They claim the moral high ground, but actually violate everything Jesus stood for. We hear a lot of talk about posting the Ten Commandments in courthouses, but we really should be reading the Sermon on the Mount and Matthew 25 outside every legislature.
They claim to stand for small government, but actually disdain all government, from police forces (begging for gun controls) to public hospitals (saddled with the uninsured), from food stamps to schools, from consumer protections to online privacy, from bridge and highway repairs to housing values. Down with government, they say, except, of course, for government’s ability to shift public money to the wealthy.
They claim to be patriotic, but actually violate every reasonable value this nation holds dear — including values extolled in years past by genuine conservatives.
Posts Tagged ‘ethics’
Two or three times here before I’ve called capital punishment “heresy.” What do I mean? It is my considered opinion that belief that capital punishment, at least as it is known and practiced in the U.S. today, is a heresy when espoused by Christians. It manifests an embrace of the myth of redemptive violence by humans and flies in the face of the ethic of Jesus which forbids violent retribution. It is absolutely, incontrovertibly contrary to love. And it is, as practiced in the U.S. today, manifestly unjust.
I believe Christian churches of all kinds ought to do more to oppose capital punishment. They ought, at the very least, to declare it incompatible with Christian faith and put members who openly believe in it under some kind of discipline (not necessarily excommunication but at least forbidding them to teach it in the ecclesial context). And those who practice it, actively seeking it and participating in it, should be excommunicated from Christian churches. It ought to be a matter of status confessionis—as apartheid was declared by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches which helped lead to its downfall in South Africa.
Go and read the whole essay—it’s well worth it.
A year ago tomorrow we moved into our little carriage house downtown, with its front door on a brick courtyard featuring a large Japanese maple, an even larger magnolia tree, and a small fountain. Work is five or ten minutes away for both my husband and me; everything we need is a short walk away, or else accessible by public transportation. We love it and hope to stay here a long time.
This particular weekend, however, happens to be Pride Weekend. We were too busy last year, and then too tired that night, to be much disturbed by the goings-on; we just made sure to start our moving early in the day so we could finish before the Pride Parade, which starts at 3:30. When we arrived with the moving truck around ten a.m., the open parking lot behind our house was already occupied by a camp of lesbians. Right now, an abundance of people are out back tailgating, eating, drinking, embracing friends, engaging in such lewd games as beanbag toss, and dancing to loud music with a heavy bass beat. People are scantily clad, but mostly in outfits you would see on the beach, or at a cookout in a state park; it’s just that you don’t usually see those outfits downtown on an asphalt-paved parking lot. A lot of the women have unconventional hair–either very little of it, or sculpted achievements in bright artificial colors. If it weren’t for the backbeat, which is making my musician husband cross, neither of us would mind the party in the least.
Gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, transgender, butch, femme, polyamorous… people have a lot of names and labels nowadays for their sexuality, their relationships, their self-presentation. Myself, I am a practitioner of the love that need not speak its name, because it’s taken for granted: I’m monogamously married to a partner of the opposite sex. I find monogamy easy, just as I find, say, not drinking scotch easy. I like the taste of wine better than the taste of scotch; I like settling with one partner better than circulating amongst many. As C.S. Lewis said, wisely, it would be hypocritical of me to judge other people for giving in to a temptation that I myself have never found tempting.
The truth is, though, that I don’t find the shenanigans going on around me right today particularly sinful. (I do like the word “shenanigans”, though.) I’ve come to a point where I believe that good sex, non-sinful sex, is simply sex that fulfills the following criteria:
- it’s genuinely consensual;
- it’s reasonably safe from the risk of disease, unwanted pregnancy, or other dangers (if, for example, you like to play with ropes, you should know how to untie them quickly if necessary);
- it’s not in violation of any existing commitments to other partners;
- with the rider that any children that result should be wanted, and should be cared for with the utmost responsibility.