Monday, September 3, 2018

A Conflict of Moral Visions

Insighful article, here:

The writer, Phil Christensen, says,
Trump Haters, you have a binary problem. Or perhaps, I should say that your problem is a binary way of seeing the current political landscape in general, or President Trump in particular. It’s love or hate. There’s no room for nuance, there’s nothing in between. Not for you.
And then he really gets scathing:
The Left Discovers Morals.
Insisting on restraint and respect will get no argument from me. Of course if you gave this one a pass, don’t expect me to buy into your new-found morality....
Read the whole thing.

Just one quibble: the Left is very moralistic and always has been. The difference is that they roll their own moral code, rejecting all that came before them as primitive gibbering. Why heed a book containing wisdom that's ages old? and way outdated? That's so silly! Instead, take these silly notions we invented, like, yesterday.

It's a fundamental distinction. While the Good Book says that God is unchanging and that the Word of the Lord shall abide forever, the Left's book needs rewrites on an hourly basis.

To contrast further: Christian theology claims that the Lord has all power and authority over all of Creation. Having established His moral authority, He instructs us on how to adopt His own moral perspective and put it into practice. In the Christian paradigm, morals are about relationships, and specifically about building the same quality of relationships that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have with each other. Maintain a loving relationship with the Lord ("Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, and mind") and also with our fellow man ("Love thy neighbor as thyself"). This is the Lord's will, and doing the Lord's will is our commandment.  If morals were Einsteinian physics, the Lord's will is our constant, and everything else -- our thoughts, behavior, position, circumstances -- are the variables that must bend to accommodate the Word of the Lord. Situations may change, but the basic principles are bedrock: always do that which shows the most love for the Lord and your neighbor. It's an impossible task, and at times it seems thankless, but it's our task nonetheless. Paul says patience is the first attribute of love, but when I'm in my car, I can't even stop myself from being impatient with other drivers. But the Lord forgives, He admonishes, He corrects, He prepares a table for us. He loves us in spite of our rebellion, for reasons known only to Him.

Compare this to the cramped moral world of the Left. What new morals did they invent for us yesterday?

Well, the Left talks a lot about helping the poor, but at the end of the day, they advocate an economic system that seems better designed to create more poor people. The important thing is, before you build anything, you need to ask the Left's permission.

The Left talks about having compassion for Jack when he thinks he's Jill, or vice versa, but we must never bring up the horrible fact that transgender suicide rates are off-the-charts high, nor do they consider we may be dealing with a mental illness. Like the Left's morals, gender is arbitrary, and reality must bend to accommodate this insight. There are 57 genders, like Heinz's sauces, and there will be more tomorrow. The more complicated, the better. The point is, now you have to ask the Left's advice about how to address someone, or suffer their judgment. And if it were simple, why, you could figure things out on your own, and we can't have that.

The Left talks a lot about fairness, but then they reveal their strategic brilliance by never specifying what fairness means -- the better to christen any resultant change as an improvement. Years ago, to be fair meant to accord the same rights and apply the same standards to everyone. Today, it means giving preferred groups a leg up, in order to, you know, make up for past injustices. But somehow, the quest for cosmic fairness always winds up looking just like political favoritism. I can't think of a single terrible thing the white man ever did to Native Americans that justifies giving preferential treatment to a rich white woman like Elizabeth Warren. But that's only because I'm not a leftist, and therefore I lack a leftist's moral authority. The point is, now we have to ask the Left whether there's some microscopic injustice Elizabeth Warren suffered because Andrew Jackson slaughtered Cherokees two hundred years ago. Only the Left can decide these things; you can't.

The Left ardently defends the freedom of the press as long as they think it means them, but brazenly challenges our laughable conceit that freedom of speech applies to the rest of us too. Dissent is the highest civic duty until the Left is in charge, but then once they are, well, hey, you know, hate speech isn't free speech -- and your speech always becomes hate speech when you disagree with the Left. I'm not allowed to offend others with my speech, but they can scold me for holding such outdated, outmoded, and offensive beliefs. Well, that offends me. Do my feelings count? No, of course not. If I want to know what I'm allowed to say, why, I had better ask my betters -- namely, those on the Left.

Even the Constitution itself must bow to the Left's whims and whimsies. Show of hands: who believes Democrats would be whining today about the Electoral College if Hillary had won that but lost the popular vote? Me neither.

The sole certainty in an uncertain world is the Left's moral righteousness. The sole constant of Leftist morality, their tenet of faith, the one thing they'll stick up for 100% of the time, the hill they're willing for the rest of us to die on, is just this: they are our moral superiors, so let them run everything. They'll make a better world for us. They promise.

That's not even a principle. It's too arbitrary to be called a principle. We'll call it a notion: the Left gets to have all the power it wants, and they want all of it, every drop of it. William Buckley used to call liberals "shower adjusters" because they want to reach into your shower and adjust your water for you. He meant that as an ad absurdum, but these days it seems more scary than absurd.

Invoking the physics analogy again, if our only constant is that the Left must own all the power, then everything else -- truth, beauty, reason, evidence, love, honor, even reality itself -- must become variables. We let Bill Clinton's peccadillos slide because it was just about sex and, besides, he's a Democrat; however, the Stormy thing ought to end Trump's presidency! Obama said you can keep your doctor, but Trump tells lies! Hillary okayed selling 20% of our uranium reserves to the Russians and the Russians sent a check to the Clinton Foundation, but Trump! Russia! Collusion! Obama literally herded and corralled newsmen, but Trump is mean to journalists! Obama scolded the Supreme Court in person at his State of the Union address, but Trump attacks our established institutions! The only way to square these circles is to announce solemnly, but seriously, that squares are circular and you deplorables and irredeemables are just not wise enough to see that.

When I was in school, the medieval Christian notion of "the divine right of kings", based on some of Paul's comments about how the Lord puts our rulers in place, was widely ridiculed. Also the notion of God-given rights. How quaint. The Flying Spaghetti Monster loves us! But, funny, when we removed Christ, somehow we didn't forge ahead to the Greater Day, free of want, that was promised to us by leftist eschatology. Instead, we reverted back to the more primitive, pre-Christian divine god-king paradigm. Evan Thomas said the news corps was reluctant to criticize Obama because "he's like a god." They were also reluctant to criticize Hillary because First Woman President! I'm With Her! Right side of history, and all.

In short, moral authoritativeness shifted from Jesus Christ to a bunch of witch doctors, now called "experts." Reality is too complicated for us to grasp, and yet they will continue making things more complicated, by wreaking arbitrary havoc on reality wherever and whenever they deem it necessary to hold onto power.

Our Lord deserves our love and honor because He has earned it. If Leftists have earned the same, they have successfully concealed that fact; yet, the Left still wants it. Every bit of it. And they'll chase you like the hounds of Hell until they get it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw your comment and went to the link on Standing the Wall.

I like your comments on his blog and I am going to add you to my favorites. Thanks for your thoughts. Why is it that so many who read the Bible and subscribe to it's tenants are so wise? It's a rhetorical question not requiring a response.