Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fighting the Doctrine of Worthlessness

Let's toss out the Bible. I've lost a bunch of you. That's okay, I know you'll keep reading in order to strengthen your beliefs, so I'll just hope that my words "won't come back void." Yep...two can play at this game.

You've heard it said, "A little leaven leavens (or leaveneth for you KJV types keeping score) the whole lump." This phrase comes from the Apostle Paul, encouraging the new Christian church to dump those that were naughty. Kick them out. Excommunicate them, if you will. The idea was that the naughty member would, in time, permeate the rest of the church, making them all naughty.

As the centuries passed, theologians and preachers have used that phrase to preach "The Gospel," claiming that one sin makes everyone naughty. If you have one naughty thought (like: I think 32 miles per hour is okay in a 30 miles per hour zone (or whatever that translates to in kilometers per...what's the metric equivalent to an hour?..), no matter how limited in wickedness, you're damned.

Thus, many a child grows up, seeing themselves as worthless...hopeless...even dirty. Even when they are "saved," these individuals are constantly reminded of their utter inability to be good. They must rely on someone outside of themselves to keep them on the straight and narrow. One untoward thought. One look in the direction of beauty. Anything that might be construed as sin by centuries, nay, millennia of evolved religious-based morality, will incur the wrath of God. Some believe even hell fire, no matter if they were "saved" or not.

Let's turn it around with this simple concept: Instead of a little bit of naughty makes a whole naughty person, wiping out their goodness, why can't we just admit that a whole lot of goodness forgives a little bit of naughty. Let's face it: Most of humanity is good, minding their own business, doing whatever they can to help those they are responsible for and even those they aren't.

Finally, let's face this truth: A man or woman in isolation, that man being the entire makeup of a society, can never commit a crime, can never sin, and is never naughty. Unless, of course, you superimpose on that society, a sort of god-like person, watching your every movement, just waiting to punish you for the smallest of infractions, which nobody would ever come up with something so asinine...oh wait...


  1. How about we dump the whole coruscating notion of sin, especially the most noxious of all, original sin? It's the most pessimistic of ideas and has blighted so many lives. "Sin" originally was a word from archery, to shoot an arrow and miss the mark, something we do daily many times. How that version of 'sin' took over Christian Calvinistic thinking and tinged so many lives with unearned shame appalls me daily.

    And so I propose Big Bird. You heard me, the yellow feathered huge dumb canary, Big Bird. He sings a song that saved my life, "Everyone makes mistakes and so can you," How refreshing! Feel the burden of sin slip off your shoulders! I make mistakes, you make mistakes. "Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten" wrote a gentle minister, a Unitarian Universalist. Not in kindergarten but as an adult, I learned a life-changing lesson. I am not a bad person who has to hide her mistakes and be bound in sin. I am a good person who does good, mostly, because humans are inherently good from the outset. To say a newborn is tainted with the sin of Adam and Eve is more than missing the mark. It is to hit the bullseye of my heart with an arrow with poison at the tip--and so I disavow, now and ever, the horrid notions of 'sin' I learned as a young child.

  2. (or whatever that translates to in kilometers per...what's the metric equivalent to an hour?..)
    It would have been 2.4 duodecimal hours, but even revolutionary France couldn't stick with it very long.

    The hour itself isn't an SI unit; the actual "metric" equivalent would be the second, with 1 hour = 3600 seconds. But it's a "non-SI unit accepted for use with the SI" so in practice I'd call it metric.

    This was "overly-pedantic answers to facetious questions" :)