Original sin is the most disgusting and morally repugnant concept ever devised by human beings to torment themselves. The persistence of this massive falsehood is a stain upon humanity that can be blamed almost unequivocally upon the Roman Catholic Church. The concept if Original sin can be blamed for hundreds of years of sexual repression and oppression. As the spawn of Adam’s rib women where and (sadly) still are viewed as secondary creatures. The story of the fall of man is essentially a reactionary screed by men terrified and repulsed by women. Fortunately for what would become the Roman Catholic Church most if not all of the founders of the religion where also craven misogynists. The creed of Original Sin would become the central tenant of what would become Christianity. Why did this have to happen though? Why is sin so important to the reactionary forces that make up the Church?
According to the Catholic apologist Thomas Bokenkotter the concept of sin is not specifically outlined in the Old Testament. According to him there are at least four separate possible meanings of the word sin: “to violate a legal norm, to go astray, to rebel, to err” (Essential Catholicism, 295) . I believe that every one of these meanings places the act of sinning firmly within a “secular” and humanistic realm. By this understanding to sin would be to commit a crime against society. Societies throughout history have rejected those who distinguish themselves from the norm. This includes those who look different, speak differently, and especially those think differently. Therefore it is entirely possible for a person to rebel against a society without even meaning or wanting to have rebelled. To sin one needs only to be born physically or mentally different then those in power. Who were the power figures in the ancient middle east? Men of course! They (like all of us) were descended from a human species that had not the time nor the reason to explore the world rationally. These ancient forefathers lived their entire lives day to day.
They lived in an environment that was brutal and unforgiving and they were constantly struggling to survive. This of course precious left precious little time for ration thought and observation. Everything was a potential threat so the world had to be seen through an entirely human lens. “The clouds in the sky are rumbling you say? Well it must be a great super human that is causing them to rumble. Now hurry up and help me skin this deer.” Episodes like this may very well be the origin of faith-based thought. At the time this could have been little more then a side effect of constantly fluid existence. Humans soon transcended the hunter-gatherer life style however, and progressed to a more stable existence based around agriculture. This left more time for thought, but unfortunately it was no more rational then before. “That rumbling in the sky is often followed rain. We need rain to keep us alive!. Sure, of course it must be caused by something, but not a human! It most be something much more powerful then you or I! If that is the case then we need to keep this powerful being happy and on our side.” It is easy to criticize this mode of thinking today from a vantage point of expanded knowledge and understanding of the world and how it works. One of the worst mistakes we can make as reasonable thinkers is to take what we now know to be true and deride past peoples and societies for not knowing what we know. The knowledge we possess today was acquired in a enormous collective exploration of the world and reality