On Moral Squirming

Via Leanna comes this link, which got my blood boiling for all sorts of reasons, as it attempts to invoke God’s grace as a reason for being accepting of not just political views based on sin, but the sin itself. The post is copied here almost in its entirety as I dissect it, and you can find the original here. This is going to be a little bit scatterbrained, but I needed to get this written down…

Which kind of socialism would you prefer?

1. The part in which we use our military to place an ever-tightening grip on our country while our economy and standard of living plummet and the world turns against us.

This is, plain and simple, a straw man raised to make part two more appealing. The closest thing to a suggestion of using the military to put any kind of pressure on the people of this country came from a group of democrats, who have a brilliant idea to restore the draft and mandate community service, as well as raise a second “security force” as well trained and armed as the army. Because America doesn’t need the National Guard, it needs the Republican Guard, right?

2. The part in which the government attempts to help out a struggling working class and the working poor, at the expense of big business and the wealthy (who are only in trouble if they have plunged into huge debt that necessitates ridiculous income in order to make payments tomorrow for yesterday’s and today’s decadence).

Let me rephrase that: The part in which the government steals massive amounts of money from the rich, who have earned their money, under the pretenses of giving to the poor, thus rewarding them for doing nothing, while in truth keeping most of the cash for itself. The tone of his sentence is decidedly pro-redistributionist and exposes the basic idea that is appealing to so many who voted for Obama: the Robin Hood syndrome. They think he’ll take from the rich and give to the poor. The problem is, the analogy is deeply flawed.

First off, Robin Hood (as told today) is a tale of a man who was a law-abiding citizen. He paid his taxes and respected his king. But, when a corrupt, money-grabbing evil king came to power, who began to take in excess, he turned to lawlessness to fight the king and return the money to those who had earned it. This is not what redistributionists stand for. They advise taking the money – mostly from the rich, but also from the poor – and using it to build the government even larger, while giving handouts to those in society who haven’t earned it. It is not “giving back what was stolen,” it is just “stealing.”

Bear in mind that there is nothing wrong with charity: if I opt to give money to someone in need, that is my choice. I have done so before and will do so again in the future. However, being forced to do so at gunpoint changes the act from charity to theft. It doesn’t matter who’s holding the gun here: my personal, private property is mine to do with it what I wish, as yours is to do with it what you wish. Charity is a wonderful, noble thing, but forcing it is something abominable.

Of course, that becomes an even clearer point when you realize most of the money is not going to those who need the charity, but rather back into the pockets of the government, whose corruption will make sure your money is never put to good use despite all the lofty promises made.

As for abortion and gay marriage… abortions actually went down under Clinton and up under Bush, because poor males felt more inclined to stick around with their unplanned families when they could count on the government’s help, which caused women to keep their children. Banning abortions wouldn’t stop them, it would simply create a cruel and unregulated black market which would put the women in more danger… if you are endeavoring to stop abortions, treat the cause, not the symptom.

This is a blatant lie, unfortunately for those quoting it. Abortion rates continued to decline under Bush, despite what lies Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton may spread to the contrary.

And abortion is an interesting topic because it quickly exposes the view of the person who is talking about it: if they address it as a social or religious preference issue, then they have already made up their mind that it is not a serious problem, because the alternative is that is a capital issue – namely, that if the child being aborted is in fact a child, then abortion is simply first degree (premeditated) murder. Now this may be a very honest disagreement: I’m not saying that everyone who considers abortion a social issue is trying to get away with murder. They honestly believe it’s not a big deal. That’s a tragedy, and a result of poor education on the issue, but it should be very clear why this is such a serious issue and a big problem: murder is something that should never be condoned by our government. Yes, we need to address the issues that cause young women to look for abortions in the first place, but that does not mean we should condone a much greater sin for the sake of ease.

And for gay marriages… I think most of us aren’t worried about whether they get insurance benefits and get to visit each other in hospitals. I think it is about our children, and not wanting to have schools teach them that having “two mommies” is normal. So why don’t we reach a compromise, instead of being inhuman to homosexuals. We show a wrathful and vengeful face to the world when we create an “us against them” mentality and rhetoric. (To those of you who would answer “God hates homosexuals… it’s in Romans”, I would urge you to read the context of the verse, find your own sin in that list, and realize that the point of the book is God’s grace through Christ and His love and redemption available for all people.)

To me, this compromise would give them rights and allow them to have civil unions, but not teach about those issues until the seventh grade or some other arbitrary time, so that parents could have time to broach the issue on their own terms rather than have an authority drop the two mommy bomb on a five year old.

It’s interesting to note that in many states, civil unions already provided the same legal rights as marriage to gay couples. These were never challenged until the GLBT community decided it needed to push for more, and that it needed to do so by usurping the legal means available to it in the legislative branch and instead try to win its battles in the judicial branch, using activist judges to pull off “wins” in several states. That pissed a lot of people off, and the reaction was to “punish” them for using this back-door method of gaining … well, not much really, other than just a different name for their legal bond. In short: in many ways, the strong-armed tactics of the gay community brought this social backlash on themselves.

Now as to whether or not that is an appropriate reaction… well, it’s debateable. Frankly, I don’t care enough to discuss it here. My point is that he (along with many other people that I see) is again asking for the feel-good solution in face of a severe moral dilema. Romans 1 does indeed list homosexuality among a list of other sins – and his argument is then that we as Christians should just be more tolerant of homosexuality because we’re culturally more tolerant of liars and blasphemers. I guess he doesn’t read the following verse 32: “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”

Sin is sin. Can we love sinners? Absolutely. We must, for we are all sinners. But should we condone sin in order to make that love easier? Absolutely not.

But hey, I didn’t vote, so don’t act like anything I say matters. I was registered… but it was 15 hours away. Let the judging commence.

I actually had two or three people tell me they were disappointed in me for not voting… I almost felt like saying “Oh, I’m just kidding! I actually went around the polling station slapping babies, but I voted!”

And he drops this bomb off at the end. It’s simple, folks: if you are given the opportunity to participate in the democratic process, and you choose not to, then you have invalidated every complaint you may make about the problems arising from said process because when given the chance to fix things, you decided to stay at home.

Oh, and the whole 15 hours away thing is a bad excuse. I was stuck at work all day, so I just voted early. If this is something worth writing a blog about, it’s certainly worth spending 30 seconds online to request an early ballot.

2 thoughts on “On Moral Squirming”

  1. *sigh* i didn’t vote either.

    i wonder how much you would hate me if you knew how much government assistance i’ve received in the past year….

    and re: abortion, no republican has reversed its legality, nor has anyone promised to. therein lies the tragedy of it. boo. and yet, killing a pregnant woman has been considered 2 counts of murder. inconsistent, much? *sigh*

    i hate politics.

  2. I would not hate you at all for taking what the government offers. I merely suggest that the government is in no place to offer it. Imagine if you had been able to get aid from an organization similar to the Red Cross, or from a local church instead of the .gov – this is the societal responsibility I yearn for. Unlike Ron Paul I am not naive enough to think our existing systems can go away and be replaced overnight, but just because we are heading in a direction we shouldn’t be does not give us an excuse to just give up and continue along said path.

    As for abortion… well, what I said was more along the lines of a side comment that’s been bugging me the last few days. He just happened to bring it up. I’m well aware neither side seems interested in doing much, but Obama’s stood behind partial-birth or even outright infanticide, and that sort of brazen attitude is just scary to me.

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