Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sobering Thought

Mike Lester


When you think of all the hooplah surrounding President Obama's election win, inauguration, and place in history, it is easy to forget how ungodly his intentions are. While most are still thinking "yes, we can," how many are concerned about his positions on pornography, abortion, and socialism? Yes, we can, but what will happen?

5 comments:

Yonah said...

Isn't what is and is not godly a matter of perspective, though? A thus not a very good barometer of success.

I don't see much socialism in his policies, despite the war drums banging on the extreme fringes. One of the few economists who predicted the current recession, Nouriel Roubini, has rather sagely explained why the State needs to take over some banks and then resell them to the private sector. A blind ideological commitment to so-called "free markets" isn't going to solve this; the problem is systemic and inclusive of that mindset. I don't support most of the stimulus, but a bank takeover to correct fundamental flaws in a vital credit market has to happen.

As for social issues...

If you don't like pornography, don't view it. Maybe if there were no interest in pornography, there would be no market for it. But why do some argue against state intervention in economic matters (ironically, usually those getting poorer), but for in social matters?

If you don't like abortion, don't have one. President Clinton's mantra on this remains the best: They should be legal, safe and rare. But if a social agenda that discourages responsible sex education and contraception and premarital sex is foisted upon people, expect plenty of unwanted pregnancies. The abortion rates in Western Europe are very low compared to America's. But only because they have healthier and more open attitudes towards sex.

Also, keep in mind, the man has only been in office for a few weeks. Let's wait and see, shall we?

Andy Rupert said...

Yonah,

You and I may never see eye to eye on many issues, but I do appreciate your responding to my articles. It is helpful to have to think through the issues from another's perspective.

No matter how varied our perspectives may be, all of us will one day answer to God for our thoughts, words, and actions. With that in mind, we would do best to correct our thoughts with what he has revealed in the Bible.

When it comes to moral issues such as pornography and abortion, the Scriptures are very clear. Read the Ten Commandments again and consider God's view of coveting another's wife and his view on adultery and murder. Couple that with what Jesus said about lust filled thoughts being equivalent to adultery and you see my point.

Is not practicing these things enough for someone who fears the God of the Bible? I think not. Speaking out against such practices is not only helpful to the community but also commanded by God. This is the reason for the uproar about abortion and pornography. It is decidedly anti-God and is also harmful to the community. Why look the other way? Why not speak out? Why not push for laws against such trash?

As for economic issues...

You said: "But why do some argue against state intervention in economic matters (ironically, usually those getting poorer), but for in social matters?"

The problem I see with government intervention in economic matters is not that they are involved but how they are involved. Now, mind you, it is a difficult problem to address. But too often the government's intervention into welfare has produced a community of people who would rather sit at home than work. That's not good. "If a man doesn't work, neither should he eat."

Should the government bailout the banks? auto industry? poor people? To be honest, I enjoy getting a tax refund and enjoyed the stimulus check we received a while back. But is this a wise use of our taxes? I'm not so sure.

Yonah said...

Indeed, I do come at things from a different perspective. But I try (not always successfully) to accept all perspectives as possibilities. There’s a lot we all don’t know.

But not everyone accepts the same holy books, yet they think they are right with the same certainty and unnerving faith of those who believe in something quite different. So whose morality, whose religion should inform our laws?

No ones. Ones own faith should affect how they live, but the law shouldn’t become an instrument to impose it on others. Forcing people to make the “correct moral choice” isn’t a moral accomplishment. And it’s not very likely to be successful. Consider Prohibition.

As for the stimulus, I think the money should be targeted carefully so the most vulnerable Americans get help and fast. Spending that will quickly translate into jobs, spending that spreads opportunity and strengthens our safety net in this time of uncertainty. Classic New Deal infrastructure projects like rebuilding our schools and roads. Spending that will pay for itself.

And one more thing… I know you enjoy Ron Paul and he appeared on Bill Maher’s show on Friday. They don’t see eye to eye on everything, but I think Maher has a healthy respect for Paul and thinks of him as a man of integrity who believes what he says.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7bvgHJIiJQ&feature=related

Andy Rupert said...

Yonah, you said, "So whose morality, whose religion should inform our laws?"

This is a vitally important question. The founders of the Unites States would have agreed that Christianity was their basis for morality. But as our country has broadened into religious pluralism, that foundation on which they based the moral direction of the country has eroded into something akin to a period in Israel's history:

"In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25).

If there is not moral absolute, on what should we base our laws? Without taking into account what the God of the Bible has revealed, we really have no right to say what is right or wrong. Why are murder, stealing, and adultery wrong? Who says so? Is it merely the majority of people who decided what is morally acceptable?

It is this type of departure from biblical moorings that has caused our country to continue its downward spiral into immorality. And now (which was my main point of posting the editorial cartoon) we have elected a leader who claims to be a Christian but is happy to support unbiblical positions such as abortion and pornography.

This isn't a step in the right direction.

Yonah said...

I’m not so sure the Founders would have agreed that Christianity was the basis for morality. For the most part, this wasn’t a religious group of men: they were largely deists. Jefferson, if his private writings are any indication, was an atheist.

But let’s say your statement is true for a moment, that Christianity is the basis for morality. Whose Christianity should we base our laws upon? Each of the Protestant sects differ greatly in their theology interpretation of scripture. A rural evangelical church in the Deep South has little in common with an urban congregation of the United Church of Christ. What about the Roman Catholic Church? The churches of the Eastern Rite? Or the Mormons? There are some pretty stark distinctions between some of these churches. It only works out well if you are on the “winning side.”

I think a good testimony to the dangers of religious dogma becoming a tool of the state is the Muslim world where there is little social or religious freedom to stray from the narrow view of what is accepted.

Do people descend into depravity without a belief in a moral absolute? No. There are many western European countries where believers are in the minority, countries like the Czech Republic and Sweden. But rates of murder and rape and theft are all far lower than in the States.

I believe that Barack Obama is a Christian. I don’t think it’s my place to doubt his faith. I do think his understanding of the Bible and Jesus is very different than yours (and very different than, seeing that I am Jewish). But the country didn’t elect a pastor, the elected a president. The Constitution gives the office no charge of moral leadership. That still lies where it always has: within ourselves and our families.

Pornography might be distasteful and it might be ungodly to some, but I cannot think of a legal basis within the Constitution for banning it.