The Original Second Sin: Blaming Others for the First One

On the fourteenth of this month, Hunter Bradford, a reporter at Church Militant, posted publicly the following on Facebook.

I’ve seen a number of Catholic women – some more faithful than others, mostly young women – wearing bikinis.
Maybe no one told them, maybe they don’t know, or maybe they do know and just don’t care – but NO girl/lady/woman should EVER wear a bikini.
Wearing a bikini as a Catholic is extremely scandalous.
A bikini provokes a man’s tendency to sin in the lust arena. Of course, what the man chooses to do with his eyes, and afterwards is on him, but THAT he is provoked to lust on the girl wearing the bikini is on the girl in the bikini.

In Genesis 3:12, when God confronted the man who had sinned, the man did not take responsibility, but instead blamed God and the woman for his own sin:
“The WOMAN whom YOU gave to be with me, SHE gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Scantily clad bodies can be a distraction in some cultures, but can be appropriately modest in others.

If one feels inside oneself a sinful temptation in response to something one sees outside oneself, one can train oneself to look away.

It is problematic when a Catholic man publicly blames bikini-clad women for having “provoked to lust”.

Here is what Christ said in Matthew 15 about defilement coming not from what enters a man’s senses, but from what comes out of his own heart.

And Jesus called the people to him and said to them,
“Hear and understand:
not what goes into the mouth defiles a man,
but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
Then the disciples came and said to Jesus,
“Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
He answered,
“Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
Let them alone; they are blind guides.
And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.
These are what defile a man;
but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

The principle of Christ in that text applies not just to the mouth and eating, but also to the eyes and seeing.

Here is how that same text could apply to a man seeing a bikini-clad woman with his own eyes.

And Jesus called the people to him and said to them,
“Hear and understand:
not what goes into the eyes defiles a man,
but what comes out of the heart, this defiles a man.”
Then the disciples came and said to Jesus,
“Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
He answered,
“Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
Let them alone; they are blind guides.
And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.
But what comes out of the heart proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.
These are what defile a man;

but to see with the eyes does not defile a man.”

In the holiness of man and woman in Eden before sin, they were naked.

After they sinned, they took on the attitude that their nakedness was problematic, and so they hid themselves from God.

But God saw that attitude as problematic.

Because of our ongoing human concupiscence, we feel tempted when we see nakedness if we belong to certain cultures in the temperate and colder locations of the world.

But blaming others is also a temptation and a hypocritical sin, the original second sin.

After Christ’s Second Coming, in the resurrection and the life of the world to come, we shall forever be sinless, even if we end up going back to live as naked as we were in Eden.

Ongoing Conversion
Ongoing Conversion

Published by Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, O.S.B.

Benedictine Monk and Priest of Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, California, in the Order of Saint Benedict

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