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The concept of “sin” was invented by the Catholic Church to keep all the bad priests in line. (OK, just kidding – it was invented to subjugate subjects to the priests.) Religion in general has been a tool of subjugation throughout history, especially towards women. In the context of all the medieval brutalities and extra bad guys with no accountability or moral compass, they had to come up with something.

Sinning and Winning

Problem was, the extra bad guys never bought into it, while the bad priests, ministers, mu’azzens and rabbis used it to manipulate their flocks and political elections. Still do. t-Rump is an extra bad guy who “didn’t get to church much.” (I love that line in The Quick and the Dead.) Guys like him were never conned into being good by the concept of sin. But the Bible-thumping Evangelicals who make excuses for him don’t care about that. Those good people just want to do whatever they can to 1.) End abortion rights, and 2.) Hasten the Apocalypse. This involves conning all the Jews into moving to Israel so they can get on with it. Some Jews say Israel can never sin, and anyone who says otherwise is a really bad sinner. Woops, I did it again. They’re OK with people hating the Jews as long as they “love Israel” and promote the Evangelical Apocalyptic agenda! Whoah . . . that gives me dissonance, and I hope that’s not a sin too.

Though Mom said we approach things differently, I always worried about burning in Hell as a kid.

I began life blissfully unaware of the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Divine Retribution. But because I lived in an all-Catholic neighborhood, I got a thorough Catholic education from my neighborhood playmates by age 6, who told me everything they learned in school. Though Mom said we approach things differently, I always worried about burning in Hell as a kid. As a result, I never told a lie . . . except sometimes when it was for the greater good. As a toddler, I exhibited Utilitarian instincts, probably because I’m the oldest of four.

My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Fields, graphically dramatized what happens to people in Hell when she told the story of Lazarus. I got alarmed because I thought she was talking about my friend Lazarov, and I knew she was too good for Hell. So when I realized Lazarus was an old guy from a long time ago, I started to worry that I might burn in hell too if I didn’t stop sinning. So I was very good for the rest of that year until summer – then I started sinning again, and LIKING IT!

Consequently, I have led a life of sin, among a few really good acts and deeds here and there. Sometimes I have sinned while doing some really good acts and deeds, so that kind of makes it a wash. Like the time I smoked a joint and went to the pool, only to have to rescue a kid from drowning. As a result of that, smoking reefer is no longer a sin, and you have ME to thank for that. Father Guido Sarducci once assigned monetary fines for particular sins. Murder was a $millions sin, while masturbation was only a 25 cent sin . . . but it adds up.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t recommend that you sin. However, as a veteran sinner, I can’t tell you that you shouldn’t do it either. But please don’t kill anybody, steal their money or spouse, place children in cages, pilfer the national treasury, steal from disaster relief funds to pay for a stupid, unnecessary wall, collude with the enemy, betray your country and people, repeat the same lie over and over, or cheat at golf. To some, that’s the worst character index of all. Technically, maybe those things are not sins, but you shouldn’t do them.

But I’m not perfect, so I must confess:

I have sinned . . . but it was fun and nobody got hurt.

. . . and I’ll probably do it again soon.

. . . and it felt good and tasted good.

. . . but it was a group effort.

. . . but it wasn’t as bad as what a priest did to one of my buddies.

. . . and it could turn out to be a pretty good business plan.

. . . but what I did didn’t used to be a sin, so it’s a judgment call.

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. . . but it was for the greater good – Jeremy Bentham would approve.

. . . but it wasn’t as expensive as I budgeted for . . . so I can afford to do it again!

. . . but it wasn’t like I had sex standing up at the Briarcrest Baptist School prom.

. . . but what the Ayatollah did was worse.

. . . but I have plenty of time for more before the Apocalypse.

. . . but the statute of limitations has expired so I can do it again.

. . . but I was only following instructions.

. . . and found out there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

. . . because there was value in it.

. . . because they had my favorite flavor on sale.

. . . and I can teach you too. Ask me how, especially if you’re a girl. (Girls have more opportunities.)

. . . but I’ve forgiven myself, you should too.

scott prosterman

. . . woops I did it again.

H. Scott Prosterman