Class Moments: Sin and moral turpitude

original-sin-garden-of-edenThe other day in class, a student used the word “sin” in class. Given the culturally laden meanings and implications of “sin,” and given my constant emphasis on getting students to define terms in alternative ways, I asked the student to explain “sin” in his own words.

I was expecting something along the lines of “to do something bad” or “an action against what God wants.” But instead the student paused for the briefest moment and then casually offered: “Moral turpitude.”

Blank stares all around. Needless to say, there currently exists a fairly wide gap in the vocabulary levels of my students. And “differentiation” is looking like one of the themes for the semester.