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FIRST-PERSON: Contradictions of liberal moral philosophy

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Did you watch the three-hour Peter Jennings special on April 5 that explained why no intelligent, right-thinking person would think Jesus was anything more than a misguided do-gooder with political aspirations?

Did you notice the part where the Apostle Paul was written off for his supposed “puritanical intolerance”?

Maybe you knew ahead of time that the Jennings “documentary” wasn’t going to be worth the time, but I know you endured the constant barrage of media reports that disparaged Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ” as an anti-Semitic gore-fest — even as it was leading a whole nation to phenomenal new depths of understanding about who Jesus was and what He endured for the sake of us all.

There is a new desperation among liberals to convince themselves that the resurgence of common sense in America doesn’t threaten their position and influence in the society. At times, I listen in stupefied amazement at the preposterous criticisms leveled against conservatives in general and Christians in particular.

It would be a tribute to the acting skills of liberal celebrities (movie stars, politicians, “news” reporters, etc.) that they can say what they do with a straight face — except that they apparently believe every word of it.

They seem totally oblivious to the contradiction between their criticisms and the beliefs that make one a liberal.

Take, for example, an e-mail I received from someone I’ll call “Ted,” who wrote to criticize Christians for seeking to influence American culture and for sending missionaries to countries where other religions predominate.

“Some people don’t want you manipulating their culture and preying on their emotionally weak members,” he said. “We don’t want you [expletive] with our society in the USA any more than the Iraqis or the Afghans want you trying to force your beliefs and social mores on them.”

I’m always intrigued that liberals don’t see the contradiction in their condemning Christians for trying to influence individuals and society toward what we believe is right and good. Every liberal I’ve ever met said moral absolutes don’t exist. That means there are no moral rules that apply to everyone, everywhere, all the time.

In general, they argue that values are relative. “What’s right or wrong in one culture may not be right or wrong in another,” they say. “What’s right or wrong for one individual may not be right or wrong for another.”

When they specifically reject Christian moral values, they say things like “That’s just your opinion,” “Christians shouldn’t force their values on others” and “Christians shouldn’t try to change other people’s beliefs.”

Those are curious comments, coming from someone who says there aren’t any standards of right or wrong that apply to everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Try asking a liberal critic questions like these:

“If each person has to decide what’s right and wrong for himself, why do you insist that something that would be wrong for you also is wrong for me?”

“If my moral values are just my opinion, aren’t your values just opinion too? Why should your opinion be any better than mine?”

“If no one should tell someone else that their beliefs are wrong, why are you telling me I’m wrong?”

Don’t expect any answers. There aren’t any.

The liberal denies moral absolutes, but in fact he believes very strongly that some things are absolutely wrong.

Take, for example, his idea that Christians are wrong to try to change other people’s religious beliefs. Is that wrong for everyone, everywhere, all the time? Is it possible it might ever be right for someone? Then that’s a moral absolute — something the liberal denies is real!

Let’s make the point more forcefully by asking a more serious question: What about the rape and murder of a child? Is that wrong for everyone, everywhere, all the time? Is it possible it might ever be right for someone to rape and murder a child? Then why isn’t that a moral absolute?

Two critical questions for a liberal, then, are: “If we both agree that there are some things that are right or wrong for everyone, everywhere, all the time — what makes your absolutes true and mine false?” and “What can you give me, other than your opinion, to prove that what I’m doing is wrong?”

The most serious problem America faces is that no one can explain how we can know what is true when it comes to religion and morals. Even Christians are hard pressed to explain how a pluralistic society with many different religions and worldviews can come to enough agreement about right and wrong to establish a just government and legal system.

The liberal’s moral philosophy suffers from a fundamental contradiction. He doesn’t practice what he preaches. He can’t explain why any value or action he despises is wrong for anyone else. He denies moral absolutes when it comes to godly values, but in fact he holds fast to his own moral absolutes.

It’s fuzzy thinking like this that is driving America deeper and deeper into social and moral chaos. It’s on the basis of such nonsense that liberals think they will lead America into a new age of Enlightenment.

Can you explain how a pluralistic society with many different religions and worldviews can come to enough agreement about right and wrong to establish a just government and legal system?

If you can’t, you ought to be concerned.
Mark Kelly is the author of “Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Why Christian truth is the only hope for just, free society,” available only at www.kainospress.com.

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  • Mark Kelly