Sins & Sensibility
Why Sin Hardly Even Registers
In Canada, somewhere in academe, that compost heap of fermenting ideas, a retired professor has come up with the notion of requiring religious people to register with the state. They would be called RRPs (for Registered Religious Practitioners), and would be monitored, like other suspicious characters, to make sure they didn’t get out of hand. The professor in question is worried, he says, about preserving the separation of church and state, by which of course he means he is aiming to attain the complete domination of the church by the state, period.
One thing that RRPs would not be permitted to do, says the professor, no doubt tousling his bland white hair and smiling to the great world of lesser intellects, is to preach hatred. Now, all that means, in practice, is that the RRPs would have to shut their mouths about various sexual sins that are close to the hearts of many. They might fulminate all day long about evil capitalists, smokers, people who do not use sunscreen, seal hunters, and creation scientists.
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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius). He has also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy (Random House). He and his wife Debra publish a web magazine, Word and Song (anthonyesolen.substack.com), on poetry, hymnody, language, classic films, and music. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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