American and European public squares are replete with extremism,
polarizing language, and moral cowardice. Yes, that is correct: moral
cowardice. Political correctness and an unwillingness to confront facts
are deceiving millions into buying into false historical narratives and
feeling paralyzed about making any absolute statements. Here are some
paradoxical realities that deserve critical thinking and deep
reflection, not platitudes and soundbites.
jihadists do not believe in fostering a pluralistic society, with
liberty of conscience/religion, free speech and diverse worldviews
learning civility and common good unity. While the vast majority of
Muslims live peaceably with neighbors of all faiths or none, the
agitators are proposing either a gradual or abrupt takeover of the West
(and the rest) in the name of their faith. Extremists defend the
subjugation and even extermination of all opponents of Islam and in
chilling Orwellian fashion, declare that true “freedom” is only found in
submission to their version of Islam.
makes the above particularly nefarious is the cozy relationship between
the pagan-secular Left and radical Islam. The political Left will
persecute artists and bakers for refusing to endorse same sex weddings
but turn a blind eye to the jihadist’s oppression of women,
anti-Semitism, and blatant denunciations of gender and sexual liberty!
This is moral cowardice where hatred of Jewish and Christian morality
triumphs over history and reason.
kills babies. While a tragic necessity in rare cases of the mother’s
survival or baby’s unviability, “pro-choice” advocates are now
celebrating the termination of life at all stages, from early gestation
to infanticide. And anyone who disagrees is depriving women of
reproductive rights. The missing part of this “pro-choice” extremism is
the choices men and women make that lead to conception and the
irresponsibility of fathers in particular to care for the fruit of their
intimacy. While incest and rape may be presented as exceptions, the
vast majority (97%+) of abortions are elective due to economic or
emotional issues. This is moral cowardice.
refusal of many conservative Christians to face the realities of
emotional and sexual abuse, racism, and sexism within their histories
and current structures is also moral cowardice. In a convoluted desire
not to bring shame to the church or the gospel, leaders that cover
serious transgressions or make excuses for a lack of justice actually do
greater harm to Christian witness. Regardless of ecclesial traditions,
no person should feel disempowered or marginalized by any church.
Becoming intentional about lamenting our tragic history of racism and
sexism can lead to new friendships and true reconciliation. Victims of
abuse must be heard and helped, and perpetrators brought to justice.
cowardice can be overcome with humility and love, intentional
repentance and resolution, and fostering new friendships across the
barriers we create, and Jesus died to destroy and transform.
I entitled this piece, “Inversion” because we have a world in which what was previously morally clear and obviously true is no longer seen that way, especially by purveyors of identity politics and anarchistic philosophies. “Parallel universes” is a phrase that describes the lenses through which people see the same events, ideas and trends…and it is stunning how different these visions are!
Two crises dominate the public square, especially in the USA and the West. The first is anthropology: what does it mean to be a human being, and, what is the future of male and female identity? The second crisis is the foundation of the first one: how do we “know” anything? In a world of competing “memes” and “narratives” where is the room for empirical research and critical thinking? Emotions rule the day and how particular persons and groups “feel” trumps careful research and reflection.
Let’s begin with how we “know.” Philosophers and religious leaders have debated for millennia about the nature of reality and the sources of our knowledge. Much of this was confined to the academy and esoteric circles. Most of humankind wakes up to a challenging world of laboring for daily bread and they do not need a lesson of whether or not their toil is “real.” The importance of events has always been debated, but not the reality itself. Historians love gathering different perspectives; however, all but a few would affirm, “Some events really happened.”
For the past 20 years, we have allowed feeling, political agendas, and image- and social media-driven communication to eclipse careful evaluation. From former President Obama’s fictionalized autobiographies to current debates on climate change, gullibility or suspicion is driven by ideology, not research. The very people that scream, “Science matters!” about climate change ignore advances in science completely as they promote abortion and infanticide. Gender confusion is a psychosocial pathology – science is clear that 99% of humans are born with particular DNA designating them male and female.
We need a return to reason and research, a willingness to subject ideas to scrutiny and adapt our understanding after careful reflection. Such progress will not be politically correct or conform to everyone’s feelings. It will, however, help us solve real problems and promote human flourishing.
Next week: human identity up for grabs.
Life and Death.
In my posts, I aim for love,
kindness and thoughtfulness. I have convictions, but I value hearing all
sides and discovering some common good convergences. I will work hard
to avoid personal attacks while affirming the right to dissent on
Recent abortion laws enacted or proposed represent a clear and present danger to vulnerable life. The occasional tragic moral choice is one thing but discussing the fate of a viable person being born is inhumane and morally repugnant.
I oppose abortion in principle; however, the New York and Virginia laws move from President Clinton’s, “safe, legal and rare (and he opposed partial-birth infanticide)” to celebrating the destruction of a human life.
Some progressives celebrate science when speaking of climate change or evolution but ignore it completely when abortion or infanticide are mentioned. Becoming the defenders of the weak and vulnerable in and out of the womb will help validate other compassionate concerns.
When exceptions become the rule, finding common first principles becomes challenging and the loudest voices win over sanity and truth. We can do better than this.
Friends of conscience of all political persuasions, please pray, reflect and humbly love every person from conception to coronation.