The Wages of Sin

As a side note: I have a disproportionately large amount of trust for bearded intellectuals. As in, I'm more likely to read your book if you have facial hair.

Abstract, spiritual truths have extremely practical, daily effects. For example, the arguably abstract concept that we are made in the image and likeness of God has the extremely tangible result of us applying the Spiritual to the world around us and going out stargazing.

I believe this same idea to be true of St. Paul’s warning to the Romans, that “the wages of sin is death.” Sweet, Paul! Very abstract, we can apply it to the supposed judgment of the afterlife; nothing more to see.

But hold up (wait a minute, put a little love in it). St. Paul was referring to something we can see and touch in this modern age. What are our big sins? Let’s list ‘em out, shall we?

Abortion. Now this might seem unbearably obvious – of course the wage of that sin is death; the death of a child! But the death of the unborn child is the intention of an abortion; it is the crime itself. What, then, is the wage of that crime? It’s not merely some vague idea of sorrow or guilt. It is death in the form of breast cancer. Abortion increases a woman’s risk for the most deadly type of breast cancer around.

Now to be absolutely clear, I’m not saying that breast cancer is some sort divine punishment for the sin of abortion. Rather, I aim to show that the moral law – that stodgy, embarrassing set of dogmas branded on every human heart – is there for a reason. It is there to protect us. When we ignore the moral law, we get hurt. The wages of sin is death, in the same way the wages of ignoring the commands of traffic lights is death.

We see a similar thing happening with Contraception. In an unforgivably unfashionable move, The Church upheld the moral law with Humanae Vitae and forbid the use of artificial contraception. “Aw, c’mon!” said the world. “It’s not gonna hurt anyone!”

“It will,” sayeth Lady Kirk, “It will hurt the human family. It will hurt you in ways we don’t know yet, for the wages of sin is death, remember?” And truly, the church couldn’t say much more than that, for the world had not experienced the effects of putting 80% of our women on birth control pills.

Well, know we now. Once again, risk for deadliest form of breast cancer is increased by our moral apathy. And isn’t this the saddest part of it all, that men seeking sex without consequences are the ones walking away unscathed, while women pay? The wages of sin is death.

Now there are hundreds of other sins I could mention. Drug abuse leads to death. Excessive anger and violence leads to death. Pornography leads to the death of marriages, the death of sexuality, and the death of excitement. This is all readily available to the eyes of believers and unbelievers alike. But what can we learn from this seemingly apparent truth of St. Paul?

It actually gives us a rather unique weapon. It gives the Christian the prophetic ability to ignore the cries of “it won’t hurt anyone!” that come with each new evil. With the knowledge the wages of sin is death, the Christian can instead affirm, “Yes, it will hurt some one. You just don’t know who yet.” Take for instance, the fact we have been injecting children with vaccinations made from the cells of aborted fetuses for quite some time now. Why not? says the world. The Christian, not knowing a single thing about the issue, can feel free to oppose on the basis that it will hurt someone; that it will lead to some sort of death, based on the obvious fact that the action is sinful, and on that universal truth that “the wages of sin is death.” And he’d be mocked, and then vindicated later on. For now there is evidence that these vaccinations are directly correlated to increases in instances of autism.

The Point: Following the moral law is not mere conformity to abstract commands that will attain you Heaven. Following the moral law is the surest way of living fully alive, here and now, on this earth, avoiding death and attaining life.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tobie.rose Rosemary M

    For those of us who can’t biologically grow facial hair, how can we get you to read our books? ;)

  • melissa

    thanks for saying that about the vaccines. with the backing of the pontifical council on life, catholic parents have the right to opt out of vaccines based on religious beliefs(in the absence of a philosophical exemption) but here in kansas, our bishop refuses to allow that. he says we are far enough removed from the evil (convenient excuse and i do understand a little of catholic moral theology so i know he can use it…but should he to justify ignoring parents rights???) that parents SHOULD use the vaccines. he completely ignored the evidence on the MRC-5 /Autism link. but, people need to know about this and our bishops need to be made aware and allow parents to decide if they want to take the risks. (we don’t and that’s part of the reason we homeschool!)
    peace!

