How Do You Stack Up?

One of the fun things about living in a cold climate as we do here in Minnesota is that the street preachers go away for several months out of the year. People are still walking to get around downtown, but that group of guys with their soapbox, megaphone, and white robes disappear. So do the rest of the people who assume that God’s will™ is somehow more convincing the more decibels there are behind it. Even the abortion protestor I’ve walked passed on Friday mornings for the last nine years gets scarce.

So it’s something of a rite of spring when they come back. We greet them as we do the Canadian geese. They’re noisy. They’re messy. They’re ours. And now we have a new batch.

As far as I can tell, they showed up yesterday. One guy with a booming voice. One woman with tracts or somesuch printed to look like money. One guy with a sandwich board. I didn’t look at the tracts or the sandwich board, but Leah got a lovely picture of the board on Nicollet Mall outside of Macy’s today.

Sins Against God

  • Idolatry/Reject God’s Law
  • Greed/Never Content
  • Unrighteous Anger
  • Lying/Tolerate Evil
  • Cursing/Profanity
  • Premarital Sex
  • Homosexuality
  • Drunkenness
  • Pornography
  • Abortion
  • Pride

Leah posted this to Twitter, which immediately set off a competition. Ignoring the hat, I have nine. So does Jason. JT and Christina are at seven and six, respectively. Leah has six as well.

Of course, we can’t keep this to Twitter. That would be depriving the rest of you of the fun of determining what kind of excellent sinners you are. Go ahead and score yourself.

On the multi-part items, I figure that if this guy’s going to equate both items, I can as well, so just one of them counts. If you’re male or otherwise worried about being disadvantaged by those who can have abortions, do not fear. Adam Lee had the perfect idea of counting working in a clinic or as an escort. Abortion by proxy. It’s a thing.

So, everyone, how did you do?

How Do You Stack Up?
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35 thoughts on “How Do You Stack Up?

  1. 1

    I’m at 9? Hmm. Those doubled-up points are weird.

    Yeah, I’ve wanted things (e.g. “greed”), so obviously I’m right in line with Supply Side Jesus if not this guy’s sign. But “never content” is too easy to beat. If you’re EVER content with ANYTHING, you pass.

    I’ve lied in the past, but can’t think of any time I’ve tolerated evil. The problem is in what we decide is evil.

    I’ve both cursed and been profane. We’re not double-counting that, so I’m still at 9.

    I can’t have an abortion, but I support women’s right. Does that count?

  2. 3

    Eh, only 8. Maybe. Unrighteous anger is tricky, because I think he means anger not based out of some law in the bible, rather than anger based in some urge to right a moral wrong.

    Like Jason said with lying/tolerate evil… I’m not sure why those are paired. Give me 0.5?

    And skip pride, if by that they mean that I think I’m better than other people.

    The rest… yeah.

  3. 4

    I am pretty sure I have done all of these in my life at some point depending on how you look at it.

    I am not typically but have been in the past prideful.
    I was given an abortifacient to aid in the termination of my ectopic pregnancy.
    I enjoy pornography.
    I have been drunk on several occasions (most of them while I was still a believer but not cause I believed).
    I love teh ghey sex.
    I also love teh premarital and (and extramarital) sex.
    Profanity is my friend.
    I have lied a lot in my life and even tolerated quite a bit of bad behavior. I try to do both less.
    I have to say that probably all my anger would be considered unrighteous by him.
    I am pretty sure that I have behaved greedily plenty of times in the past but I try really hard to not act that way.
    I reject god’s laws every day with massive amounts of glee.

    Bonus: I have bared my breasts a ton of time.

    So if we are going with the sins I have committed, I say eleven and the bonus.

  4. 5

    I will go with 8, 9 if helping someone get an abortion counts, and probably 10 since I figure as a trans person what I view as straight sex they would view otherwise. I probably get an extra sin just for being trans actually….

    I don’t drink though!

  5. 8

    Sure about 6, sort of hazy about the others as I’m not quite sure what he means when he says:
    – Pride – does it mean being better than other people, then no. Does it mean being proud of my country/family/friends….then yes. I have a feeling that sign bearer himself should be a bit careful about this one…
    – Unrighteous Anger – I get angry at wilfull ignorance, is that unrighteous? Probably in that guys book.
    – Lying/Tolerate Evil – Sure, I’ve lied at some point (who hasn’t to their parents), but I can’t quite see how that goes with the tolerate evil thing
    – Idolatry/Reject God’s Law – First part, nope. Second part – definitely.
    So, with 0,5 for each of those….8-ish… 🙂

  6. 15

    My primary struggle in counting is trying to figure a couple of them on the list (3 and 4).

    In the end, I can only check off 8 of them directly (assuming I understand what 3 and 4 mean).

