Our cultural gods proclaim, as usual, that sin is everywhere, but it’s not so much in the obvious places, but in the virtual ones. Violence to persons has morphed into violence to personal sensibilities, and we take affront and seek vengeance for all of those wayward thoughts that folks have graciously time stamped on social media, and are ripe for discovery given a google search or two.
And for our sins no one will indulge us, which is bad news to the more Catholic tradition that has economically morphed over the centuries from buying indulgences to granting them wholesale for a hail Mary or two. With a few prayers, a private confession, and a public apology, you would be forgiven and ready to go.
All is Forgiven! NOT!
Presently a social Calvinism has replaced the confessional, and you can still repent, but only on the pyre, as your reputation and livelihood goes up in flames, and banned on Facebook and Twitter, you are never heard from again. Its predestination writ large in social media, recording not only all we do and have been through, but of our ancestors as well. That’s a lot of personal and generational guilt to carry about, though you may repent, your fate is still sealed.