Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 4: The Unfaithful Lover
The adulterer Billy Corgan sings to in “Violet Rays” is like humanity, whom a loving God takes back over and over.
October 20, 2013 - 1:00 pm
In the book that bears his name, Hosea received an unusual command from the Lord: marry the prostitute Gomer and welcome her back into his arms when she strays from her husband. The lesson? That God’s people wander and choose to be unfaithful to God, but he welcomes them back again. See Hosea 11:
7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. 10 They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the Lord.
In the New Testament, Jesus saves a woman caught in adultery from being stoned by the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, and he forgives her, provided she repent of her sins. See John 8:
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Other Biblical accounts, like the parables of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) and the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7), express the notion of a God who welcomes back the unfaithful who choose to be faithful again.
The lover to whom Corgan sings in “Violet Rays” is like God, taking the unfaithful back over and over:
Does love matter when love’s the actor
For what you are after is me
Babe, don’t leave me, please believe me
‘Cause I’m so easy to know
Those who love the God of the Bible can take comfort knowing that God takes us back when we turn back to Him, no matter how many times we wander off. Corgan captures this idea well in “Violet Rays.”