It is representative of the ability of the body to abuse the language it speaks to spread betrayal and lies. Perhaps you see this echo through the world today in the abuse of sex, the sole greatest physical act of humanity?

Just like Sheldon’s grandmother tricked him with her countenance, and Judas betrayed his allegiance to Christ with a kiss, we too can betray our loved ones with bodily deceit.

Integrity. The Latin origin of the word is to integrate or bring together. The Catholic church teaches that we are to be constantly engaged in an effort to bring together our intellect and our will. The intellect being our reasoning which deciphers right from wrong, and our will being the force that acts on the perceived good. To present your words and actions genuinely to whoever is in front of you is what it means to be a person of integrity. A maxim worthy of pursuing as a society.

Our bodies are beautiful entities of expression and are created solely for expression; just like Christ is the Word made flesh, our bodies are our intellect made active. We should work on strengthening our integrity and becoming beacons of truth and goodness. A ship of right in a sea of wrong. We should sail through life spreading what is true, and ensuring that a kiss remains a gesture of a promise, and sex remains the expression of a faithful, fruitful, free and total love, genuine, and not counterfeit.

Let’s keep our ‘poker faces’ out of our relationships.

BIO: Jean-Claude Attieh is your regular Nutella loving, sports watching, tabouli eating gentle giant! Beginning his time at ACU Campus Ministry in July 2019, Jean-Claude is never shy to make an impression or share his Lebanese Maronite culture with all who cross his path. “Christ is in each and every person I meet, so why should I not be His hands and feet. Christ loved us first, and that is why I am called to show the same”.

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