Friday, August 3, 2012

Them's fightin' words ....

I gotta admit ... the cow was a nice touch.
My buddy Brandon Vogt posted on FB, "Count in the Vogt's! We'll be fighting the dictatorship of moral relativism tonight by enjoying delicious fried chicken." To which someone replied,

"So not allowing certain individuals rights based on a religious viewpoint is not dictatorship?"

No. It isn't.

Dictatorship refers to autocracy, rule by a single individual, particularly if that rule is marked by caprice, malice and a police state. (Ironically, the only Roman dictatorship whose rule was so malevolent was Sulla's.) It's comprehensible in the phrase coined by Pope Benedict, "dictatorship of moral relativism", because moral relativism can give no rational grounds for preferring one moral principle over another without contradicting itself.

No, the usual term preferred for rule by religion is theocracy. A theocracy is not necessarily run by a single person, nor is it necessarily repressive — but that's an issue for another time.

But lest you think I'm being overly literal just to be a smart-ass:

Our interrogator is so focused on getting us to call same-sex unions "marriages" that he asserts Christians deny him the right to get married. Not true at all: he's free to marry any woman who is willing and of legal age. He has not been denied any right available to a straight man; it's completely up to him whether he chooses to avail himself of the institution or not. Nor is it impossible for a man with same-sex attraction to have a faithful, fruitful and fulfilling marriage with a woman, though he would face unique challenges. But that's not what he wants; he wants same-sex unions to be given a community seal of approval. That's not what marriage is ... but in his quest to validate gay relationships as being "just as good as" straight relationships, that's what he's reduced it to.

Now you must be really pounding on the floor. "Dammit, you know what he means, you literalistic wombat!"

Yes, I do: He's assuming that opposition to same-sex marriage can be based on nothing other than traditional Christian morality, that a secular case can't be made against it, and that therefore one-man-one-woman state laws and amendments amount to an establishment of religion. He's wrong; but had he said just that, a fruitful discussion on the First Amendment and the place of religion in the public square might have followed. But no-ooo-o! he had to phrase it in a manner that implicitly equates religion with totalitarian regimes.

Them's fightin' words. Or, to put it another way, that's not how you change people's hearts and minds.

You wanna complain about hate? Where were your complaints when the media used lies and out-of-context quotations to provoke the hate-fest against Dan Cathy last week? Where was the tolerance when Dan Menino, Rahm Emanuel and a score of other urban leaders threatened to run Chick-fil-A out of their towns? Love certainly didn't set the vandals to defacing the Torrance, Calif., store pictured above.

In my time, I've witnessed many radicals driven by the unforgiving rigidity of their dogmas to espouse bigotry in the fight against bigotry, as racial activists dumped white people into the same racist pile while feminists painted the men as misogynists and secular Jews damned the Christians one and all as unholy anti-Semites. So I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all the LGBT crowd who continue to give Dan Cathy (along with the rest of us pro-traditional marriage supporters) the benefit of the doubt and Chick-fil-A your dining custom.  I'd like to thank all the liberals who stood with conservatives in defense of the freedom of speech.

As for the rest of you: Gustave Flaubert once said, "By dint of railing at idiots you run the risk of becoming idiotic yourself." The same must also be said of bigots and bigotry. Many if not most of you know Jesus's command from the Gospel: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." But you have probably forgotten Jesus' warning in the verse that follows: "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Mt 7:1-2 NIV).