Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who are the postmodern moral relativists?

Republican control of the U. S. government provides an interesting lesson in human nature and its relation to political power. Let us take the Tom Foley scandal as an example.

Republicans consider gays immoral and destined for hell. They also campaign vigorously against gays. The perennial gay marriage amendment is a good example. Republicans claim their stance against homosexuality has something to do with what they call family values and their religious beliefs. For many Republicans, family values reinforce their phobias and hatreds of certain classes of citizens. That is not to say all Republicans consider family values in this way, but let’s face it, the most virulent gay haters and bashers are Republicans. If there are moderate Republicans, they usually remain silent about the extremists in their midst.

Now, we have the embarrassing situation of a gay Republican Congressman preying on teenage boys. The Republican Congressional leadership conveniently turned a blind eye toward Tom Foley. The moral law comes from god unless it involves maintaining political power. Those who espouse absolute piety and morality fail on the simplest of moral tests.

This is a classic case of how political power corrupts. Those who would deny the rights of large groups of citizens can always open a little wiggle room if it means protecting one of their own to stay in power. I suppose when they go to church they feel that Jesus will understand that their hypocrisy is just a means to achieving the ultimate end, a benign Christian theocracy that includes a wink and nod when someone inside the leadership strays outside the bounds of decency.

Now, as I predicted a couple of days ago, the worst bigots such as Matt Drudge are blaming the victims. (By the way, long time Internet scuttlebutt has it that Matt is gay. Does anybody know if that is true?) It is heathen and horny teenage pages, encouraged by Democrats who only care about political gain, who are at fault. However, Denny Hastert cares more about finding out who leaked the instant messages than doing the decent thing, which is launch a full-scale ethics investigation in the House and punish those responsible for this sordid state of affairs. Hastert does this because he is culpable; he is the problem; the desire for absolute power has corrupted him and his political cronies.

Unchecked political power corrupts and makes hypocrites of those who claim to be the most pious. Those who rant about moral relativity display a moral relativity without peer. Those who have defended the erosion of the Bill of Rights should look at this scandal and learn why the Bill of Rights is absolute and not relative. Political power makes all morals relative. Only the strict enforcement of civil rights protects all citizens from predatory and dictatorial governments. The ruthless will always yield their morals for political power.

Republicans are fond of accusing their opponents of postmodern moral relativism. Yet this single-minded drive for absolute political power at any cost is the ultimate in moral relativism. Republicans have created a postmodern United States where the only value is the value of political expediency. They had help from the Democratic leadership who have stood idly by winking and nodding with their Republicans friends.

Ah, what the hell, they will all gather for church services on Sunday and Jesus will forgive them their sins and save their souls. This whole god thing appears to be a sweet deal.

1 Comments:

At 2:37 PM, Blogger -epm said...

Traditional Christianity teaches that forgiveness is given only when a sin is sincerely confessed, with remorse, and appropriate penance served.

There's a modern protestant, mega-church variant of forgiveness that says once you've accepted Jesus as your personal savior, you are saved -- forever forgiven with a get into heaven free card -- and there is NOTHING you do that will change that. Thus, sins in the name of God are not only pre-forgiven, they are even encouraged. What you do has no bearing on your salvation, provided you've made the proper incantation of "I accept Jesus as my personal Lord and savior." It's all about the talk.

This is different that most mainstream protestant Christianity (see the life and works of Jimmy Carter) which professes that one must demonstrate his acceptance of, and faith in, Jesus by doing good works and acting in a humble and upright manner. A faith without works is dead.

You take salvation-made-easy, throw in a handful of greed, sprinkle with mythical history lessons, stir in the promise that membership endows one with special privileges and add a few leaders acting as God's chosen and inerrant warriors and you've got the American religious right. Maybe even a Western version of the Taliban.

 

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