    • Angela Marple

      The Vatican has also said that in cases where vaccines that have fetal cell lines in them- and where there are no other alternatives, the parent may decide if the risks of not taking the vaccine outweighs the risks of taking it. It is permissible to take these vaccines as long as we do our part to ensure that one day there will be a better ethical option. We can do this by writing to the government, pharma companies and those involve in research and development of vaccines. But I do agree that (even though I personally wouldn’t risk my child’s health) you most definitely should be able to opt out of in whatever is our preference. You are the primary caregiver of your child. And be careful what you read about the autism link. Like everything, make sure you look into the references and see where the information is coming.

  • enness

    I hate to be the one to say this, but I think you’re venturing onto shaky ground, especially with that last assertion. First because this is a literature review, and they have yet to prove it couldn’t be a coincidence. Second, because the death of the soul is bad enough. I mean, in general it’s true and a good point that there are often more visible repercussions, but there may come a day when we can eliminate them, or in a particular situation they don’t show up, and then will it still be bad? (Of course.)

  • Miss Doyle

    Yes to all except the bit about vaccinations. We still don’t know exactly what autism is and what causes it and a heap more study needs to be done on this. This is just one study, and one study should not be taken as gospel.
    I worry because the parents who decide not to vaccinate not only put their own children at risk (which is their prerogative), but their children if infected, could also infect other children too young to be immunized (which is not their prerogative). We are starting to see a rise in ‘old’ diseases we thought we’d got rid of because of the small but growing number of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

    Watch out Melissa – I was home-schooled too, and I was immunized. Both my parents are nurses with over 35 years experience (one in infection control) and there’s nothing wrong with us! (Famous last words….!)

    • Lily

      I agree Miss Doyle. People are turning against science for (what I see as an irrational) fear of the mere possibility that their children might get autism.

      As for the morality of using a strain derived from an aborted fetus, lets examine what makes and act moral. The Act must be good, the Intention must be good, and the Means must be good.
      Act) Getting a shot. Nothing wrong here.
      Intention) Preventing yourself (or your child) and others from getting an easily preventable disease. Good
      Means) A vaccine. This might get troublesome if you think about it having been created 40 years ago using an aborted fetus, but stop and think. Clearly the scientists who did the original experiments are at fault. They made their choice, we simply benefit, eventually, from it. Ask, what if, many decades ago, someone had found knowledge of curing cancer through human experimentation. Would you refuse treatment because the original source of knowledge came from sin? Another example: What if you are all set to by an old piece of land in England, only to learn that, hundreds of years ago, it was stolen from a monastery. Technically, you’re buying stolen property, but I don’t think a single person would call your action wrong. Why?

      Because the means originally used to get the land were wrong, but your means of getting the land aren’t. You have nothing to do with theft of monasteries.

      Similarly, your means of getting a vaccine have nothing to do with the original scientists who experimented on and manipulated a murdered human baby. It might be sad to think about using this vaccine strain, but I don’t think it is actually wrong, seeing as we have nothing to do with the human experimentation, nor did we pay for the original strain to be made.

      • Lily

        Oh! I forgot. Additionally, for Means, we are not allowing/encouraging further human experimentation by our use of the vaccine, as one would be who funds and uses embryonic stem cell research. Same for theft: if you pay a guy who steals watches for stolen watch, you are encouraging him to steal more watches. Not so with the monastery example. This, I think, is why time removed from the original crime can be a factor.

      • Prairiemom

        Lily: I agree Miss Doyle. People are turning against science for (what I see as an irrational) fear of the mere possibility that their children might get autism.

        You obviously don’t have a child with Autism. I do. The first “adverse reaction” triggered her epilepsy, and her second “adverse reaction” from a completely separate vaccine triggered her autism. I have two subsequent children whom I have not vaccinated due to the “mere possibility”, which actually is a paralysing fear.

        I am not against science, and I am actually very pro-science. But what science needs to be tempered with, which this post has so eloquently demonstrated, is ethics. For which there is a serious lack.

  • Christy Hampton

    Reminds me of this quote: “God forgives always, people sometimes…Nature never.”

    If the people creating the vaccines are truly concerned about the children, why do they trying to remove the ethical vaccines? I wonder what would happen if every parent in the US demanded that they be provided with an ethical vaccine.

