A Question of Morality
This past week Coach Tony Dungy of the 2007 Superbowl Champion Indianapolis Colts spoke to a family group promoting marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Also last week former Vice-president Al Gore testified before the Senate on global warming. He refused to take a pledge to curtail some of his private jet use or to lower the use of energy to what the average American uses. One of his four homes uses several thousand dollars worth of energy per month. However, in his book and Oscar-winning documentary, he urges average Americans to cut back on their energy use.
One of these men was praised as a great moral leader. The other was attacked. Which was praised?
Vice-president Al Gore.
In spite of Gore's using twenty times the energy of the average American, Gore's praisers in the Senate could not gush enough about his moral leadership.
When Tony Dungy gently and kindly advocated "families the Lord's way," some homosexual groups lied about what he said. They claimed he attacked them, though he made very clear that he was demeaning no one.
"Morality" used to mean living a good life. It meant hard work, sincerity, honesty, kindness, using decent language, caring for one's family, compassion on the poor and weak, revering God, and not having sex outside of marriage.
Now many in the media and politics would change the meaning of morality. They want you to believe that it's moral to recycle, but it's not moral to say sex should be reserved for marriage. It's moral to take the bus, but it's not moral to show an ultrasound of her baby to a woman considering abortion. It's moral to protest against war with tyrants like Saddam or Al-Qaeda, but it's not moral to protest the war on the unborn.
Why is this?
Morality makes claims on us. It requires us to do what's right rather than what's easy. It requires character of us and sometimes self-denial.
The elites, those with power, celebrity or money, have never been good at self-denial. Whether you go back to the pharaohs, the kings of the Old Testament, the empires of Europe or today's Hollywood and governmental elite, self-denial has never been their strong suit. What applies to others should not apply to them. They are better and deserve better than the rest of us lowly peons.
You see morality in the western world has been based on the Ten Commandments. Elitists tend to think of them as restricting their liberties, as those "Thou shalt nots." But not too many years ago most people recognized them as the bulwarks of our law and society.
Each of God's laws protects the weak and innocent. Let's look at two. "Thou shalt not kill" helps people respect the right to life of the elderly man living alone, of the teenage girl out on the street, of the unborn child. The strong who can protect themselves and the wealthy who can pay for protection don't need the sixth commandment the way the poor, the weak, or the innocent do. The strong and wealthy are in a position to provide for themselves better than the rest of us. Most of us depend on society to uphold this standard, God's standard, for our safety. When people ignore God's law, society becomes dangerous. Life becomes negotiable if you have the money or power. The strong and powerful no longer look out for the safety of others unless it's convenient to them. The weak and insignificant suffer most.
"Thou shalt not commit adultery" channels our powerful sexual passions to marriage and keeps them there. How does it benefit us? It bonds a man and a woman together for life, giving each security, intimacy, and love. This provides a father in the home committed to his wife and to his children. Children who have the discipline, guidance, and protection of both parents are less likely to become violent, to engage in drugs or promiscuity. They have a better chance of establishing themselves for a good life.
Some claim that not everyone keeps these laws so they aren't good. Yet don't we know from the evidence of molested children, abandoned lovers, and abused elderly that the more people who follow God's laws the better?
Rather than undermining freedom, morality—God's law God's way—undergirds freedom for the ordinary, the innocent, the poor, and the weak.
Debbie W. Wilson
Debbie W. Wilson is a human rights advocate, speaker, and author of Christy Award-winning thriller Tiger in the Shadows. Her weekly prayer list for the persecuted church can be found on the home page of Bound Together Ministries.