Tuesday, 7 January 2014


OK, so sin.

No, no, no. For all Beaker Folk already heading out to the woods to celebrate the Forbidden, Furtive Fertility Rite - that wasn't an instruction. It was meant to be more of a snappy introduction. And the Forbidden, Furtive Fertility Rite is, lest you should forget, forbidden.

But it kind of highlights the point I'm hoping I'm going to make. "Sin" is a slightly odd word. It's not used much in normal human discourse, and when it is, it is normally used to refer to something a bit sexual, and almost by definition religious. Thus we associate sin - a falling-away from the way that we know, instinctively, we should behave - with one particular sphere of human activity, and largely disconnect ourselves from the issue.

Sometimes, in one of those confession-fests some of us like so much, we will allow others to shoulder, retrospectively, some other sins. Drug-dealing, robbery with firearms, gang membership, eating non-organic vegetables. That kind of sin.

But in identifying certain kinds of naughty behaviour, we lose sight of things. Like the litany of other naughty behaviour we're strangely less likely to identify for some reason:

Like idleness
Or anger
Or greed
Or pride - needing a promotion, setting a good image, getting that all-important "tea light-holder" posy
Or lack of compassion for the poor
Or judgmentalism - and I know a lot of Beaker Folk are really judgemental, and you should stop it. Honestly, it's disgusting.
Or getting so tied up in the world we live in that we realise, due to its complexity, that, somewhere down the economic line, we're all, somehow, exploiting our neighbours, or helping to spoil our world. Or accidentally investing small parts of our savings in companies that own parts of companies that own parts of companies that make parts of guns.

And then we read - to get back to the top, as it were - what the sin of Sodom was. In lurid detail. You ready? "Pride, too much food, undisturbed peace, and failure to help the poor and needy."

Sorry I had to put you through that. It was sordid, wasn't it?

And it's then that I  look at this world, and realise that it's not just individuals doing naughty things that are "sin". It's our collective inability to do right, made up of a myriad of individual inabilities to do right. If this world were put into an Eden-like state tomorrow, we'd organise a complex supply chain so the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was picked, distributed, traded as a commodity, kept in short supply to ensure high prices, the sub-standard fruits thrown away to ensure maximum market value, stored in a preservative atmosphere, and stuck in specially chilled cabinets with a three-day shelf life. We only deserve the best Forbidden Fruit, after all. We're discerning consumers. And we're looking for the new KwikSinFruit - already peeled, cored and presented in a massively oversized plastic container.

All the other trees in the garden would be grubbed up and burnt, to clear space for Knowledge Tree plantations. And the people who actually picked the fruit wouldn't be able to afford it. Meanwhile the head of ForbiddenFruit.com, a slimy character if ever you saw one, would be able to put his feet up - if he had feet - knowing everyone was working hard for him.

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah. Sin. Just say "no", OK?

1 comment :

  1. Wrath, greed, sloth, gluttony, pride, lust, envy and all before lunch :(

    This is a normal day for most Christians, resisting them that is. Now for the Beaker Folk, who are after all, the most non-conformist of non-conformists, they must be the sins that they actively pursue.

    Given that most of the meanderings on this blog are for major or minor infractions, punishable by a sharp blow from a cricket bat or the proverbial kick up the backside with a steel toe capped boot they must be in breach of every commandment, even the ones not included in the 10 god given ones.

    But, high ho, whose counting :)


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