    As for “it may not be linked to autism,” I think there is enough evidence to give one pause about this. Further, I think it would be wise to consider which vaccines are truly needed (polio – still ethical I believe) versus which are not (chicken pox – unethical). It’s a pity that the MMR is unethical yet is probably still needed.

  • Jamie

    Yay Family Force Five!

  • Lindy

    Funny you should mention the vaccination/fetal cell controversy. I just dealt with this first-hand. I spent a month on the phone calling all area health care providers only to discover that the only MMR vaccine available to us–not only in this area but in the US as well apparently– is one derived from an aborted fetus, namely the MMR-II by Merck. I only recently discovered that these vaccines were even in use and was horrified to learn that all three of my children had received these unethical vaccines in the MMR and varicella vaccines (which are, ironically, required in order to attend their Catholic school, as well as all public schools.)

    I’m feeling terrible guilt that I went ahead and got the MMR for my 21 month old, but I am also worried about my child somehow contracting one of these illnesses, esp. going into the winter months. My youngest was in the hospital with an illness that is preventable via immunization, and I would never want to go through that again. I acknowledge that vaccines are very important and have a place, even though I have swung the pendulum on this issue ever since the birth of my first child 7 years ago.

    I did read that the bishops say that when no other alternatives are available that it is not wrong to go ahead and get the immunizations, but that we must first notify the providers of the unethical means of production and encourage them to switch to ethically-produced vaccines. I did all of this, and am still terrified about the “natural wages”. It still doesn’t seem right.

    I would appreciate some feedback or additional information from other readers if you have any.

    Fyi, there’s a great website,, http://www.soundchoice.org, which lists all the names and companies of these tainted vaccines under the “Certifications” page. It’s one of the most straightforward, clear websites out there. It’s a great one to refer to healthcare providers.

    • melissa

      depending on the diocese that you are in , you can use a religious exemption to opt out of those particular vaccines. if you live in a state with a philosophical exemption, you can use that at a catholic school as well and they have to allow it. (there are 19 states with this exemption) i have a differing opinion as we opt out of all vaccines but i respect parents choosing to vaccinate and i ask for the same in return for choosing not to.
      measles, mumps and rubella, while they can be deadly, are more than likely not. like the varicella vaccine, it is more about convenience than health. our very pro-vaccine doctor told us that he would allow us to opt out of these (with medical exemption) since they are more for families with 2 working parents that don’t want to or can’t take off time from work for a prolonged illness. doesn’t seem necessary to me…
      just food for thought to…did you know that vaccines contain known carcinogens and not one vaccine has ever been tested to see if it is linked to an increase in childhood cancers? one would think that with the timing of the rise in cancer and the increase in mandatory vaccines, they would want to rule that out as a possible cause. just like the fetal cell line~autism link… peace and good luck!

      • Miss Doyle

        I don’t want to turn all the comments into a pro-anti vaccine debate, but it’s wrong to say that measles, mumps and rubella are most not likely deadly.
        The less common these diseases become, the more difficult/expensive/old the technology is to treat them. New drug therapies are determined by the rate of infection and the population size at risk.
        If anyone was to be infected by any one of these diseases they not only face difficulties finding cost-effective treatment, but rubella in unvaccinated pregnant women puts the unborn child at great risk. Measles and mumps can also effect male fertility (I know about this one from personal experience, my parents waited 8 years for me because of this).
        There are a lot of other issues to consider when thinking about the health of your family, but anyone else who cannot be vaccinated due to age etc… In my opinion, it’s playing with fire.

  • Cg

    Another example of the negative natural affects of using contraception is irionically infertility. when using a progesterine/estrogen birth control the uterine line is continually thinned making it harder and harder for women to conceive, add this to older ages and we have more and more women who can not reproduce

  • Mr A

    Autism is not linked to vaccination. The study that claimed this has been refuted countless times. For you to include this in your article shows a shameful lack of research on your part, and an unprecedented level of irresponsibility. 1289 people have died as a result of avoiding vaccinations from June 3, 2007 to September 7, 2013 (http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Home.html). If even one parent refuses to vaccinate their child after reading your article and their child dies, the blood is on your hands. The wages of sin are death indeed.


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