• Posted: Mar 07, 2009 17:28:11
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From a world perspective the internal politics of the United States often take on considerable significance. What the current administration will eventually do to resolve the ongoing banking crisis is a prime example. Repercussions in that sphere will be felt around the globe. But other aspects of internal U.S. politics do not seem to have world-wide consequences and yet are followed with curiosity and sometimes amusement. For instance, the preoccupation of the religious right regarding matters of abortion and adoption by same-sex couples.
Despite emphatic insistence by outspoken voices within the religious right, principally heard on American Family Radio, that the Obama administration represents a wholesale abandonment of morality, it is nearly universally the case that American citizens take issues of morality very seriously no matter which side of the ongoing debates they currently favor. And that fact is true no matter what religion is adhered to, or whether any religion at all is adhered to.
Inflammatory speech by the religious right seems to ignite whenever it is suggested some other standard for moral thinking aside from their own might yield fairer and more morally desirable social consequences. In fact, consequences themselves seem totally irrelevant to them. In their eyes, the only relevant issue is whether or not their personal reading and interpretation of Scripture is adhered to. No other standard of evaluation is acceptable. Similar absolutist voices can be heard from within Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim camps. The debate begins to take on the look of comedy when such absolutist thinking reminds one of someone inside a cardboard box insisting nothing can nor does exist outside the box they are in. The same debate takes on the tone of tragedy when one begins to fathom the fear such absolutist thinkers must experience when the possibility of things existing outside their box must be considered.
Wouldn't it be a relief for all involved if someone were to discover and point to words spoken by revered Scriptural voices suggesting moral thinking can and should evolve relative to the circumstances societies find themselves in, that consequences matter more than obediently and thoughtlessly following the letter of Scriptural law or dictum?
Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
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