Friday, November 7, 2008

The moral issues

In previous posts, we have discussed the "moral" issues deemed most important by the christianists on the right.

Almost without exception, for right wing christianists, the term "moral issues" refers to abortion and homosexuality. Once in awhile, "socialism" is also thrown into the mix, but for the most part moral issues are the holy duo of abortion and homosexuality.

We've mentioned that this is an unholy disregard for other, more significant moral issues, such as preemptive war, stealing from the poor to enrich the rich, denying people their rights under the Constitution, health care, education, poverty, global warming, the environment, etc.


But from our inception as a nation, the major moral issue has revolved around our treatment of minorities. Genocide was our national policy for years as we systematically killed the natives whose land we wanted for our own. Slavery, from the beginning, has hung like a dead weight around our collective necks. And as various immigrant groups found their way to our shores, they were routinely derided, defamed and made to bear the burden of hate.

All of this is racism, which in its multitudinous forms, continues to be a moral issue in this country. That's why the election of Barack Obama, a "mutt," as he called himself today in his first press conference -- half white, half black -- is such a milestone and why it should be a cause for celebration for all Americans. It was a giant step up from the mire of racial hatred.

Anna Quindlen, writing in this week's issue of Newsweek, referred to a speech given by President-elect Obama some months ago. Obama spoke of the problem of race, and about people living with "systemic poverty, bad schools and broken families. Obama said that "Many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow."

No one with a modicum of knowledge about our history would disagree. And as we noted in a previous post, slavery "by another name," which involved the selling of blacks - arrested on bogus charges - to plantation owners and steel mills to be worked until they dropped or died in their shackles, existed in the South until the 1940's.

Quindlen continues: "But Obama said something else in that speech, something both simpler and more profound that has special resonance now that his improbable candidacy has prevailed. He made the political spiritual.

"'In the end, then,' he said, 'what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand--that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.' He asked the American people to be fair and just, to be kind and generous, to put prejudice behind them and be one people because that is, not a legal or social imperative, but a moral one."


It would be nice to hear something from the christianists on the right about the moral issue of racism in our midst, and it would be nice if they could admit that Obama was speaking the truth and praise him for it.

But they're too busy preaching God is exclusive, not inclusive. They're too busy spreading their hate for those who believe differently about abortion -- and many of them lie about Obama's position on abortion, claiming he wants to kill babies born alive after botched abortions! The christianists on the right are too busy spreading their prejudice against gays and lesbians, picking and choosing a couple of bible verses to bolster their animosity.

[As regards socialism, the Book of Acts in the New Testament would seem to support a socialistic system, for it describes the early followers of Jesus as living in a community where all shared what they had with each other. Sounds like socialism, albeit primitive, to me!]


One cannot find any justification in the life or teachings of Jesus as he is presented in the gospels for the hatred expressed by christianists on the right for those we describe today as pro-choice or people born homosexual. In fact, just the opposite is true. The gospel writers are one in their portrayal of Jesus as being especially accepting of those society has cast aside.

The people Jesus really had problems with were the pompous, pious, pretenders to righteousness who failed to see they shared a common humanity with all people, and failed to realize that god's love was unconditional.

If the shoe fits...

3 comments:

Christian said...

Jacob, you make me laugh.

You cut me down in my post for using the Bible to make my point (then refuse to respond to me, like a spoiled child), yet you are trying to leverage the Bible to discredit the Christian beliefs. Amazing!

"He asked the American people to be fair and just, to be kind and generous, to put prejudice behind them and be one people because that is, not a legal or social imperative, but a moral one."

So, if a conservative says this he is thumping his Bible and shoving religion down your throat, but when a liberal says it he is bipartisan. The problem is that Obama will not stop at this level of speech, he wants to mandate generosity in the form of "spreading the wealth" and legislate away prejudice.

You still don't get it--this will never work if forced. It only works from if you give from YOUR heart.

This is also the irony of your comment regarding Acts and Biblical socialism. The New Testament church members did give "all that they had" to the church. Do you see that, they GAVE, the church did NOT TAKE all they had.

"In fact, just the opposite is true. The gospel writers are one in their portrayal of Jesus as being especially accepting of those society has cast aside."

Please cite these examples you toss about as your proof.

"...people born homosexual"

The problem with the argument that people are born with homosexuality is to classify homosexuality as something like a birth defect. If that is the case, then this is the only birth defect that the Bible speaks about as sin. Seems pretty silly for God to condem a person for having a birth defect, specifically this one and no others. "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." (Romans 1:26-27)

We all have our cross to bear--for some, homosexual urges may seem like natural thing they were born with, but it is not.

Anonymous said...

I keep saying similar things but the religous purists keep referring back to an ancient book that does not give contemporay answers. If one crdeits God with the good He does or allows, shouldn't we question why He allows the bad to happen too? Questions are not put downs! They are an attempt to understand how some people KNOW what God wants.
Bob Poris

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with his beliefs, which I do not agree with. I do have a problem with his attempts to denigrate opposing arguments based on his interpretation of the Bible. Scholars have disagreed for centuries and the world is still here. We now have thousands of interpretations sufficiently different to have spawned so many religions. So far, God has not seen fit to endorse any particular one, yet people are willing to kill over differences. I doubt if god or Jesus would endorse that.
If each person would act in accordance with accepted morals and ethics, they would contribute to whatever peaceful goal they endorse. Changing laws to modify personal ethics doesn’t usually work, unless one agrees with the Taliban or the Mullahs, the Inquisition, The Crusades, etc.
Bob Poris

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