Friday, 1 August 2003


Bobby A-G, subbing for Alex Knapp at Heretical Ideas, tries to defuse the complaints about President Bush’s use of the word sin in reference to homosexuality.

One thing that has stuck with me since our family reunion in May was what one of my relatives-by-marriage* said about sin: in God’s eyes, all sin is equal, whether it’s murder, taking His name in vain, or telling a lie. (In some ways this resembles Orthodox Judiasm’s approach to Torah law; it’s all or nothing.)

One can legitimately debate whether or not homosexuality is objectively a sin, or whether it ought to be one. But in the belief systems of most Christian sects, it is considered one, the opinions of non-believers notwithstanding. I think Bush’s point was that the severity of the sin doesn’t matter, again because God doesn’t care about the severity (or even acknowledge it)—He only cares about the sin. And everyone sins. So those who would condemn gays for being sinful without condemning themselves too for their own sins would be hypocritical.

Of course, since Bush allegedly doesn’t nuance [sic], I may be reading far too much into this.

My friend Scott emails to note that there is one unpardonable sin: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, if your denomination swings that way).

Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation (King James Version)

Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (King James Version)

This lapsed Methodist learns something new every day…

* For all of the people who read this blog who are genetically related to me, it was Cindy, referring to Methodist doctrine. Since my great-aunt (Viv) who holds a doctorate in divinity didn’t contradict this statement, I assume that it is true. This apparently differs from Catholic teachings, which require different penances for different sins and classify them into various categories.