Envy, greed led to the downfall of many

Rachel Patron

Christianity lists seven deadly sins: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride; though I've never seen anyone perish from them either by God's hand or the government's. And remember: For maximum sinning results - combine two or more. For example, whipping together greed, pride and envy will produce a nifty souffle.

Not surprisingly, Bernard Madoff's horrifying greed is on everyone's mind. For the Jewish community, this may be a financial Holocaust, the depth of which is yet unknown, since it's impacting the charities' holdings, as well as the donors' abilities to replenish them. So, Lord, what you have here is the perfect chance to smite a deserving sinner!

The "Bernie" type is envious of everyone. But with $50 billion, everyone is envious of him. His "pride" is arrogance, thus described in courtroom accounts: "The accused showed no emotion." Instead, he displayed a mocking smirk. Take it to the bank, ye plebs!

Since it's Christmastime, let's remember "avarice," i.e. the hoarding of money instead of sharing it with the needy. This is the message of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the lovely fantasy of human ability to change from evil to good.

"Gluttony" is so delicate a subject that we must approach it tush-backward: Some airlines announced that they will introduce "fat seats" for which the occupants will pay more and, presumably, be fed water and celery. Can anyone explain why Americans have a fatal attraction to chocolate cake? Maybe if we had the draft and were forced to crawl through a roll of concertina wire...?

Forget "slothful" Johnny not cleaning his room. The prize for laziness - or worse - goes to Wall Street regulators who were told a decade ago that there was something unkosher about Bernie Madoff - and did nothing. Their inactivity was "deadly" and should be punished. And, don't you find it interesting that "wrath" is a hissing sound, as in the ravings of Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

Now the fun: The Christian list begins with "lust." But times have changed, and we've left the best for last. Comparing the sins, crimes and misdemeanors of the soon-to-be-past administration to Bill Clinton's exploits in the Oval Office, we must reach the inevitable conclusion: Lust is good!

Rachel Patron is a writer in Boca Raton. Her e-mail address is rachel_patron@yahoo.com.

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