Wednesday, April 30, 2008

same commandments, worse sins

Not long ago, there was that loud and clear worldwide news saying that a Vatican official came out with a list of “New Seven Modern Social Sins”. Needless to say, the whole of Christendom was caught unaware and wherefore much surprised by the news which was more disturbing than interesting. The more intriguing questions immediately asked were the following: Why…are there new Commandments? Why…do we not have enough sins? Why…should life be made more difficult?

As it turned out, the media outfit that came out with the news proved to be wrong. In local media language, some people somewhere were “na-kuryente”, i.e., suffered a big burn, committed an honest mistake. The truth is that the Commandments--as old as humanity and thus much older than the Church—are exactly the same since God handed them down to Moses for humanity to obey. In other words, there are really no such things as “new” sins. Instead, the Vatican official concerned just mentioned new worst ways of violating the same Commandments during these so called “Modern Times”.

The sins of these times against the Commandments of God are more fatal and detrimental to people on account of their much worst or grievous consequences to society. This is why these violations of the same Divine Mandates are said to be not only “new”, but also “modern” and “social”. And “seven” were enumerated in line with the number of the following long standing seven capital sins, i.e., the origin of many other transgressions ultimately against others: Pride. Avarice. Envy. Anger. Lust. Gluttony. Sloth.

The “New Seven Modern Social Sins” that bring more intensive havoc and extensive damage to people—especially the helpless, the poor and the sick—are the following: 1. Bioethical violations such as the manufacture and prescription of abortifacient pills. 2. Dubious experimentations such as those laboratory researches done on human embryos. 3. Proliferation of prohibited drugs among individuals of all ages. 4. Environmental pollutions that poison the earth and contaminate the winds. 5. Excessive wealth or concentration of resources in the hands of few people or corporations. 6. Greater or bigger divide between the rich and the poor. 7. Installation of poverty as a way of life for the majority.

In the Philippines, the more commonly perpetrated and deeply felt “social sins”, needless to say, are the last three that have immediate relevance to institutional lying, administrative cheating and government stealing on the part of certain highly placed and well-known political leaders with their close associates. The two Commandments grossly violated by these characters are still exactly the same: “DO NOT STEAL…DO NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S GOODS.” (Exodus 20:15, 17). The worse sins in this otherwise blessed country is thus only to well known: endemic graft and structural corruption. The devastating and lamentable impact of these particular sins against the Seventh and Tenth Commandments are already too well known to still merit elaboration.

30 April 2008