(Modern analysis of the Noah story is also symptomatic of this approach. I've heard people say the Noahic flood could not have happened as described in Genesis because the animals would have needed more food/waste removal services than Noah and family could have provided, etc. Basically, it doesn't work as a story because the logistics are unworkable. Um, hello, but the entire story is built on God's work. God decides to send the flood, He brings the animals to the ark, He opens the floodgates. Any God that can create the universe with His word, can flood the earth, can do the other things God can do certainly can take care of the animals on the ark for a few months. Taking a story that describes miracles and then saying it couldn't have happened because it would have taken a miracle is completely missing the point.)
Another show on the pay channels (no, not those pay channels), Battlestar Galactica, often centers on questions of what it really means to be human, or touches on ethical or moral questions. Tonight's episode touched, at least briefly, on the morality of the "everyone's doing it" excuse. And for once, I wasn't disappointed by a script writer. There was a scene where Col. Tigh and Captain Lee Adama are discussing their participation in the illegal black market developing in the fleet. Col. Tigh warns Adama not to "play holier than thou" since Adama had played a part. Adama, instead of saying, "yeah, I'm a hypocrite, I'll not judge the black marketers anymore" surprised me. His response was, "doesn't make us right, Colonel, just a whole lot of people wrong."
This is an incredibly Christian response. Adama realizes that what he is doing is wrong. Something is not made right just because "everyone does it." Sin is not excused by the number of participants, and we are not released from responsibility for our own sin on the grounds that our neighbor does the same thing. Adama gets it exactly right: we still must judge sin as sin, even while we ourselves are sinners. The alternative is that we allow evil to flourish. Calling sin "sin" is not hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is calling sin "sin" while also claiming not to sin.
I also note that Adama does go on to kill a criminal without due process, so he obviously has some ongoing issues to address. But I was encouraged that a character on television actually said something unexpected and morally correct. Just because everyone is sinning doesn't mean we should avoid calling out sin for what it is. Sin is an afront to God, and we don't take that nearly seriously enough. When we hold back from preaching against sin and evil we allow it to flourish and grow. That eventually harms us too. Sin, left unchecked by Christians too afraid of being called judgmental and intolerant, kills. Yes, we need to speak out properly, and not hatefully. But we can't keep silent. Just because a whole lot of people are minimizing sin doesn't make it right to do so. No, it just makes a whole lot of people wrong.
[Update: I updated a parenthetical aside that I noticed was worded rather oddly. Apologies for anyone who scratched their head over it:)]