Monday, August 16, 2004

Social Sins vs. Individual Sins, take I.

This will - I hope - be the first part in a continuing series on the nature of sin, socially and individually, with a special emphasis on how it is treated within modern Christianity.

For starters, lets name two activities that arguably could be called sins: abortion, and state sponsored execution. It is widely accepted within the church community (broadly speaking) that abortions are sins whose mothers are guilty of extinguishing a living creature - i.e. a form of murder. Many of these same church congregations, however, do not consider it sinful for the state to execute convicted (note I did not say guilty) criminals for certain behaviors they have been found accountable for, also a form of murder. Why is this?

In the first example, two parties are often held accountable for the murder of the fetus - the mother who "chooses" to have an abortion, and the doctor who performs it. In the second, only one person is considered accountable for the murder - the criminal who brought the punishment down upon himself for failing to obey the rule of law. In the modern church, these sins are treated as the sole responsibility (no pun intended) of the individual. We here at the Social Gospel Today, however, believe the blame to be much more widespread.... Tune in tomorrow to find out how.

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