Today Rick spoke about the concept of Original Sin as articulated by Augustine in the 400’s and Augustine’s nemesis, Pelagius, a British monk. Augustine tried to reconcile a god that could be all knowing, all powerful and all loving with the reality that a lot of bad things happen on earth. Augustine invented original sin as a method of reconciling all of that. In essence, bad things happen because mankind deserves it. Mankind has no free will to choose the good path because he is forever tainted by original sin. Divine aid is available to help mankind do good things, but it is available only to the baptized individuals. Pelagius believed that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special Divine aid. Ultimately, the Catholic Church could not allow monks like Pelagius telling people that they had the ability to be good human beings without divine aid.
Today, there are a great many Christians who embrace this belief that mankind is inherently a bunch of people who will always make bad choices if left to their own devices. These Christians tend to believe that the flock requires powerful leadership to keep them from making these bad choices. We who do not believe this have to share the country and the planet with those who do believe it. They vote, and elect our politicians. It is important for us to understand the concept of Original Sin so that we who do not believe in it understand how they come to make decisions that seem to us to be misguided.