Monday, January 28, 2008

Ask Satan

Reader Übermilf writes: “Is laundry avoidance a sin? I ask for a friend.”

Dear Übermilf,

First, I must say, I’m flattered that you chose to ask me. The Catholic Church would, of course, advise that you go across the way and direct your question to Father Bob. I’m pretty sure he likes cupcakes.

As I’m sure you know, there are multiple schools of thought – you might call them legal traditions – within the Catholic Church on how to determine if something is a sin or not. One simple approach is to ask whether anyone is harmed by your friend’s action, or in this case lack of action. Now, unless the dirty laundry is growing colonies of contagious disease or your friend’s children are getting beat up at school for wearing the same shirt with mustard stains three days in a row, it’s likely that putting off the laundry doesn’t hurt anyone. So by this logic, laundry avoidance is not a sin.

Of course, most thought in the Catholic Church doesn’t follow such libertarian tendencies. It would be far more common to interpret avoiding the laundry as an embodiment of Sloth, one of the deadly sins – albeit this example of Sloth would be only a minor venial sin.

A critical element of Catholic theology is the role of the conscience. Ultimately, in matters such as this, the conscience of the individual is the deciding factor. The conscience is informed by the teachings of the Church, and cannot go against points of infallible dogma, but much of the Church’s teachings are just the opinions of humans, and the individual has the right and obligation to follow his or her own conscience.

In this case, the bottom line is whether your friend feels guilty about not doing the laundry. If so, it’s a sin. This situation is technically known as a ‘mindfuck.’ An important corollary is, “If you have to ask, it’s a sin.”

Now, if you want my advice (not that you asked), tell your friend the hell with the laundry. She should do it when she feels like it and shouldn’t worry about it otherwise. Then it’s not a sin, see? And if her kids need clean clothes, you know what? I bet they’re old enough to learn how to wash and fold their own clothes. You know what else? You can pay other people to wash your clothes.

Take it easy,

-- Satan

Have other questions or want advice from Satan? You can email them to Satan or post them in the comments for this blog entry.


Übermilf said...

I'm assuming you have no official position on fabric softener, then.

Satan said...

Not so! I encourage the use of toxic chemicals whenever possible.

CTK said...

On a somewhat related note, if I were to dismember the Snuggle fabric softener bear, would I be doomed to an eternity in Hell?

Thanks a bunch,


Übermilf said...

Also, how many musical groups have actually allied themselves with you? Many have claimed it, but is it just posturing? And, are there some that HAVEN'T made such a claim, yet in actually ARE in league with you?

Satan said...

CTK - Depends if you repent later on or not...

Satan said...

Übermilf - Great question, maybe I'll write a column about it. Briefly:

* I've lost count.
* They may start that way, but there's a catch-22: if you say you're in league with Satan, you are.
* Oh, yes.

-- Satan

Übermilf said...

I expect you to name names.

Satan said...

What do you think this is, Behind the Music?

FranIAm said...

Just for the record, Jesus never mentions laundry.

The Vatican, that is another matter. Dogma - there's the problem.