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On Sunday, the Vatican released an updated… “modernized” if you will… list of The New Seven Deadly Sins. Pope Benedict XVI felt it was time to update the famous 500 year old list of “Seven Deadly Sins”… Anger, Sloth, Greed, Vanity, Pride, Gluttony & Envy/Lust… to reflect modern times. Now, I’m not one to point fingers, but if you were a good Christian trying to decide which political Party best reflected the Vatican’s values, what decision might you come to after reading a list like this:

New 7 deadly sins

#1: Causing Pollution – I find it fascinating that the Vatican has not only taken a position on the environment, but has concluded THE EXACT OPPOSITE of the likes of the late Rev. Jery Falwell and the Religious Right in this country that has actively sought to disparage Environmentalists and the subject of Global Warming, claiming that God promised that “the Earth’s resources were here for us to use and could not be used up”. Apparently, the Vatican believes caring for the Earth and all God’s creations is what God wants. If I were a devote Christian debating whose translation of the Bible *I* would trust most: Falwell’s vs The Pope, sorry Jerry, you and your Conservative smog-belchers are on the wrong side of what God wants.

#2: Social Injustice – How many ways can this be expressed? Unequal justice for the Rich vs. The Poor; believing in Social Programs like “Social Security”, “National Healthcare”, “Minimum Wage”… or do we look at it from the perspective of “Torturing prisoners at Gitmo & Abu Ghraib”. Might we look at the disparity in the number of “poor & low-income Americans” serving in Iraq vs the percentage of troops hailing from affluent families or members on Congress? Or perhaps we should consider the treatment of survivors of Hurricane Katrina?

#3: Causing Poverty – “Nationwide, nearly 6% of all mortgages were delinquent at the end of the fourth quarter and just over 2% were in foreclosure, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. reported.” “65,000 Americans lost their jobs last month”, the second month in a row that the country reported net job losses. The dollar has lost 50% of its value against the Euro since George Bush entered office, and the collapsing dollar is pushing the National Debt to a heart-in-the-throat TEN TRILLION DOLLARS and has sent the price of oil gushering past a once-unthinkable $100 a barrel, which simultaneously drives up the costs of food production & delivery, pushing up prices in the grocery store as well as the gas pump.

#4: Obscene wealth – Two words: Halliburton and Exxon. Likewise, tax cuts for the rich on the backs of the poor has resulted in “the top 5% of all Americans own 50% of all the wealth” in this country. The top 1% owns 38% of all the wealth in the United States” (yes, that means that other 4% makes up only 12%). The remaining 95% of Americans make up only 50% of all the wealth in this country. Toss in that lucky 4%, and 99% of all Americans account for only 62% of all the wealth in this country.

#5: Taking drugs – Okay, this isn’t exactly a “platform” for either Party, but it does call into question whether or not you should be getting your political insight from Rush “Oxycontin” Limbaugh.

#6: Genetic modification – If one were to assume in #1 that “caring for all God’s creations” is what God (and the Vatican) has in mind here, then I think it is safe to assume the Vatican is opposed to genetic modification, not only of humans, but of food… plants & animals… as afronts to God’s design. Since neither Party opposes an all-out ban on ALL gentic modification, this “sin” is a definite wash when it comes to Party preferences.

#7: Human experimentation – I would argue that there are many ways to read this. Certainly, subjecting a person to potentially damaging medical experiments is not supported by either Party. But the Vatican doesn’t single out “medical” experimentation specifically. What about “social” experimentation like George Bush’s “experiment” to “transform the Middle East”? What of Conservative “experimentation” with “free market economics” that has done more to drive down wages and ship jobs over seas than any benefit gained from corporate profits in the name of “creating jobs”? Might we also consider “torture as a means of eliciting intel from prisoners”, a form of “human experimentation”?

I defy any good, God fearing Catholic to look at that list and conclude that The Republican Party best represents their faith. What do you think?

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