Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The State of Our Union


Personally, I wanted to let my blog fade away into obscurity… well into more obscurity… and retire.  But like it or not, our nation has a crisis on its hands.  The crisis is the Constitutional Right of religion is being negated by a government which is so determined to force a set of values on us that they do not care what they violate in doing so.

The issue is that the Obama administration is determined to force certain things (sanctioning of homosexual relationships and requiring employers to pay for contraception and abortions) even when such things force us to disobey God.  This is an action that no state has the right to demand.

Good and Evil

Ultimately the state is considered good or evil based on how it positions itself in relation to God's law.  The state is considered free or not free depending on whether or not it harasses or restricts people who do seek to follow God's law.  I think it can be argued that America has been an evil nation for quite some time with the government making legal and supported things which violate God's law.

I also think it can be argued that America has passed from being a free nation (tolerating Christians who seek to do God's will) to being a not free nation (harassing and restricting religious groups who seek to follow God's way rather than to disobey God and follow the state).

Forcing Beliefs on Others?

It is true that not all Americans are Christians, or even believers in any religion at all.  Some may take that fact in saying, "You're just forcing your beliefs on others!"  However this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the issues.  Jewish Americans approach American life from the perspective of their values.  Muslim Americans, Buddhist Americans, atheistic Americans all do the same.  However, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and atheistic institutions are not being forced to act in a way contrary to their beliefs, while Christian institutions are told they have one year to comply with directives which run counter to their beliefs.

Now, as to the issue of "imposing views on others."  This is a common accusation, which essentially works like this:

  1. Opposition to Abortion is a "personal value"
  2. These opponents want to make abortion illegal.
  3. Therefore opponents to abortion want to push their personal values on others.

The problem is, even if one accepted this argument (which I do not), it overlooks the fact that supporting abortion is also a personal value, and one can simply reverse the argument and say supporters of abortion want to push their views on others – and such a charge would be absolutely true!  If we who believe abortion is wrong can be charged with "pushing values on others," then those who want to promote abortion can be accused of exactly the same thing.  If it's wrong for us to do this, obviously it's wrong for them to do this as well.

Therefore, to oppose Christians on this ground is hypocrisy pure and simple.

Objective Truth Dictates What Must Be Done

To avoid such a charge of "pushing values," we have to recognize that certain things are absolute and are always wrong even when society does not recognize it is wrong.

Take the issue of slavery.  Our country once thought (and still struggles with in some aspects) that certain races were inferior and less than fully human.  Despite some arguments on the subject, the majority of the nation at one time accepted it as reasonable.  Even some abolitionists doubted that African-Americans had the ability to act like human beings and fit in as American citizens.

Today we recognize that this was a terrible belief that dehumanized others and refused to treat people as the human beings they were.

That is why we don't accept arguments that the opposition to slavery was nothing more than one group "pushing values" on another group.  When a society supports a view that contradicts objective truth, that society is doing wrong even if members of that society don't realize it.  However, our revulsion with such a society is that there is no valid reason for people to think in such a way.  Either they close their eyes and mind to the truth to avoid difficult questions or they deliberately choose what they know is wrong.

Such a view recognizes there is a knowable truth which people fail to reach through their own fault.  Such knowable truth is demonstrated by the praising or condemning of behavior based on this.

Essentially, the Obama administration and their supporters believe that their views are absolutely true – abortion and gay "marriage" are good in and of themselves and whoever disagrees is acting from intolerance.  Such a view – especially with the condemnation of Christians as "intolerant" – indicates that they believe their views are objectively true and can be known.

Twofold Problem With the Attack on Christianity

The problem is twofold.  First, they cannot show the objective truth for their claims but can only make use of logical fallacies to claim their situations are similar to objective truths we recognize.  Secondly, they assume four thousand years of Jewish moral beliefs and two thousand years of Christian moral teaching was dead wrong based on intolerance.

The logical fallacies are largely appeals to emotion and fear, while misrepresenting the motives of those who oppose them: "How can you want to prevent people who love each other from marrying?"  "How can you want to force a woman to be pregnant?"  These are not at all our motives.  However, these false statements gain acceptance simply by having people repeat them over and over.  It's like those people who believe Catholics worship Mary.  We don't, but the lie is so often repeated that people accept it as true.

The assumption that Christian moral teachings are nothing more than 2000 years of intolerance leads to the question, "On what basis do you say this?"  Usually what you get in response is a litany of supposed abuses (mostly repeated lies or else distortions of what is true) which are unrelated.  Some ignorant peasants burned suspected witches, therefore the opposition to homosexual "marriage" is the result of ignorant Christians.  The problem is, the hysteria over witches by uneducated peoples in the 15th and 16th centuries is not the same as the reasoned condemnation of homosexual acts even in times and cultures where it was tolerated in decadent societies. 

Basically it is an argument of chronological snobbery which assumes that an advance of 2000 years of scientific knowledge automatically means an advance of 2000 years of moral knowledge.  I think history will show that this assumption is not true.


So ultimately the state of our Union is troubled and ominous.  The present administration and those who agree with it assume they know what is good and can force those who disagree with them to comply, contrary to the Constitution of the United States.

Those people who support the Obama administration should beware.  Once it is accepted as true that the government can overrule the obligations of conscience, there are no limits to what they can do.  History is full of examples of government ideologies which were forced on the people.  The results were the gulag and the concentration camp in those cases. 

Now the gulag and the concentration camp may never show up in America, so let's not be distracted by arguing over whether they will. That misses the point of danger which is:  If you think the government has the right to force people to act against conscience, then when the wheel turns and those out of power come into power, you will have no justification to object when the government turns on you.

And that's why even people who don't recognize the truth of Christianity should be alarmed about Obama's decrees.  If you are silent when the government turns on us, who will speak up when it turns on you?

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