Warning: Some might find this offensive. I don't intend it to be that way, and these are only my opinions.
The Vatican has updated its list of Seven Deadly Sins. I'm not sure if the SDS are still deadly and still sins--I think they are--but in an effort to be more 21st century, more "hip," more "with it," if you will, the new list is called the Seven Social Sins.
It just doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it? Seven Deadly Sins sounds much cooler, much more sinister...much deadlier. Heck, the Traveling Wilburys even recorded a song called "7 Deadly Sins"! Here's the list of the originals:
I love the brevity, the conciseness, the to-the-point and in-your-face attitude of this list. It's simple. It tells it like it is. It's downright elegant in its user-friendliness! Really, this says it all. Don't get too big for your britches. Be happy for what you have and don't begrudge others what they have. Don't be a pig. Don't be a slut or a whoredog (my word for the male equivalent). Keep your cool and be kind to others, and don’t hold grudges. Money isn't everything, and don't cheat people in order to get more of it. Don't be a lazy slug, and work for what you want. This is a cool list.
The new list of Seven Social Sins:
1. "Bioethical" violations such as birth control
2. "Morally dubious" experiments such as stem cell research
3. Drug abuse
4. Polluting the environment
5. Contributing to the widening divide between rich and poor
6. Excessive wealth
7. Creating poverty
While apparently not officially on the list, abortion is also included in the list of "mortal sins." Oh, and pedophilia, too. Don't forget THAT one! Shouldn’t pedophilia be right up there at the top? Although perhaps it is already covered under envy and lust.
Let's take a look at each of the "social sins" on the new list.
Bioethical violations such as birth control
Whose "bio" and whose "ethics?" I know, I know...this is a sticky one, and one that the Vatican has remained steadfast about. Tonight's news reported that 1 in 4 teenage girls has some kind of sexually transmitted disease. I'll just say that I've never agreed with the Vatican's position on this, I never will, and we'll leave it at that.
Morally dubious experiments such as stem cell research
While I understand certain moral objections to this, I believe there is a way to solve the problem. Scientists are already working on ways to convert various types of cells to a "stem cell state," and I think this will negate any moral objections. While I realize that some object to this type of research, I think that having a loved one with a genetic disease that has the potential to be cured by stem cell work would change one's perspective a bit.
Isn't this already addressed by gluttony, lust, greed, and sloth?
Polluting the environment
Poor stewardship of the environment is ignorant, but a sin? I think that might be pushing it. What about people who travel around the world in order to raise money for various charities? They do some major polluting. Are they sinning because they're polluting, or are they doing good because they're trying to help people? This is also the au courant social issue, so it strikes me as attempting to be politically correct. And, you know..."with it."
Contributing to the widening divide between rich and poor
This seems to be very vague. Contributing how? And how much? What is the cutoff? Does this apply especially to politicians, or just average folks? Is someone who earns a good salary because they went to school and worked hard guilty of sinning because they don't give their money away? Or are they simply guilty because they earn more than the average person? This seems rather anti-capitalism to me.
Again, this is vague. What is the cutoff? And doesn't the means of gain matter as well? What about people like Bill Gates, who is a billionaire many times over, but is now spending much of his fortune on helping others in Africa and throughout the world by funding research that the government won't? Or Warren Buffett, who gave his billions to the Gates Foundation? It seems to me that excessive wealth, if legitimately earned, is not a big problem unless you squander it and don't try to do good things with it.
Once again, I find this vague. I'm just not sure what they're going for here. There is so much involved in the economy, both nationally and globally, and poverty is the result of many diverse factors. I started listing things, and there are just too many to write about. Who do you hold accountable? The government? Individuals? OPEC? The economy is affected by severe weather, for Pete's sake. There's just so much more to it than simply saying that "creating poverty" is a sin. Who exactly is the sinner here?
I find it a shame that the Vatican has moved away from the concise elegance of the original Seven Deadly Sins and is now touting the Seven Politically Correct 21st Century Social Sins. I think that if you think about it, each of the new social sins are covered by the original Seven. Instead of the brevity and clarity of the one word originals, they’ve gone with the ambiguity and open-to-interpretation socials. There's a lot to be said for simplicity.