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i seem to have sombre thoughts on Sundays

i seem to have sombre thoughts on Sundays...

Seven Deadly Sins

Most of us can tell you what the Sins are – Anger, Avarice, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Pride & Sloth.  Do you know what the Seven Virtues are?  Just for the record, they’re Charity, Chastity, Diligence, Humility, Kindness, Patience & Temperance.

I’ve been reading India Knight’s column in the Times and she quotes Dorothy L Sayers who ‘once cleverly observed that the sins ought to be sub-divided into the disreputable-but-warm-hearted [lust, anger, gluttony] and the respectable-but-cold-hearted [envy, sloth, avarice, pride] – cold-hearted because they are sins of the spirit rather than the flesh and respectable because they can masquerade as virtues.’   I think she was a very smart woman and not because she was the first woman to get a University degree, or because the wrote the excellent Lord Peter Whimsy detective stories.  This was a woman who knew what she wanted and had the brain to get there.

India goes on to talk about more possible modern applications of the Sins, the Catholic Church and which are more common to men and women, etc.  My grasshopper brain had enough by then and I scanned the rest of the article and the various generalisations, and moved on.   I started thinking about which Sins apply to us in particular and do we really believe in such things any more.  Gotta say I don’t.

We still recognise gluttony as greed [not really a good thing, Mr Gecko], pride giving us a false impression of our self worth, the pitfalls of envy as jealousy and we know about the others.  We do try to curb the nastier sides of our natures but do we still believe the others are sins?  Well, i’m not a Catholic [or any of the other sub-branches that think the same way] and I never did believe anger, avarice, sloth or most of them were worthy of breast beating frankly.  And the older I get and consequently, further away from recognised forms of religious, the less likely I am to change my mind.  Where is cruelty and the complete disregard for others on that list?

I can see how and know why this list was designed, to mould good little Churchgoers into models of virtue, not that they ever succeeded or will succeed, judging by the lines trooping daily into confession boxes – of the ones that still actually go to church that is.  Human nature will defeat them every time.  Oh there are the religious who still struggle and try to force a large foot into a small shoe but as time passes, I get the feeling the Churches aren’t winning.

My belief is that you don’t need religion to teach you what is right and wrong [especially as so many really creepy people keep crawling out from under religious rocks], life will teach you fast enough.  Hopefully you will have parents or guardians who will help smooth the way and show you how to be as good a person as you can be.   Let’s not be jamming their developing brains with concepts of ‘is lust bad or good’ – and how much pride is allowed before it starts to make you think you are better than someone else.  Time enough for that when the brain develops enough to cope with a general concept, rather than actuality.

 

So, what Sins do I believe in and/or suffer from?  Ha!  Like I’m going to tell you??  I’m sure you can work that out for yourself!