Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Morals - Rigid vs. Relative

One thing you hear constantly as a liberal is, "Well, you have no moral standards - everything's 'relative' so there is no right or wrong!" Apparently allowing people to make their own moral choices is somehow the same as having no morals. It is not enough to be moral oneself; one can only command the high ground by condemning those who do not choose your exact path.

I have a really, really hard time with that Hootervillian 'logic'. There are so many denominations with so many differing standards of 'righteousness' and what constitutes right living and right beliefs that everyone falls short somewhere. Many 'fundamentalist Christians' believe that Catholics are going to Hell. Some churches object to alcohol consumption. Others, such as the Latter-Day Saints, believe that caffeine, as well, is incompatible with Godliness. Some churches, like Church of Christ, do not allow dancing. Seventh-Day Adventists are asked to avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, meat, and jewelry. The Shakers believed that sex of any kind was unholy (which accounted for its eventual demise). So does it follow that the more restrictive a church is, the 'holier' or closer to God they are?

Trying to impose 'Biblical' principles upon Americans via the government is impossible because every denomination interprets the Bible differently. This, of course, takes no notice of the very clear "separation of church and state" that is one of the bedrock principles upon which this nation was founded, and has been reiterated and reaffirmed throughout U.S. history. And just because I don't shove my beliefs and principles down your throat does not mean I don't have them and adhere to them.

I do have them, and I prefer to walk rather than talk. I believe that behavior and example are more persuasive than proselytizing. But it seems that the opposite is true for the Hootervillians. The louder they denounce something, the more likely it seems to be that they are doing it.


GreenSmile said...

You nailed it, Alicia.
Whole point of my blogging is to put
my versions of values [which liberals most certainly do possess] into quotable abstractions. This generalizing and sloganizing is, as you rightly point out, not nearly as valuable as walking the walk, so to speak. But when it comes to getting the chickens to consider whether a vote for the colonel is in thier best interest, well the chicken feed they prefer seems to be shouted slogans. So I figure, lets have our own to shout. I'd like to see more comments on my posts and more posting like yours...we may not have one big message but rather a collection of little ones. Whatever they are, the more we kick'em around and polish them and remove the burrs that offend more than they reach out to sectarian sections of society, the better equipped we are to get in the ring with Karl Rove message machines.

Alicia Morgan said...

Yet, rational discourse seems to bore people - they get excited and mobilized by fear and rhetoric rather than respectful exchange of viewpoints.

wanda said...

"The louder they denounce something, the more likely it seems to be that they are doing it."
I do believe you have summed the entire religious right up in that one simple sentence. I call them the in the closet party. Because all of them are in the closet in one way or another.
Excellent post!