From the November/December, 2009 issue of Touchstone
Citizen, Heal Thyself by James Hitchcock

Citizen, Heal Thyself

Social Sins Are Easily & Fashionably Confessed

A major divergence between orthodox and modernist religious believers is the distinction between “personal” and “social” sins, with the orthodox pointing out that individual offenses against the Ten Commandments—profanity, lying, murder, theft, adultery—have always been at the center of Christian moral teaching and liberals arguing that the conditions of modern life implicate people in networks of guilt—“institutional racism,” unjust economic structures, acts of aggression by nations.

The death of Senator Edward Kennedy once again brought this dichotomy into focus. By Christian standards, he was an irresponsible p . . .


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