Monday, November 12, 2012

I Just Don't Get It

I read a blog a few days ago of a blogger I respect. She stated that morality concerns were an important part of whom she supported in the recent American elections.

Of course, this set my wheels in motion, and what strikes me deeply is that for most people, morality comes down to just a few considerations: namely, sex, abortion, and perhaps drugs. I could go on to write at length about those issues, but they would simply be my opinions that  would be arguable. No, what I wish to highlight today, is my perplexity over how most people tend to selectively limit their concerns about morality.

Personally, I don’t see Christians’ great anxiety in areas of sexual morality being transmitted to other areas of morality, and I find this most troubling. There are ten commandments, for example, and aside from adultery, none have to do with sex. There are prohibitions against lying, murder, idolatry, stealing, blaspheming, sabbath activities, and coveting, but somehow or other, these are not of great concern to the majority of moralists.

I want to know why does sex become, for hordes of people, the single area that defines morality. It doesn’t make sense to me. It seems to me that the vast majority of Christians pick and choose their moral concerns very selectively and easily push to the back of their minds and tend to excuse all sorts of other moral issues.

Our most famous but not always beloved politician of the modern era, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, once declared, "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation," and I'm afraid that I am forced to agree. Whom someone sleeps with affects me not in the slightest, but I may be affected tremendously by their lying and stealing, for example.

So, as in most things in this old world, what I am saying is that I just don’t get it.


RV Vagabonds said...

Well said.

Donna said...

Very well said Ac...I also believe that HOW you treat others is much more important than what you do in the bedroom! Being straight laced in the bedroom, saying you are a Good Christian then going out and terrorizing the neighbors...looking down your nose at others, etc. has Always perplexed Me! (Perplexed is Not the word I would normally use to describe my feelings but I'll try to keep it clean for your sake)... ;o)

Sue said...

Yes, it doesn't make any sense to me, either. But where I come from, moral issues are separate from party politics, and usually subject to a free conscience-related vote, when new legislation must be debated.

As a Christian myself, I believe strongly in individual conscience and standing before God. I am responsible for my own actions; the only other people I was somewhat responsible for were my sons when they were younger. Churches can certainly set their own rules for membership, and perhaps even expect specific moral/ethical behaviour... but I totally don't get why they would want to legislate for those who are not part of the church and have no wish to be. Jesus mixed with the absolute dregs of society back in the 1st century, and those who were most criticised by the religious leaders. Indeed, the only people he really got angry with were the religious leaders of the day.

I am undoubtedly pro-life, but that includes being anti-war and anti-guns, and pro support of those who can't afford to support themselves, including health care for all. It makes even less sense to me why some believe that abortion should never be allowed, but it's perfectly fine to let babies starve or become so sick that they die, for lack of income or health care :-(

Mara said...

I think all has been said already and I agree with the other commenters (and you for that matter) completely! Well said indeed.

KGMom said...

AC--part of it has to do with the strong Puritan streak in Americans and in U.S. history.
One of the first U.S. novels is The Scarlet Letter--an observation I always enjoyed making when I was teaching American Lit.

Bernie said...

I completely agree with your view here AC - I get so frustrated when people make their choices on one issue only. I only wish someone would take up the cause of the vetrans where in the US almost 7000 members commit suicide a year. If some would put their one issue energy into this tragedy than in the business of others sexual orientation it would make for a much better cause. Then what do I know, it is too cold here to even have many homeless people and that makes me thankful for cold weather. Big Hugs

Judy said...

I don't get it either.
Recently I've even given up trying to get it. I sleep better now.

Mary Gilmour said...

Very good point, and one I have also been mulling over, vis the Petraeus affair. Americans seem to be preoccupied with sexual transgressions and will let their public figures get away with all sorts of stuff but not with a sexual slip. Except Jack Kennedy and that really puzzles me. Why should he remain a hero after all that has come out about his bedroom actvities?

Why can public figures get away with serial marriage, but not with a fling with an intern? In my upbringing, marriage vows were vows, and you were expected to keep them 'as long as you both shall live'.

Why is it okay to shade the truth (at the best) about your political opponent? Why is it okay to allow ordinary people to suffer financial loss so that a corporation does not?

We watched The Great Escape on Saturday night, in honour of Remembrance day. In that movie, it was taken for granted that doing one's duty was of primary importance. My father, a WWII veteran, made duty a primary concern all his life. But it seems to me that that concept has died with the Greatest Generation. And I do not at all like the mushy morals that have taken its place.

(Hit my 'on' button on this one, AC, as you often do. Thanks!)

Ruth said...

The American election was so perplexing in many ways. Sexual moralists tend to minimize more common failures like adultery and focus on homosexuality. I do believe there were many intelligent voters but they didn't get much press time. I am happy with the final outcome.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Even I do not understand how many people define morality just in terms of sex, but sadly they do. And I also don't comprehend how someone's sexual preferences should be of any concern to so many others. There needs to be more attention paid to other areas as Donna so aptly commented.

Hilary said...

I don't get it either. Much like Ruth said, I think that stating "morality concerns" is often another way of saying "homophobia."

Pearl said...