Original Sin? Fuhgeddaboudit

I believe in original sin, but I don’t believe sin is original.

What I mean is that there is nothing fresh or creative or new or positive or profound about sin. Evil is always derivative. The devil cannot create anything. All he can do is destroy or distort what is good.

And that’s why evil is evil–because it is the destruction or the distortion of something good.

A lie is the distortion of the truth. Lust is the distortion of love. Stealing is the destruction of proper ownership. So you may go on and never once find a sin that is original.

This is the Catholic view: Evil is to Good what Darkness is to Light and what Cold is to Heat. Does that mean evil does not exist? No, it exists, but it exists as a negative. I may punch you in the nose in anger. The pain is real. The anger is real, but it is not something positive. It is the destruction of something positive–even if that positive thing is simply a nose.

The negativity of sin, therefore, is a lost opportunity. It is a chance of goodness that was lost, a chance for holiness that was thrown away, a chance for light that was darkened, a chance for love that was wasted.


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