Early this week The New York Times reported that the Holy Roman Catholic Church would be once again handing out tickets to heaven in the form of indulgences.
The church recently announced the repent revival on Web sites and bulletin boards, bringing back a centuries-old tradition, which fell out of favor during the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
Now Catholics can wipe away sins in just a few easy steps.
Steps one through three: going to confession, receiving Holy Communion and saying a prayer.
Step four? Although the church outlawed paying for indulgences in 1567, “charitable contributions, combined with other acts” can help sinners earn one.
Martin Luther and his 95 theses are rolling over in his grave.
How could something that ripped the first thread in the split of Christianity be a good thing? (See Protestant Reformation.)
Allowing the indulgence revival sets a dangerous precedent for the Catholic Church. What starts as donations now could be transformed into payment to pass through the Pearly Gates.
And yes, some may find hope in the fact that their lives can be rescued through these free passes, but what stops people from taking advantage of a good thing and sinning away day and night?
Indulgences pale in comparison to some traditions, however. For instance eating meat on Fridays and Latin Mass have long been abolished by mainstream Catholics.
But there’s a difference between pounding down a cheeseburger on a Friday night and having the audacity to convince people that they can pay their way into heaven.
We only have room for a few reasons why indulgences lead down a bad path, but imagine what we can do with the other 90 plus theses.