Devotion #13: The Volturi – Civilization Doesn’t Equal Morality

“Bella, It’s Edward. He’s going to the Volturi…He thinks you’re dead. He wants to die, too.” – Alice

The Volturi aren’t supposed to be the villains, the way they seem to you. They are the foundation of our peace and civilization.
―Edward Cullen

“You have to understand,” [Alice] said, her voice slower, more measured now. “We Cullens are unique in more ways than you know. It’s…abnormal for so many of us to live together in peace. It’s the same for Tanya’s family in the north, and Carlisle speculates that abstaining [from human blood] makes it easier for us to be civilized, to form bonds based on love rather than survival or convenience. Even James’s little coven of three was unusually large—and you saw how quickly Laurent left them. Our kind travel alone, or in pairs, as a general rule. Carlisle’s family is the biggest in existence, as far as I know, with one exception. The Volturi.

“I’m not sure, but I suspect their age is what gives them the ability to live peacefully together….Or maybe it’s just their love of power that binds them together. Royalty is an apt description.”

“There’s a reason he called them royalty…the ruling class. Over the millenia, they have assumed the position of enforcing our rules—which actually translates to punishing transgressors. They fulfill that duty decisively.”
New Moon – Chapter 18, 19.

Even Vampires have government, rules, and capital punishment. Their government, the Volturi, still function as judge, jury, and executioner for all offenders.  While some form of government is necessary for any kind of society (living or undead) to avoid destroying itself by lack of self-government, the government cannot instill this self-government—morality—in its people. This is precisely why the Old Testament law was a temporary solution, fulfilled and replaced by the “better way” that is Christ’s life. Without a better way, the law written on our hearts, we always require policing and the cycle of crime and punishment continues.

Also, just because leadership is effective in maintaining a cohesive society that follows the rules, doesn’t mean that that leadership is moral.

The Volturi, while so adept at keeping their populus (both good and bad) in line and maintaining the peace and safety needed for them to survive, are adept at more than that: they are proficient in their hoarding and centralization of power, justification of murdering innocent life, and self-preservation.

It is said that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it’s certain that no dictatorial society arises overnight, but with much planning and delicate acquisition of playing pieces—bishop and pawn alike—to reinforce their power.

For those who haven’t read further than New Moon or Eclipse, you may not know what is to come from the Volturi, but read on. The Volturi is a literary exercise in proving that while you may enjoy the comfort and safety of a well-ruled civilization, that same word does not include or substitute morality as that comes from another place.

In fact, it’s often said that the reason civilizations fail is because of a moral or religious decline. But if you consider the two side-by-side, morality: adherence to conviction and self-rule; is greater than outward civilization because nothing and noone can take that away from you. Without vision, the people perish (Prov. 29:18), and a man that rules his spirit is greater than one who conquers  a great city (Prov. 16:32).

Consider where your sense of civility and personal conduct come from. Consider devesting yourself from what is outward, as that can change in the blink of an eye. Moral relativity only makes sense to a certain level, once you pass that, you’re no longer going with the flow, but may find yourself in the undertow.

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~ by sarahthebaker on February 10, 2010.

2 Responses to “Devotion #13: The Volturi – Civilization Doesn’t Equal Morality”

  1. Oh, Sarah, I’m glad you’re back posting Twi-devotionals!! This is great! Well-written, timely, and thought-provoking. Well done!

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