Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When Christianity Stands Against Favored Causes



The foundation of America was based on the premise that no person was naturally superior to another and that no group could coerce a person or group to do something they believed was evil. Of course, this premise also presumed some common sense responsibilities as well. If you believed a group believed the wrong thing (for example, believed that a religion taught error), you didn’t try to force that group to change because they had rights too. You simply didn’t associate with that group (either by leaving it or not joining it in the first place), and you used reason and politeness to explain the truth as you understood it, recognizing this as a civilized exchange that led to a greater understanding of what was true.

That’s not the case nowadays. Today we have favored causes and favored classes whose beliefs are given special treatment, imposed on all at the expense of those groups who believe they are wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way of course. It is possible that even if one way of thinking is recognized by a majority of a nation, that the minority can practice their beliefs without being hindered by the majority—provided they do not do harm on others. But that isn’t the way things are here in America. Here we take the all or nothing approach where if something is deemed favored, all must accept it.

Right now the denigrated class is Christianity—specifically Christianity which insists on moral values that the state has no right to alter. This is the belief in God who encounters the human person individually and as a group and teaches them the right way to live, and what acts are not compatible with this belief. It is reasonable that an institution that is established by a Christian denomination (like a University or a Hospital) will be run in accordance with the beliefs of this denomination and it will not act contrary to these beliefs. It is also reasonable that an individual who belongs to a religion (and takes it seriously) and owns a business will not run his business in opposition to what he believes. So a customer or an employee who wants a service which runs contrary to the religious beliefs of the employer should either do without or go to where the service can be provided—so long as it is not harmful to others. Otherwise that customer or employee is trying to violate the civil rights of the employer.

Now, if an employer does not have a philosophical basis, then the beliefs of the employee do not matter, and it would be unjust to take action against them because they hold a belief.

The History of Racism and Its Misapplication By Weak Analogy

The problem we have in America that is we have a legacy in this country of racism. It formally (that is, enshrined in law) extended from the founding of the country to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and informally (that is, held by individuals and some groups, but not recognized as acceptable government policy) even today. It was an ugly legacy with dehumanizing slavery and then attempts to keep an ethnic group separate and oppressed. Most people today recognize it was a shameful part of our history.

Unfortunately, Americans have a habit of using the fallacy of weak analogy which looks at two events and assumes they are identical when the differences are actually more significant than the similarities. For example, some have actually tried to argue that the opposition to "same sex marriage" is the same as the racist laws which forbade interracial marriage and conclude that opposition to “same sex marriage” is also motivated by bigotry. The problem is, this analogy is weak because it has only one point of similarity, laws limiting who can be married, but many points of dissimilarity.

For example, the laws against racial marriage presumed that reproduction between a member of a Caucasian ethnic group and a member of an African ethnic group would end up “diluting” the “superior” Caucasian ethnic group. “Same sex marriage” cannot involve reproduction. So, right off the bat, this is a major difference. Another difference is that the shameful laws of racism in America were based on the belief that the people of African origin were less human than Caucasians, while the opposition to “same sex marriage” is based on the belief that some behaviors must never be acted on. I could go on, but these two examples show that the motivation for the two laws were entirely different. Sure there could have been people who took a moral prohibition and treated the person acting on it with hatred, but the hatred by some of people with same sex attraction did not cause the laws against “same sex marriage,” but hatred did cause the laws restricting African Americans.

The Begging the Question Leads to Self-Righteous Justification

This Weak Analogy leads to the fallacy of begging the question. This is where a proposition which needs to be proven is assumed to be true without proof. Opposition to abortion and contraception is assumed to be based on “controlling women,” when that’s the point that needs to be proven. Opposition to “same sex marriage is assumed to be based on “homophobia,” when (again) that’s the point which needs to be proven.

The Supreme Court of the United States made this fallacy when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (United States v. Windsor), assuming the motivation was intolerance, when that was the point to be proven. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” That the purpose was “to disparage and injure” is precisely what needed to be proven. Instead it was assumed to be true.

The Result Is The Attacking of Christianity For Opposing a Favored Cause

When Christianity opposes legitimizing something that is morally wrong, and that moral wrong is a favored cause, the result is that Christianity is accused of holding these views out of hatred and intolerance. Basically, the argument is:

  • Nothing Good can Oppose X
  • Christianity Opposes X
  • Therefore Christianity is Nothing Good.

The problem is, the major premise (Nothing Good can Oppose X) needs to be proven, not assumed to be true. But because nobody is questioning the major premise, the conclusion is assumed to be true (falsely). This means that Christianity is viewed as a hate group that needs to be isolated from society, much as one would want to isolate a Klansman or a Neo-Nazi.


What we have now in America is a case where politicians and judges favor certain stances and promote them in law and judicial rulings. When they declare X good, they effectively declare those who oppose X to be enemies of the state. Because the favored causes today involve things that are morally wrong from the Christian belief, Christianity must be the enemy of the state. The problem is, the Constitution does not allow the government to decide Christianity is an enemy of the state. But so long as the branches of government set aside the Constitution to favor a cause, we can expect this attack to continue.

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