Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Seven Deadly Secular Sins

The Catholic Church recognises "Seven Deadly Sins".  See this excerpt from the Catechism:

"What are the Seven Deadly Sins?
Answer:  Pride, Covetousness (or greed), Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy and Sloth.

They are the tendencies that cause us to commit all other sins.  They are called "deadly" because, if we engage in them willingly, they deprive us of sanctifying grace, the life of God in our souls."

But we live in a Post Christian age in the West, where the old Christian values are rarely taught or heeded as the norm.  Instead,  secular and humanistic beliefs prevail.  People can't believe in "nothing", so a new set of beliefs and norms have  evolved.  Do these new things sound familiar?

The Seven Deadly Secular Sins are:
  1. Misogyny
  2. Racism
  3. Homophobia
  4. Elitism
  5. Smoking
  6. Obesity
  7. Religious Belief.
More than that, we have vested modern medicine men with the powers of priesthood.  They warn us, we worry about what they say, and they have powers of "blessing" or "cursing".  eg If you don't have five portions of fruit and veg a day, you will surely die, you and your children!  or  "You will be well if you A or B or C" or "Make a Sacrifice of A or B or C, and after X days you will have relief from your dis-ease"

So much so that the worship of modern medicine is becoming a superstition in itself.  The thing is they are constantly recommending something only to end up changing their minds so that a 'health scare a week' is the new norm.  Take sunshine, for instance.  Sunshine and fresh air used to be recommended for convalescents.  Then all sunshine was bad and would give you wrinkles and cancer.  Then that message was so successful that patients were being diagnosed with Rickets and Seasonal Affective Disorder and had to be advised to enjoy sunshine for the sake of their health.  Some people stay out of the sun and pay to stand in ultraviolet tanning booths.  

Red wine is bad for you; red wine is good for you.  Vinegar is slimming; vinegar causes fungal overgrowths.  Vaccines are lifesaving;  vaccines contain mercury and overwhelm the immune system if too many are given in too short a period.  Avocado pears are good for you; avocado pears are bad for you.  Shellfish is good; shellfish can poison you and are full of cholesterol.  Pesticides allow us to grow enough food; pesticides are implicated in neurological disorders.  Aspirin is safe and good, aspirin causes Reyes syndrome and stomach ulcers, it thins the blood and prevents heart attack.  Bacon and eggs make a healthy and slimming breakfast because of the protein; bacon and eggs are high in cholesterol and should be avoided.

I think St Benedict got it right when he recommended that whatever you do, do in moderation. The trouble is that we tend to take things to excess.  Anything taken to excess can be bad for you.  Even lettuce.  

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