A Sinful Social Structure
When God created man, he gave them the ability to have freewill. Unfortunately, along with freewill comes the opportunity to choose sin over what is good. A sin is defined as an offense against God as well as a fault against reason, truth, and right conscience. When we examine this word, it can be broken down into many different types of sin. Some of which are mortal and venial sins; sin of commission and omission; and social sin and sinful social structures. Each is a serious offense against God, but some are graver than others. Looking more closely at the movie The Help, based on a very racist area of Mississippi during the 1960s, we can find examples of each of the sins listed. Although not all people in Jackson, Mississippi were racists, the deep prejudices against blacks during this time period were key factors in many of the sins committed in The Help.
A mortal sin is seen as the most grave because it is the result of a complete separation from God. In the movie, Leroy, Minny’s husband, beats her on a regular basis. Overtime, his treatment of her weakens her character physically and mentally and it is hard for her to be the strong women she is. Minny does not fight back, but keeps Leroy’s abuse to herself for most of the movie. In one instance after she lost her job, Leroy does more than beat Minny; he tries to kill her. This would be considered a mortal sin because he did not hurt Minny out of righteous anger, but out of his own selfishness. This offense caused a complete separation from God.
An example of a venial sin, a less serious offense against the will of God that only diminishes our relationship with God, is when Skeeter’s mother lies about what happened to Constantine. This would be considered a venial sin because it goes against the teaching of one of our 10 commandments. She originally told Skeeter that she had left, but avoided the truth that she had fired Constantine. Skeeter’s mother’s guilt finally sets in and...