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Friday, September 5, 2014

Texas Faith: Falling into sin

Texas Faith: Falling into sin
By Rudolph Bush
Follow @dallaspolitics
11:01 am on September 4, 2014 | Permalink

Most of us agree on the difference between right and wrong. It is wrong to steal; it is wrong to commit adultery; it is wrong to kill.

The parameters of right and wrong are widely shared in most civil societies. But we often find ourselves, in the practice of everyday life, justifying little wrongs with the balance that we do greater good in some other area. And some of us, over time, begin to justify greater and greater wrongs as we accustom ourselves to lives of what we might call sin.

Think about how this happens in an individual. Is this the spiritual battle we are meant to fight, the push back against the slide into doing wrong? What draws the soul or mind toward sin, and what is the defense against it?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas

Let’s understand Sin from a religious, societal and personal point of view. Religiously, sin is any act that goes against the moral guidance laid out by the religion one follows, where as societal sin is any act that breaks the social harmony and balance in a given environment.
When it comes to personal view of sin, the battle starts with desiring the undesirable, both of which are set up by ourselves, and then we resist the temptation to slide one way or the other.

Here is a Native American way of understanding the sin, “All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does it to himself.”
So whatever we do to affect that web, be it religious, social or personal, we do it to ourselves. We are very malleable, and can cope with extremes in doing the right thing and wrong thing, fully aware that every act has a consequence in terms of reward as being at peace, and punishment being anxious.

Religiously, the Hindu and Jain psyche is conditioned to resist eating meat, let alone beef, as it is considered sacred, whereas the Jews and Muslims are programmed to stay away from Pork products. Whether we believe in the story of Adam and Eve or not, one point is certain – our DNA is programmed to go after the forbidden fruit. I have run into my Hindu friends in cafeterias eating beef and begging me not to tell anyone, and my Jewish friends in breakfast lines quietly grab a piece of bacon and say, you did not see this, did you? Invariably we lie with a no!

There is a joy in adhering to the rules, even though there is temptation to break them. Quite frequently while driving late nights, a stop sign comes up, not a soul for miles, yet we stop, the debate ensues; am I stopping because it is the right thing to do whether anyone sees it or not, or is it because I don’t want to get caught? Both the reasons work in tandem. A majority of the times, a majority of us do the right thing, if not the world would be chaotic.
Sometimes, I let myself eat lunch without restrictions and nervously worry about a call from the wife as it will generate a massive internal debate; to tell the truth or listen to a long unending lecture about calories for my own good.

Man it is difficult to lie to ourselves; a majority of us yield to the built-in checks and balances, but a small percentage of us ignores it and ends up in Jails as a part of the civic sin. The good news is the sinners are few; perhaps less than 1% of a given population, otherwise life would have been chaotic.

To read the take of 10 other panelists, go to Dallas Morning News http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/texas-faith-falling-into-sin.html/ 

Thank you

Mike Ghouse

(214) 325-1916 text/talk
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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