Roman Catholic Church
Seven additional reasons to go to hell
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In an effort to stay abreast of the times and to feel more relevant, the Catholic Church has issued a decree that doubles the number of “capital” sins to fourteen.
Added to the original seven cardinal sins of pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth is a new and improved set of cardinal sins that deal with current social issues.
The seven new sins are practicing birth control, biochemical experimentation, drug abuse, pollution of the environment, widening divisions between rich and poor, excessive wealth and creating poverty. This new set of deadly sins assumes a decidedly different set of values than we find in the original seven deadly sins. Clearly pride, envy gluttony, etc. are traits that all would agree are sinful in that they betray toxic character traits.
The new set of sins will ensure that a lot more people will be spending eternity vying for a cool spot, as every human being would likely be guilty of at least one of these sins.
How many women practice birth control, either proactively through the Pill or retroactively through abortion? Given that the world’s birthrate is trending toward decline, with some countries actually experiencing negative growth, only capable of maintaining population stasis through immigration, I’d venture to say that the Vatican is a tad late in declaring birth control to be a cardinal sin.
While biochemistry has always posed ethical problems, stem cell research, the bioengineering of food crops and cloning of animals have progressed to a state where they hold the promise of healing disease and prolonging life. It’s all big business now and no effort on the part of the Church is going to deflect current research trends. On the contrary, it is highly likely that as new discoveries about the nature and mutability of life are made, they will lead to ever more ethically and morally controversial areas.
For nearly half a century, the problem of drug abuse has grown to near pandemic proportions. Considering that billions of dollars are involved in the world-wide drug trade, a decree by the Vatican that drug abuse is a cardinal sin will have about as much effect on the problem as a water pistol would have against a volcano. The worldwide drug trade rivals, if not exceeds, the Vatican’s own revenues, funding countless wars and funneling innumerable billions into the coffers of those engaged in that trade. Chances are that percentage-wise not many of those in the trade are Christians, much less Catholic.
The Vatican also declared polluting to be a deadly sin. One would presume that this includes all polluters great and small; from the guy who flips a cigarette butt out of his car window to the Exxon Corporation, which was responsible for one of the largest oil spills in history. One is given to wonder if it includes SUV drivers, shoppers who buy groceries without reusable bags and ranchers with large cattle herds that add to the world’s greenhouse gases through flatulence.
And just when you thought that Marxism had suffered its final and fatal defeat with the fall of the Soviet Union, along comes the Vatican with three more capital sins that sound like they came straight from Das Kapital. The three new sins are widening the divide between rich and poor, excessive wealth and creating poverty.
Presumably if you are skilled and work hard and earn more than the people down the street, the Vatican would want you to donate some of your money to them, lest you widen the gap between them and yourself. And if you happen to win a lottery jackpot, or invent a better mousetrap or, heaven forbid, inherit a stupid amount of money from your grandfather, then you have committed the sin of excessive wealth.
Finally, there is the deadly sin of creating poverty. I’m wondering how that works. Does it mean that governments whose badly thought-out policies result in a depression will go to hell? Clearly corporate raiders who buy up companies and dismantle them for their assets would qualify, as they would also be sinning for excessive wealth. What about individuals who opt to live their lives on welfare rather than working and the governments that enable them to do so?
I’m thinking that as far as sins go, these are a tad too complicated. A good lawyer could get you out of hell in a New York minute. Much better are the original cardinal sins, which one could name with one word and everyone would know what was meant.