    I don’t drink (because I can’t stomach alcohol at all), I’m not a homosexual, and I haven’t been involved in an abortion.

    However, since I have no qualms with drinking, homosexuality, or abortions, can I claim a virtual 11 victory?

  7. 16

    Greed is a tricky one–I’m relatively non-materialistic (in the, want to have lots of stuff sense)–but I certainly do sometimes strongly desire stuff and even sometimes (gasp!) envy people cool stuff they have that I can’t afford. So I’m counting it.

    Likewise, I once took the morning after pill after unprotected sex mid-cyle. And I counter-demonstrated against Randall Terry’s goons when they came to Southern California years ago, and linked arms with fellow clinic defenders when the Jebus-loving eedjits tried to storm the clinic.

    And I kissed a girl once. And liked it. A lot.

    So I’m claiming 10. In your face, SZ, Jason and JT!

  8. 17

    I can’t figure out whether I should count pride. I struggle with depression and mostly I’m pretty down on myself, but I do sometimes feel pride in what I do. Not like, “I’m awesome,” but “Something I did is awesome.”

    But I totes have the homosex down. Sexxy, sexy homosex. Unfortunately I’m divorced, so my sex with my partner is post-marital for me – does that still count? What if she’s never been married? (not everyone in canada gay-marries, despite the fact that a number of right wingers have actually said that it’s “compulsory” in canada. Yeah, I, too, was surprised that not everyone is gay married in this pinko commie, fascist, muslim, atheist, environment-obsessed, tar-sands rich, plutocratic haven for slugabeds on handouts.)

    Depending on where you come down on pride and premarital sex, I get 6 to 8 points. Looks like I’m not in the running for winning this competition.

  9. 19

    I must be a saint! Or something.

    I don’t indulge in idolatry. I don’t believe in any gods, so how would I worship their idols?

    I don’t reject God’s law. I don’t believe there is such a thing, since there is no god to deliver one. So I can’t reject a nothing.

    I’m generally contented and not greedy; life is too good to waste on wanting what I don’t have. At least, it is since I left Christianity.

    Unrighteous anger? Oh, I’m often angry at the so-called “righteous”. So that’s totally righteous, isn’t it?

    I stopped lying when I deconverted. I didn’t need to any more.

    I don’t tolerate evil; I do my best to combat it where I find it most, in the Christian church and its Scriptures.

    For the rest, cursing to abortion, they’re minor infractions of arbitrary, localized cultural rules; they don’t count.

    And the last, pride, is a specifically Christian failing, thinking themselves the favourites of the “Creator of the Universe” and all.

    Oh, and I don’t show my old, sagging, wrinkled breasts*. With good reason, but not his reason.

    *Except for boobquake, of course. So maybe that invalidates my claim to sainthood.

  10. 20

    Number 1 is a definite no/yes. We’ll give it .5.
    I’m saying no on number 2.
    Number 3, no.
    Number four, I probably fibbed as a child and hide my atheism. .5
    Number five, oh shit. Not a lot, but I’ll have to plead guilty.
    Number six: Does it count if it was 30 years ago and I married her later? .1
    Number seven: No. Although when I was about twelve… OK, .1
    Number eight: I’m currently having a glass of wine. But I’ve been actually drunk only once or twice in my life. .5
    Number nine: Guilty as charged. Sorry.
    Number ten: I’m a male, and have never been in a situation to support anyone who needed one. But I would, so I guess that’s a 1.
    Number 11: I’m rather proud of not being as big an idiot as that guy!

    Total Score: 5.7

    Why yes, I AM an engineer, why do you ask?

  11. 21

    From his standpoint, I’d score a definite 11. I’m not so sure my anger is unrightous and the whole gods’ laws is irrelevant, so I guess even sins are open to interpretation.

  12. 23

    Isn’t a sign like his the same as having an idol before god? Not that I’m an expert, or anything. And as for pride, he’s trying to outdo both Moses and the 7 (or whatever) deadly sins, whoever *invented* those (the Catholic church??). I’m probably 8 or 9-ish if you count every single day of my life.

  13. 25


    * “God’s” law is freakin’ stupid.
    * I’m fairly content most of the time.
    * Define “unrighteous”.
    * Define “Evil”.
    * Cursing and profanity? Fuck yeah!
    * I’ve had sex, yes, without being married to my partners, but all within monogamous relationships.
    * Only homosexuality? Once again, the bisexuals are ignored!
    * I’ve been drunk, but mostly I’m just stoned.
    * Porn can be fun.
    * I’ve never had an abortion. I’ve never needed one. I’m on birth control, which to these guys is like a pre-emptive abortion.
    * And yes, I’m damn PROUD OF IT.

