Sin is a very liberating thing. It’s a shame we have forgotten it. Just think what might not have happened in the world if we had had a little more respect for personal sins, a little more knowledge of our own, a little less condemnation of everyone else’s. We may have been spared the shame of the stocks in Boston, the Magdalene laundries in Ireland, the penal colonies in Georgia, the back-alley births of so many children of single mothers, the front-page pictures of professional people found drunk in public and, in our own day, the Web pages of sleazy private information released to justify the impeachment of a president.
We love making sinners “stand in front of us.” In public. How else can their sins take attention away from our own?
It isn’t, of course, that there’s no place for accountability. It’s just that there’s no place for condemnation once we face our own sins. The problem is simply that there’s no place for stoning if we are the ones supposed to be pure enough to do it.