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'People' Magazine Tries to Make a 'Sindex'

People magazine once undertook a part-serious, part-tongue-in-cheek survey of its readers on the subject of sin. The results were published as a "Sindex," with each sin rated by a sin coefficient. The outcome is both amusing and instructive. Sins like murder, child abuse, and spying against one's country were rated the worst sins in ascending order, with smoking, swearing, and illegal videotaping far down the list. Parking in a handicapped spot was rated surprising high, whereas unmarried live-togethers got off lightly. Cutting in front of someone in line was deemed worse than divorce or capital punishment. Predictably, corporate sin was not mentioned at all. The survey concluded, "Overall, readers said they commit about 4.64 sins a month."

Possible Preaching Angles: Of course calculating our sins (according to our standards) is not this easy or precise. In the Bible, sin is not just a few bad acts that we do. It is a power that we are in (See Romans 3:9). As the writer Dorothy Sayers once said, "[Sin] is a deep interior dislocation at the very center of the human personality." The 20th century poet W.H. Auden called sin "The error bred in the bone."

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