May 9, 2021

The Politicization of Religion

In today’s Wonder Land from OpinionJournal, Daniel Henninger takes a look at the current scandals in the finance and baseball world and wonders where moral values have gone.

There was a time when an internal yellow flag would slow down most people heading into an ethical hairpin curve. Now lots of people seem to roar through the yellow flags, and mass media being what it is, we all get to participate in every scurvy detail of these bouts of moral collapse.

Secular society attempts to protect itself by deploying various bilge pumps. Sports has
drug-testing; business and politics have heartless prosecutors. Entertainment has Oprah imposing a Maoist public shaming on publishing titan Nan Talese. None of these solutions is the answer. The possibility of doing things unprecedentedly new now in technology, science and finance arrives so fast that it’s tough for the grinding wheels of law and procedure to keep pace. Dr. Wadler notes that in the future it’s likely that implanting genes will enable a pill or a cream to turn various growth factors on or off, avoiding injections. “While the technology will help patients,” says Dr. Wadler, “unquestionably it will fall into the hands of people determined to cheat.”

Some cite the almighty dollar. But there is nothing fundamentally wrong with reward for performance. Cheating is cheating, at the local playground or a packed ballpark.

The problem, it is no revelation to say, is a generalized weakening of the codes used at least since Moses to keep societies intact, to suppress the virus of rampant lying, cheating and chiseling. People used to learn this stuff; now many don’t. Where’d it go? How about this answer: Politics killed ethical formation.

He points the finger at sex as the cause of the current religious wars. I think he’s right. From abortion to gay marriage, from XXX domain to playboy, America has a problem with sex with one side wanting “privacy” to do what they please, and another saying that these things are wrong.

Just yesterday there was an article talking about America’s conflict with cheerleaders– sex symbols or leading cheers? How far is too far in terms of dress? How much is it like strippers on the field?

To follow the above author’s point of view, the problem is that the place that people were supposed to learn morals, the church and home, have been politicized. Since the church speaks against abortion, it’s vilified– and we don’t want people going there to learn the basics of right and wrong. It’s not just sex, but it’s also Creation/Evolution.

I believe the problem is guilt and people not liking to believe there is anything wrong with them. The problem with moral standards is that they convict people. There is a right and wrong. I don’t agree with this author that it’s all about sex– I believe it’s all about pride and getting what I want with no responsibility or guilt attached. I believe that people are under the mistaken impression that if they somehow continue to vilify the message bearers, somehow that will taint the message and they won’t feel that they are doing wrong.

I ask this author, how can a church or anyone teach that anything is right or wrong if they are constantly told it’s not. That’s why I argue so hard for principals that are above government control. That’s why the founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that there were laws/freedoms that supersede all human law. These laws can’t be changed by people– they are meant to show that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

This thing is bigger than politicians, it’s the work of someone much brighter than our brightest minds, and it’s working well to deceive this nation into falling. The question is not will politicians quit politicizing the church, but will people begin to have a changed heart and to know that getting rid of or silencing the messengers of moral truths won’t stop the truths themselves. The only way to eliminate that guilt is to get right with God.

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