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Friday, September 30, 2016

What A Difference A Lack Of Faith Makes

After the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, more than a few religiously conservative Christian leaders were making the case that our changing sexually mores were signalling the end of our society and culture. In fact, some actually said that a society and its culture could be judged primarily by what sexual behaviors it allowed and prohibited. Such an assessment was a nothing more than reductionism. It implied, against the wishes of those making the assessment, that they preferred a time when we were at war or when racism freely reigned as it did during our tragic Jim Crow era.

Pointing out the implications of their reductionism brought out strident denials. But those denials were based on a blindness, perhaps a deliberate one, to the logical connection between judging society and its culture almost exclusively by its sexual mores and those times when society's and culture's sexual mores were more restrained by Christian values.


Compare that thinking with Stephen Hawking's (no bio is needed) assessment of our society. It isn't sex that is destroying us according to Hawking. It is greed and stupidity. We could even call the Bible in as a witness in favor of Hawking's view. What causes conflicts? According to James 4:1-2, it is envy and greed (click here).  Hawking's  views are reported in a USA Today article (click here) that referenced a past interview between him and Larry King six years ago (click here).


Thus, according to Hawking, greed is driving us to pursue activities that are self-destructive from man-driven climate change to the creation of artificially intelligent machines that have the potential to turn on us. In the USA Today article, Hawking pointed out that not much has changed in our favor in the six years since his interview with King. Pollution is worse and an already overpopulated world has half a billion more people. 


Thus, we have this interesting contrast between many religiously conservative Christian leaders and an atheistic intellectual on what is mankind's biggest threat. In one corner, there are those who say that our changing sexual mores will be our downfall. And they say that to the extent that they, however unintended, imply that  times dominated by other problems are tolerable if not preferred. On the other hand, we have an atheist who claims that it is our greed and stupidity that is either driving our self-destructive tendencies or prevents us from effectively addressing serious problems like climate change and overpopulation. We should note that not many religiously conservative Christians accept that climate change and overpopulation are problems let alone threaten our existence.

The question have to ask is this: Why are the views between these two parties different? Why are our changing sexual mores so significant to these religious leaders that they would all but ignore greed as a grave threat to our future?

The leftist answer to those questions revolve around the notion that one purpose for our religious institutions is to provide indoctrination so that people fit into society and maintain the status quo as they are suppose to. At least, that is what one reads from the The Crisis Of Democracy, which was a report written for the Trilateral Commission. Thus, by focusing on changing sexual mores to the extent of excluding all other dangerous characteristics from consideration, these religious leaders are simply doing what they are suppose to do. For in so focusing on sexual issues, these leaders virtually give a free pass to all of us, but especially to those who manage and thus benefit the most from the status quo, to pursue our own prosperity regardless of what it costs others. And their lack of concern for scientifically well-documented problems like climate change and overpopulation eliminates reasons for them to upset the status quo. 


Regardless of the reasons, we religiously conservative Christians are not forced to pick exclusive threats to our society's and the world's future. We've already seen how changing sexual mores have led to the spread of diseases and heartbreaks. In addition, they have contributed to the demise of many a family. At the same time, we see how greed, as well as ambition and arrogance, drives societies and states into pursuing unjust policies that cause much destruction and many to suffer greatly. We are not obligated into an exclusive-or choice between seeing changing sexual mores or greed as being great threats. Rather, we have life experiences and history to teach us that both can lead to our demise. In other words, if we are smart, we will learn from both our religiously conservative Christian leaders as well as atheists, such as Hawking, about what is not only hurting ourselves, but hurting others to the point of destroying much of what we have. For refusal to learn from either party mentioned here would be stupid.






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