Friday, February 5, 2016

The New Heresy: How SJW's Distort the Doctrine of Original Sin

Let's begin today's post with a disclaimer: I'm not a professional theologian. I'm just an ordinary American Catholic - and a bad one at that - whose forthcoming attempts at doctrinal explication are likely to be imperfect and wholly personal. But be that as it may --

As a Catholic Christian, I believe that, at some point deep in our primordial past, we suffered a rupture in our relationship with God. I tend to view the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as more of a literary description than a literal report, but I think there's enough evidence out in the world today to confirm the reality of Original Sin and its effects on our human nature. If you spend enough time studying social psychology - or enough time working with children - you'll find it hard not to conclude that some of our instincts and reasoning processes are fundamentally disordered. We are stiff-necked as all hell, and our often mistaken priorities do make a mess of this world and of the people in it.

However, as a Catholic Christian, I also believe in a God Who is merciful. If you hail from a nominally Judeo-Christian society, you're probably familiar enough with the whole story that I don't need to reiterate it here. Suffice it to say that God was not content with leaving us in our brokenness; instead, He came to Earth and gave us a transparent and accessible means to cleanse ourselves of our First Parents' mistake in Baptism and the other sacraments. And the Church He left behind has stood unchanged - aside from a few superficial alterations - for the past two millennia.

Thus sayeth my faith tradition. I relate it not to convert you, but to make a point. First of all, note the universality of its dictates. The Catholic Church does not teach that only some human beings are marked by the stain of Original Sin; the impact of the Fall is global in its reach. Note too that the Church never moves Her goal posts. If a Baptism is performed correctly - and by the way, the requirements here are pretty simple and straightforward - it is always and forever efficacious.

These features, to me, distinguish a doctrine that is at least approaching the Truth from one that is manifestly false. Unfortunately, in today's society, a loud and radical minority is busily trying to impose upon the rest of us a pale imitation of Original Sin that has none of these vital facets. This impostor - this new heresy, if you will - is, of course, the "social justice" ideology.

The SJW's version of Original Sin does not apply to everyone equally. If you'e white, you're more guilty than a "person of color." If you're straight, you're more guilty than someone who is gay. If you are "comfortable" with your "assigned gender," you're more guilty than someone who is trans. If you're a man, you're more guilty than a woman. The list goes on and on. And because identity is "intersectional," the formulae are even more intricate than the above binaries would suggest; indeed, you basically have to sit down and explicitly rack up your "victim points" to figure out just how much sin you have to expiate. The higher your point total, the less you are required to examine yourself, purge your hidden hatreds, and control your own behavior. Thus, a white, heterosexual, "cis-male" is the lowest of scum and must flagellate himself constantly to make up for it...

(You know, like this.)

... while someone who is black, "pansexual," and "genderfluid" is free to be as vicious and as abusive as "they" like -- because, of course, "they're" obviously "punching up."

The SJW's worldview is not only byzantine in its complexity; it's also protean in its application. Just when you think you've finally figured it out, the SJW pulls a Lucy with her football and goes off to change the ground rules. Consider the issue of "representation." The most reputable studies indicate that, for example, somewhere between two to six percent of the population is gay. It stands to reason, then, that in order to truly "represent the world as it is," my writer friends should make sure that two to six percent of the characters they create are gay. Right? Right? Nope -- not in SJW Land! For the SJW, the fact that gay people have appeared in virtually every modern television program that I've ever watched - and often in very visible roles - still does not satisfy. As John Trent reports today at The Federalist, she wants already established characters - like Captain America - to hop onto the rainbow bandwagon. And I suspect she'd find other reasons to complain even if Steve did get himself a boyfriend because, for the SJW, there is no endgame -- no final objective she can clearly define.

The "social justice" movement, in short, is not True and Beautiful; instead, it has all the earmarks of an evil power grab. And as I've said many times before, we shouldn't stand for it.

ETA: Welcome, Instapundit readers! 


  1. Stephanie is a person after my own heart. They writes well.

  2. An excellent piece. The true significance of the story of the Fall in the Garden is allusional: it points at our suggestibility and weakness in the face of temptation. Unfortunately, older Catholics schooled in hyper-didactic "Baltimore Catechism" Catholicism can have a very hard time disassociating the concept of Original Sin from the idea that a newborn baby, despite being helpless, is nevertheless guilty of something for which he must atone -- a direct contradiction of the premise that God is just.

    1. You have it wrong. Just a a dangerous mutation that kills the species can be inherited, so the wound-unto-death that is original sin IS inherited. If you don't think a tendency toward self, and other, destruction can be inherited, LOOK AROUND. We don't need to atone, we need to heal. Even babies. Life is a long lesson in turning back to the God upon whom we are all born separated from. Start early!

  3. Interesting idea--identity politics as a form of predestination. You might just be on to something.

  4. Bravo!

    When the Christian concept of "original sin" comes up outside of a church context, it usually comes up in a manner similar to tossing a softball up just before striking it with a bat. Might be the single most-often ridiculed concept in Judeo-Christian tradition.

    The basic concept: man is born in sin the way a pickle is born in dill and vinegar. It's not something you can just brush off; it goes all the way through.

    Silly, right, that sin was passed onto us from Adam without any act of volition on our own part?

    Well, if it was such a silly concept, why do our modern SJWs copy it?

    The difference between the religious and SJW concepts of original sin is that the religious concept clings to the power of faith in a forgiving God. Whereas, the SJW concept marches forward on the forgiveness-free upbeat and is far better suited to mete out pure punishment than to forgive.

  5. Shame is the mark on the non-believer or backslidden believer that tells them they've done something wrong. The SWJ list are people who are doing everything they cam to convince us but mostly themselves that they jave nothing to be ashamed of. This is akin to trying to lift both feet off the ground and keeping it there. One can expend all their energy jumping or some parlor tricks but the show is short lived.

  6. A big difference is that your original sin is between you and god and you can ask God for forgiveness, but your whiteness/maleness can never be forgiven no matter how much you grovel.

  7. So regarding some humans as being more morally broken than others due to certain natural facts beyond their control (gender, race) is depraved... but regarding them all as EQUALLY morally broken because of a certain natural fact beyond their control (humanity) is just fine.
    IOW, Catholicism's rejection of morality is better than the SJW's version because it's *egalitarian*.

    You're just reassuring yourselves that it's a difference in kind rather than degree.