Hamartophobia- Fear of sinning
For regular readers of this blog, you will detect a pattern over the past couple of entries. First we had the fear of hell, then the fear of saints and holy things, now and finally we have the fear of sinning. A common factor in almost every society is that there are rules that one must live by in order to fulfil the obligation one has to this society. The secular rules of society generally can trace their roots back to the 10 Commandments of the bible, which set forth 10 laws for people to live by. Now of course, this has extended somewhat in both secular and religious groups to cover far more than the original 10 commandments. Indeed, it appears that it is infinitely easier to sin than it is to be good. Haratophobia is a fear of sinning.
One of the principal difficulties with sin is that sin is an interpretation. For many religious conservatives, homosexuality is an abomination because it says so in the bible, yet a few lines down from this proclamation, it is also considered to be an abomination if a person were to eat shell fish. Of course, as time has passed people have generally ignored the latter, but why? This is the point that sin is ultimately decided arbitrarily. So it is perfectly understandable why people would have this fear, as there is no universal definition of sin in which to live one’s life by.
As with the previous two postings, the difficult path the therapist walks with these sufferers is that to help the client overcome this anxiety without attempting to demean the individual’s faith.