Lol! I'll agree that this particular post is amazingly...well, sophisticated is as good a word as any (I'm impressed too), but I'd hardly call these forums sophisticated (especially those posts on the merits of the new patch...)
And for catholics, what the pope says is pretty major. (Depends how devote they are of course...) According to the catholic church, what he says carries as much weight as the bible, unless I'm mistaken. (If I am, feel free to correct me.) I rather liked Pope Benedict--I'm not catholic, but I liked his style--but these proclamations are amazingly vague.
For example: what the heck is "polluting the environment"? I think everyone will agree that an oil tanker spill is pollution, but where's the bottom limit? Do the emissions from my car count? How 'bout heat pollution? Is that 500W or so of heat dissipated from my computer a sin? Anything
humans do using any technology whatsoever (even bronze age stuff) is gong to cause some kind of pollution.
And genetic modification? Is there some kind of explanation that goes along with this list, or was the list it? Breeding dogs is genetic modification. I can only assume
it's referring to direct manipulation of DNA, but why is that wrong exactly? (And please don't say because we're 'playing God'. If scientists create a universe out of nothing, then you can accuse them of playing God.) I believe in the Bible as strongly as anyone, but (as has already been mentioned) these seem more like political statements than theological ones.
My point is that this list strikes me as irresponsible. There really are millions of people that believe this (and I'm not bashing on them in any way: some of them are very close friends of mine) and will actually think that throwing away garbage is sin (again, it's impossible to argue that landfills aren't polluting, even if they are currently necessary). What the pope says has enourmous impact in some circles, and i think these poorly defined, broad categories are dangerous. (Of course, maybe the Vatican released a technical paper explaining exactly what each of these categories are, scientific like.)
But don't get me wrong, I still like Benedict, these new 'sins' just blow my mind.
And an interesting fact: Jesus was called a glutton and drunk by the religious elite of his day. I wonder if he was a polluter too?