The Futility of Morality

Frankly, I’m tired of being called a bigot, but that doesn’t matter anymore.

There is now no logical leap required to get from “The state shall not compel me to violate my conscience, which holds fast to a moral tradition at least 3500 years in the making” to “You are a bigoted homophobe.” The two things have come together like the two halves of a beryllium sphere, and there’s no “but…” that is not immediately rejoined with “Spare us the lectures from your angry Middle Eastern storm god.” The most insidious, of course, is the subversion of that moral tradition with the sleight of phrase, “Love thy neighbor” = “Consenting adults,” and, moreover, if you don’t agree, that means you want to put blacks and negros on the back of the bus and make them enter restaurants through the back door.

Like I said, it doesn’t matter. There is no more room for conversation here. None. It’s over. The language has shifted dramatically from persuasive to compulsion. My friend Sam Wilson suggests that, instead of a #BoycottIndiana response to a law preventing the state to compel me to violate my conscience, businesses should employ rainbow stickers. Or whatever. It doesn’t matter.

Why doesn’t it matter? Well, somewhere along the way in Western Civilization (say 1950) it became clear that the cultural guardians of public morality actually were imposing it, and, I’d say, mercilessly imposing it. The pushback was forty years in the making, which means that a generation passed away and a new one came along which did not understand the pushback. So they pushed back, passing laws, which, as we know, are backed with the full authority and force of the government. Since the nineties, another generation has gone and come, with the resulting push back. Now we shall wrest the authority and force of the government from the hands of the enemy in order to fetch a bigger hammer.

As for me, I have consigned myself to bigotry, and I will bow my head to the punishment which will be meted out against me until A) I get my mind right, or B) I die. The problem with choice A), of course, is that no one is actually making arguments anymore, just shouts and legal threats to comply. Thank God for B).

I happen to eschew militancy for submission. In other words, in general, I just want friends, so I’ll nod my head quietly and hope I don’t have to actually engage in violation of my conscience, like some unfortunate others. I also have the advantage of a fair amount of book-learning, which I can use to weasel my way through tricky obstacles. Alas, there are those of my moral persuasion who are far more militant than I am.

I wonder only what kind of conflagration it will be: bodily, symbolical, typological…

Probably all of the above, for it has always been thus. As a Christian, I rejoice in the theology of exile.

2 thoughts on “The Futility of Morality

  1. ….and?

    I mean, I’m not surprised about compulsory morality in the public sphere; it’s always been thus. It’s only the content which changes, and the content is simply less in accord with your personal stances now than it was. For others, the situation is reversed.

    I’m not in favour of that structure independent of content, but that’s a different matter altogether; quite possibly utopian.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s