Once upon a time there was a priest who got fed up with the number of parishioners who confessed that they committed adultery. Every week, in the confessional, it was the same thing - adultery.
One Sunday he said in his sermon that he was angry about this continuous sin of adultery amongst his congregation. He promised that if he heard this sin one more time he'd give up the priesthood and leave town for ever.
His congregation loved him and did not want to lose him. They agreed a secret code amongst themselves. From now on, instead of saying they committed adultery, they would say they have "fallen".
All went well for years until eventually the bishop moved the priest to another Parish and replaced him with a new one.
The new priest did not know the code. He was most disturbed that so many parishioners kept falling so he complained to the Mayor that the side-walks in town are uneven and that he should do something about it to stop people from falling.
The Mayor, knowing the code, laughed out loudly.
The priest said: "I don't know what you're laughing about. Your wife fell three times this week."
You know, that is the problem these days. We have all become very clever at manipulating the English language to suit our own ends. What in years gone by was a blatant sin, these days we have accepted as something less serious. A misdemeanour maybe. A slight wrong-doing.
If someone takes something home from work, say a pencil, pen, a box of paper-clips or whatever; it is not longer seen as stealing. Well ... everybody does it. Not a sin really!
If one is regularly late for work, or leaves early, or takes a longer lunch. That's not stealing either is it? It's not as if you've robbed a bank.
Listening to stories about someone, or telling stories, is just simple gossip. Just for fun. Not meant to be taken seriously. It is not lying really. It's not as if you lied in Court on oath, is it?
Being flirtatious is not serious either. Just for fun, really.
I think today's generation has become accustomed to generalisations and as such the seriousness of one's behaviour and the outcomes on society have been diluted as trivialities which are soon forgotten.
We have become immune to being shocked. Nothing is serious enough any more.
Because others do it anyway, it has become the norm. And the norm is acceptable if society has deemed it so.
Nothing really matters, Anyone can see. Nothing really matters. Nothing really matters to Meeeeee!
As long as it does not interfere with the moment. The here and now. Our "Me ... Me ... Me ..." culture. Then it's OK.
As Shakespeare should have said, "A rose by any other name would still hurt you with its thorns."
Sin is sin. It was sin then when God wrote the Commandments, it is still sin now.