UK Politics

Seven Deadly Syns

Just when you thought you’d learned them all, well enough of them to follow the plot of the movie Se7en, Papa Ratzy introduces seven more seven deadly sins, though I suspect he got Michael Moore to draft them instead of bothering God.

“Drug pushers, the obscenely rich, environmental polluters and “manipulative” genetic scientists beware – you may be in danger of losing your mortal soul unless you repent,” reports The Times.

The new SDS’s are: accumulating obscene wealth, polluting the environment, genetic engineering, drug dealing, abortion, paedophilia and causing social injustice.

Though, I would argue that these are not ‘new’ so much as mere commentary on the existing ones, and not enirely thought through.

When does wealth become an obscenity? I agree with the sentiment, as might most, but since a mortal soul is at stake here, shouldn’t the specific limit be hinted at? Some might, for example, point to the wealth of The Church.

Polluting the environment is undesirable, but arguably unavoidable. Not being Catholic, I’m not sure how sin works. Is it okay, let us say, to commit the sin as long as one tried really hard not to?

I have no idea why Genetic Engineering is sinful. It may well prove the salvation of humanity. Of course, like anything there are successes and cock-ups, but making it ‘sinful’?

Drug dealing, okay not much argument there. I see no virtue and little controversy… except, define “drug”.

Abortion. Well, now there’s a biggy. I’m just surprised that contraception isn’t included. Perhaps it’s a type of abortion. I;m not sure. Though, clearly this is designed to be a politically conservative attack on women.

Paedophilia. Well no arguments there. Good that the Vatican is taking a clearer line on this rather than covering it up. Or is this just a sticky-plaster for a shark bite? I’m not convinced that the original sins didn’t already cover this by implication, but were still ignored despite being more ‘authentic’.

Causing Social Injustice. Another nice one. Obviously no one should ever cause this. But I suspect there will be wars over what precisely a “social injustice” is. Does one need to be buried along with one’s celestial solicitor these days.

I also wonder how many of these new deadly sins Jesus was guilty of. Turning water into wine must have been an astounding feat of GM, as was bringing forth fruit on those barren trees.. or was that Brian? (I sometimes get confused.) Anyhow, I digress.

These new sins are supposedly preparing the faithful for the new age of “globalisation”. So the question of the day is this…

Is “globalisation” really a new and distinct phase in human development requiring for the first time in thousands of years, a major new addition to (rather than occasional tinkering with) the fundamentals of scripture?

Or, is it a desperate attempt to remain relevant in an increasingly secular world?

The reason I ask the second part, of course, is that with globalisation, markedly different faiths are brought into ever greater contact, highlighting their incompatible and competing tenets and beliefs. Of course Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Shintoism are all mutually blasphemous, so being thrown into the globalised melting pot of ideas and culture must be very threatening indeed.

The Pope complains that an increasing number of people in the secularised West are “making do without God”, but in a globalised world, perhaps the problem is that on the chosing a god front, they’re now so spoiled for choice that many decide to do without.

There is nothing like a panoply of competing deities to reveal their mutual absurdities.

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