Monday, April 21, 2008

Sin as Stealing?

I said I would post some thoughts about issues raised in "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. Here is one hot off the Bunsen burner.

It has to do topic of sin. Amir, the main character, tells his father (Baba) what he has been learning in school from the mullah (an instructor). Amir's report concerns the mullah's statement that Islam considers drinking a horrible sin. Baba, who likes to drink, sits Amir on his lap and begins to explain to him what he thinks about sin. Here is what Baba says:

"Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that?"

Amir is clueless, so Baba attempts another go at it:

"'When you kill a man, you steal a life,' Baba said. 'You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?'"

The lights go on for Amir. He gets it.

I'll let you chew on Baba's definition of sin for a bit. More to come tomorrow.....

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