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Illustration: Sin

In 1876, a highly touted plant made its American debut at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It was a vine that could grow a foot in a day. It was promoted as a plant that could grow anywhere and make the countryside more beautiful. People in the South embraced it as a tool against soil erosion; but not only would the vine cover the ground, it started covering everything such as signs and telephone poles. The vine is called kudzu, and by the 1950s people began regretting they had ever planted it. It now has reached all the way from the Deep South to Maine. Scientists are trying to find a way to stop it. Sin is like that. It starts by promising to fill some kind of need, but then grows wild until it becomes damaging; and it is just as hard to eradicate.