Most churches have occasions they recognize as being ‘graced-filled’ and these are all around us if we but look for them. My church, ever ready to acknowledge the complexity of human beings, also has ‘occasions of sin’. These things in and of themselves might not be ‘sinful’ but if they lead one to sin they are something to be avoided. For example, if watching the less than adquate closer for your baseball team leads you to swear and kick the dog, BINGO, occasion of sin and something to be avoided.
In that spirit, I wish to acknowledge a few things (certainly not all) that are ‘occasions of sin’ for me and that I should, in good conscience, avoid. In no particular order then, the ‘occasion’ and the possible sin or reasoning behind the inherent evil.
1. Bill O’Reilly (and all of Fox news for that matter) – anger, foul language.
2. Sean Hannity – See #1, probably worse.
3. Committee meetings – Not only is there solid evidence that committee meetings are ‘tools of the devil’ any procedure that causes large numbers of people to sink to the lowest common intellectual level in order to make bad decisions MUST be intrinsically evil – Sarcasm, anger, homicidal thoughts, etc.
4. Opportunities to respond to stupid blogs – anger, sloth, jealousy, almost all of the ‘big seven’ when you really think about it.
5. Baseball played on artificial turf – God made grass, isn’t that enough?!
6. Designated hitters – The rulebook clearly says ‘Baseball is a game played by 9 people’, not “plus one who is too fat to play the field and is pathetically holding on to a once promising career.” Temptation? Anger, jealousy, etc.
7. “Inagodavida” played by a high school pep band – ‘Nuff said! I know evil when I hear it. This occasion often leads me to scream “for the love of God, please stop” and further sins as I interact with the band parents.
8. Little men with ‘little man’s’ disease – Tempts me to physical violence, especially since little men are the only ones I can take…h’mmm, probably a little sin of pride in there someplace too.
9. Big men who are bullies – Same as #8 with increased anger since I can’t take them, leading to the next sin of envy.
10. Keith Olberman and MSNBC – The other side of #1, but also evil in a liberally smarmy sort of way.