    Ten out of twelve, and only because two of the items are poorly defined.

    If you count “being angry at any thing at any time” as “unrighteous”, that’ll take me to eleven. And… yeah, I’ve lived with evil incarnate. So, twelve, if that counts.

  14. 26

    Oh, FFS, I can’t count!

    Eight out of eleven. Ten, if you count the two that need definition, because I’ve been angry in the past, and I “tolerated evil” by living with an abusive partner. He was evil incarnate.

  15. 27

    I wanna ask him, would it be less sinful if I married the guy? It’s allowed at the moment, where I live. (And also where he lives, despite the unfortunate distance between.)

    For that matter, if I was getting more premarital sex, I wouldn’t need nearly so much pornography. (See above Re: distance.)

    I also note that bad anger is bad. And we silly atheists say God goes against logic!

    (7-9, btw, depending on exactly what he means by “Greed” and “Pride.”)

  16. 28

    In my interpretation, donating to MSF (or, if it applies in your country, Planned Parenthood) counts as “abortion”. Your money is making it happen, after all. Bonus: you can feel “pride” about donating.

    Brownian: your tweet got my list of Greek prefixes open and my imagination fired up.

  17. 30

    OK, let’s see:

    -Idolatry/Reject God’s Law: Yes, definetly
    -Greed/Never Content: As my bank account. Yes.
    -Unrighteous Anger: Many times. I’m proud if I manage to say sorry afterwards. On the other hand, those folks would count getting angry at misogynists as unrighteous, so yes.
    -Lying/Tolerate Evil: Researchers say that we do so an average of 200 times a day.
    -Cursing/Profanity: You better believe it.
    -Premarital Sex: For longer than I had marital sex
    -Homosexuality: I must pass
    -Drunkenness: Yep
    -Pornography: Tough call. I don’t like to watch porn. I like to read and watch sex-scenes within a story.
    -Abortion: Does it count if the embryo was already dead?
    -Pride: Yep.

    So, that’s between 8 and 10
    I always say that on a good day I manage 6 out of 7 deadly sins. I think that lust and sloth are mutually exclusive if done right.

  18. 31

    Hum… let’s see…

    Idolatry/Reject God’s Law: Well, considering God is bullshit, his “law” is bullshit as well.
    Greed/Never Content: I’m as happy as I can be with my life, so I think I didn’t flunk this one.
    Unrighteous Anger: Well, I have pretty good reasons to be angry with shitstains like this guy, so I think i didn’t flunk this one either.
    Lying/Tolerate Evil: If by “tolerating evil” this douche means being secular/humanist/pro-choice, then yeah, I’m pretty evil tolerant.
    Cursing/Profanity: Fuck yes.
    Premarital Sex: Lots of it. The whole “abstinence until marriage” thing is stupid.
    Homosexuality: I’m heterosexual, so nope. Besides, try as I might, I cannot concieve why what consenting adults do in their privacy freak morons like this so much.
    Drunkenness: Well, I drink sometimes, but I’ve never been drunk.
    Pornography: Sometimes.
    Abortion: I’m a man, so I think this doesn’t apply.
    Pride: If by pride you mean thinking I’m better than that monstrous tyrant xtians worship, then yeah.

  19. 32

    I also have a problem with the “unrighteous” part of the anger sin.

    I’m angry — but it’s wholly justified.

    It would be interesting to see his reaction if you asked him a question as to whether he’s proud to be an American, where he has a right to stand on the street corner and spout any nonsense he likes.

    Of course, the list is bogus.

    The bible doesn’t prohibit abortion. And in fact, if you assault a pregnant woman and she loses the baby, you merely have to pay a fine. (Exodus 21:22)

    The bible also says absolutely nothing about pornography. It does have quite a bit to say about sex slaves and concubines, but not pornography.

    Most believers, including this n00b, think that the commandment against “taking god’s name in vain” is about swearing. Nope. It’s about honoring contracts. In those days, there were no written contracts, so you swore in the name of your deity to deliver 3 goats on Monday in exchange for your daughters. If you failed to deliver the goats, that’s taking the lord’s name “in vain”. Not saying “fuck” or “shit” or even “goddammit”.

    Same with the “bearing false witness” commandment. It doesn’t mean white lies of the “No, honey, those jeans don’t make your ass look big” type. Nor of the “Honest, Mr. Nazi, there are no Jews hiding in my attic.” Again, it’s about contract law. Don’t say that you saw your neighbor swear to deliver 4 goats when he only promised 3 for the prettier of the daughters.

    Also, Proverbs 31:6 (KJV): Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

  20. 33

    I’ve never had an abortion but I have been the circulating nurse on several, does that count? Or does it count double since many of the nitwits think it’s worth murdering abortion providers?

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