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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

God hates sins. Note the plural. 

Almost two months ago, I said:

So far, I've decided that I'd like to touch upon a few issues:

Those who insist on battling one sin (e.g. greed or homosexuality) while ignoring other sins (e.g. greed or homosexuality).

But I never touched upon it. Now's the time. Also see this Empoblog post (which refers to 1 Corinthians 6:8-10) and this Word Search post (which refers to Romans 1:29-31). Just from these two passages alone, we get a big old list of sins:
  • wickedness

  • evil

  • greed

  • depravity

  • envy

  • murder

  • strife

  • deceit

  • malice

  • gossips

  • slanderers

  • God-haters

  • insolent

  • arrogant

  • boastful

  • invent ways of doing evil

  • disobey their parents

  • senseless

  • faithless

  • heartless

  • ruthless

  • cheat

  • sexually immoral

  • idolators

  • adulterers

  • male prostitutes

  • homosexual offenders

  • thieves

  • greedy (again)

  • drunkards

  • slanderers (again)

  • swindlers

That's a long list. Let's boil it down:

According to Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Panati, Greek monastic theologian Evagrius of Pontus first drew up a list of eight offenses and wicked human passions:. They were, in order of increasing seriousness: gluttony, lust, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride. Evagrius saw the escalating severity as representing increasing fixation with the self, with pride as the most egregious of the sins. Acedia (from the Greek "akedia," or "not to care") denoted "spiritual sloth."

In the late 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great reduced the list to seven items, folding vainglory into pride, acedia into sadness, and adding envy. His ranking of the Sins' seriousness was based on the degree from which they offended against love. It was, from most serious to least: pride, envy, anger, sadness, avarice, gluttony, and lust. Later theologians, including St. Thomas Aquinas, would contradict the notion that the seriousness of the sins could be ranked in this way. The term "covetousness" has historically been used interchangeably with "avarice" in accounts of the Deadly Sins. In the seventeenth century, the Church replaced the vague sin of "sadness" with sloth.

Whitestone Journal offers the following:

The history of this list goes back at least to Pope St. Gregory the Great and St. John Cassian, but while the list itself is not strictly biblical, the Bible proscribes all seven. If one or more of these doesn't seem like a big sin to you, it almost certainly means you have already rationalized it. Work on that one first....

The Seven Deadly Sins never occur as a formal list in the Bible. Some people say they can all be found in Matthew's Gospel (chapters 5 through 7), but they are not in a simple list there. Others submit Proverbs 6:16-19, but this is a different list, covering pride, lies, murder, evil plans, swiftness in sin, lies again, causing conflict. Clearly not the same....

Rather than these sins being identified in a single place in the Bible, they are found all through it, from Genesis to Revelation. The letters of the New Testament mention all of these, and many others as well. The Catechism has many Scriptural references in the section that lists the "Seven Deadly Sins."

And, according to Sherwood Schwartz, the Seven Deadly Sins were played out in a seemingly frivolous comedy show:

According to the book Inside Gilligan's Island by Sherwood Schwartz (St. Martin's Press, 1994), the creator of the show confesses that he purposely patterned the 'seven stranded castaways' after the seven deadly sins. He confesses that he didn't tell anyone until years after the show was over, because he thought that people would ridicule him for attributing such a serious theme to such a silly show. 'The Professor' - pride, 'Mr. Howell (the millionare)' greed, 'Ginger- the movie star' - extravagance -later lust, 'Mary Ann' - envy, 'Mrs. Lovey Howell ' - thoughtless excess or gluttony, 'The Skipper' - anger, and 'Gilligan' - sloth.

But which sins are we targeting for action? A search of the Focus on the Family website seems to indicate that "sexual sin" is the major focus there. The American Family Association also targets sexual sin, especially homosexuality and pornography. The Archidiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Office for Social Justicetargets greed and racism. For Jack Chick, the major sin appears to be Catholicism.

It appears that the only person to be universally condemned would be a greedy gay. Self-sacrificing gays and greedy heterosexual monogamists would get a pass from some people.

From tbn.org:

Search results for: greed

Your search yielded no results. Please try again.

From osjspm.org:

Your search - homosexual - did not match any documents.

But they don't want children to disobey their parents:

195. It is of the utmost importance that parents exercise their right and obligation toward the younger generation by securing for their children a sound cultural and religious formation. They must also educate them to a deep sense of responsibility in life, especially in such matters as concern the foundation of a family and the procreation and education of children. They must instill in them an unshakable confidence in Divine Providence and a determination to accept the inescapable sacrifices and hardships involved in so noble and important a task as the co-operation with God in the transmitting of human life and the bringing up of children.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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