One Word
Off The Wall, February 19, 2010

Most of us common folks are not big word users. A matter of fact, I believe some people are intimidated when one incorporates lengthy words in conversations. Those on the receiving end may smile, indicating that they understand, but most don’t have a clue what is being talked about.

This brings to one word in question that millions of people decided to Google after one sports’ figure used it in a sentence referring to his actions – transgressions.

Maybe you are one of those who still wonders its meaning. From www.dictionary.com, we read, “A transgression is an action violating the law or moral code.”

How many of us, me included, commit these wrong doings daily? I’ll let you answer that, but before I put a period at the end of this sentence, let me stipulate that if you say to yourself, “none,” or “not me,” you are just kidding yourself.

Most everyone knows the majority of laws. After all, some people will put monitors in their vehicles that detect where the state or local police may be driving or waiting for a motorist to violate the law. Committing a moving violation is one type of transgression.

When you think of it, then, there are many more that may come to mind.

To what was this professional referring when he inserted the word within a sentence?

Was it a law that he broke? Yes, according to society’s standards.

Believe it or not, we do have two sides of the coin here – “a violation of the law or a moral code.” When it comes right down to it, he is guilty of both, and here is why.

The people, who set up our laws in our wonderful country, did so to protect and cherish the unity of marriage – a plan initiated by God, Himself. When a man and a woman tie the knot, so to speak, they become one. Before God, they give the solemn vow that neither will part before death. Each becomes dedicated to each other. As one, they will consummate the marriage and raise up a family, as is the intention in this bond.

So this “gentleman” decided his wife was no more important than other women he met. He allegedly proceeded to “tangle” with them as well. That is a direct violation of the code of ethics.

But more so, violating a moral code is a much more serious transgression because it goes against God and His Word. He will be held responsible for his actions regardless of what amends he makes to his family, and that carries with it very serious consequences.

One word that jumps out to me as I write this column is sanctity. That is another term for holiness. The proper terminology of the union of a man and a woman is the sanctity of marriage. It is one of the sacraments of the church. To defy this moral code is to against not only God but His moral code – plain and simply stated.

This brings me to the subject of the Lord’s Prayer.

Most church goers in the area recite this very famous scriptural petition weekly during their services or Masses. Sometimes I think it is said so regularly that people often recite the words, but never comprehend what they are saying. It’s become a traditional outpouring of words.

Most everyone reading this column, I assume, knows how it goes, but I’ll mention a good part of it as a lead into my thoughts. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; that will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” I’m stopping here because the word “trespasses” is another word for transgressions. Essentially, what is being said is “forgive us our transgressions as we forgive those who transgress against us…” Is this all starting to make sense?

So, when this well-known “great” told the world that he had many transgressions, is he any worse than many of us? I’m not condoning what he did by any means of the imagination. Thank God we are not lowered to the point of unfaithfulness to one’s spouse. But as my favorite expression goes – “God’s taking notes,” applies, for we do transgress one way or the other on a regular basis, and for that we must seek forgiveness.

Once again, referring to scripture, Matthew 7:5 sums up my thoughts: “You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Kind of makes you think a bit. I know, it did me.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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