Christians say we're born with original sin but in my experience sin is quite difficult to achieve. Sin take some organising. Sin requires a separate credit card and a post office box. Sin requires the ability to lie under pressure.
It's more likely we're born with original guilt. Guilt is easy.
Your average person spends most of the day bathed in non-specific guilt. That's why we all flinch when we see a police officer. We can't precisely recall being part of a major bank robbery, sometime in the previous 20 minutes, but in the back of our minds there's a suspicion we probably were.
The world conspires to make us feel guilty. For every person who is peddling sin, there are 10 who are peddling guilt.
Just the other day, researchers in London accused fat people of causing global warming. Those of us with a few extra kilos are now to blame for the death of the planet. Up to now, we'd merely been blamed for adding an unattractive element to the streetscape. Suddenly we're to blame for the disappearance of the street itself!
It was like being called up before a magistrate and finding your crime had been suddenly upgraded.
"But I thought I was charged with littering..."
"No, sorry lady, it's now the destruction of all humanity. Now, how would you like to plead?"
The Guilt Industry also offers bucket-loads of official advice, all of it designed to make us all feel like failures. One example is the new recommendation on wine: drink more than one glass of wine in a 24 hour period and you'll die young. It's an unlikely piece of advice which, if followed, would bankrupt the Federal Government, so I'm guessing they don't expect people will actually do as they are told.
It's not only the wine. The Guilt Industry believes you need to spend at least an hour each day exercising, 8 1/2 hours sleeping, 8 hours working, 1 hour meditating, 10 minutes teeth cleaning, 3 minutes teeth flossing, 1 hour reading to your children, 1 hour eating dinner together in the European mode, 3 hours enduring public transport, all finished off with 20 minutes of vigorous daily sex.
By my calculation, you need 48 hours in every day just to lead what the various experts consider an acceptable life.
Just one question: if I manage to get through all 48 hours of tasks, could I at least have a second drink?
Jesus, they say, died for our sins. Shame he couldn't have also snuffed out some of the unproductive guilt!
We were not feeling at all guilty when we were barging in France in July 2008!