If you recognized the Seven Deadly Sins, go to the head of the class. You won’t find this Medieval-era roster in the Bible per se, but it’s a great checklist to look at once in a while.
One recent street poll came up with these suggested replacements (in worst-to-least order):
Plainly, the PC values-revision team has been at work. The Big Seven are now concerned more with social behavior, less with self-destructive traits, and much less with God.
Gandhi once compiled his own list of the deadlies:
- Wealth without work
pleasure without conscience
knowledge without character
commerce without morality
science without humanity
worship without sacrifice and
politics without principle.
I’m afraid it’s a timeless classic. These vices will be with us for some time to come. In fact, I myself am strangely attracted to the No. 1 sin on Gandhi’s list.
The Bible does have a succinct list of its own in Proverbs 6:16-19. Again, it’s a timeless mix of spiritual, personal and social evils:
- There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that are swift in running to evil,
a false witness breathing out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
And now for the Rutz list
Not being one to leave well enough alone, I can’t resist making a feeble attempt to improve on perfection. My only excuse is that America really needs a list more targeted to its own sins du jour:
1. Spiritual myopia, even blindness
I speak across the U.S. on miracles. My desk is swamped with credible reports of astounding, totally “impossible” events worldwide. And always, the same question follows from my interviewer or audience, “So why don’t more of these miracles happen here?”
Alas, I have to tell you the brutal truth: Compared to the on-fire, highly dedicated Christians in other lands, we’re a bunch of half-hearted, borderline agnostics. It’s not that we’re more evil than our foreign brethren, we’re just distracted and wishy-washy. An Indian or Chinese believer can take a bus to a different neighborhood, preach the gospel on a street corner and plant a house church in the time it takes an American believer to water the lawn, waddle out to his car, take Junior to soccer practice, answer his e-mail and watch a couple of TV programs.
In other words, Joe American has drifted away from his forefathers’ spiritual roots in the Bible.
2. Intellectual torpor
The average American teeters between mental lethargy and downright catalepsy. Even our most energetic types (jocks) may spend months whipping their bodies into competitive shape and burning up enough calories to feed a regiment, but if you ask them to study the niceties of free-market economics or analyze the impact of socialist thought on government schooling, they’ll recoil like a horse that’s seen a rattlesnake.
This torpor makes them sitting ducks for Political Correctness (PC) and its many indentured stepchildren, like radical feminism, victimology (the doctrine that everybody is being oppressed by you, moneybags), tolerance (meaning intolerance toward you, you arrogant Nazi swine), and multiculturalism (a code word for the fuzzy idea that American society is responsible for most of the evil in the world and must be displaced by a steady infusion of foreign values).
Lurking beneath our intellectual malaise is self-centeredness – but, umm, maybe you’re not much interested in that. So I won’t discuss it.
4. Moral neutrality
Much of our humor has migrated from the bedroom to the bathroom, getting more vulgar and coarse every year. Sins that would have made your great-grandma faint dead away are giggled at. For every 100 U.S. soldiers killed in all America’s wars, 3,500 babies have been aborted since 1973. And on the hottest front of the culture war, homosexuals are gaining ground in their campaign to criminalize opposition; at present trends, the Bible word “abomination” may soon bring you a jail sentence.
5. Family disintegration
We are raising a generation of lonely, hurting, fatherless brats.
6. Sexual fixation
Surfed the Web lately?
7. Wasting time.
Congratulations! You’ve just waded through 695 words of old-fashioned, black and white type. No illustrations, no moving pictures. Lots of stop-and-think phrases. You’re among the tiny, elite minority with the brainpower and self-discipline to do that. Most of your neighbors just want to be entertained and have fun.
The future belongs to folks like you.
The results of our poll last week: Tom Tancredo is our next president! (Closest runners-up: Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.) Our vice president will be Alan Keyes! (Closest runner-up: Thomas Sowell.) And congratulations are due to the new circle of “associate presidents.” In order of votes received: Tom Tancredo, Thomas Sowell, Alan Keyes, Newt Gingrich, Cal Thomas and Ron Paul. (Closest runners-up: Neil Cavuto, Duncan Hunter and Sean Hannity.) It’s not too hard to imagine most of these men making hamburger out of the leading Democrats in a televised debate.
Skunk award: George Pataki, who received no votes for anything.