On a radio interview the other day, I heard a woman say an extraordinary thing:  I don't believe in sin.

Her statement was received as casually as it was tossed out, but I have been thinking about it ever since.  It reminds me of the billboard that used to greet me as I entered the highway near here:  God is not angry.  That message was sponsored by a church, and I understand where they're coming from.  When your parents are mad, do you like to spend time with them, or do you prefer to lie low?  My first reaction, however, was that if God isn't angry about some of the things his creatures are doing to each other, he has no business being God.

Oh, if only declaring that we don't believe in sin would make it go away!  I wanted to grab the woman by the scruff of the neck and force her to face the victims of child abuse, human trafficking, Mexican drug lords, Joseph Kony, Stalin, ISIS ... and tell me again that she doesn't believe in sin.  If there is no sin, would she even be right to feel aggrieved that I had grabbed her by the scruff of the neck?

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Edit
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Did she say she believed in God? I did not hear the interview but if sin is defined as a transgression against Divine Law and she does not believe in God, how could she believe in sin?
Did she deny that there are bad people who do horrific things? She may have a strong sense of right and wrong and how you should treat others but may not define those in religious terms.

Posted by NMKB on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 8:52 am

She claims to be Muslim. The story was about the Muslim Funny Fest in New York City. Nonetheless, I suspect you are right that she is defining sin as you said, as a transgression of Divine Law, even though according to my Merriam-Webster authority "transgression of the law of God" is only part of the second definition, with "an offense against religious or moral law," "an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible," and "an often serious shortcoming" all coming first. I wish the interviewer had asked her to clarify, because Muslims do believe in Divine Law, and in any case to anyone accustomed to the less narrow definition of sin, that was a pretty horrendous statement. But it was, after all, only a short interview about humor....

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 9:33 am
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