Your Weekly Moore Update
The column is the same tired argument you’ve heard thousands of times: America is in a state of moral decay because courts enforce the first amendment. As usual, there is no attempt made to explain the “because;” all he does is set forth some things he thinks are bad, then quickly run through a few Scotus cases, add in some cherry picked quotes from the founders and conclude that Scotus is destroying America.
Of course, you can dispute his view about what is bad, his take on Con law, and his selective quotations. But why? He doesn’t care about the truth, and even granting his premises, his conclusion still does not necessarily follow. So the country is in a state of moral decay, Scotus bans the pledge of allegiance, and George Washington thought religion was important. You still need to explain why barring government sponsored displays of religion causes the so-called evils.
That said, I’m more interested in the blog post. I had no idea the Foundation For Moral Law had a blog. I need to put it on my blogroll. I know I’ll be checking it regularly. Anyway, here’s the post about the column:
“And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure—reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” President George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796.
The news these days of school shootings and homosexual Congressmen is continually troubling, but not a surprise for a nation that is removing God from its schools and public places. Without the internal self-government that “religion and morality” bring to the human heart, civil government in America will only tend toward corruption.
I once sat next to the author of this post at a luncheon. He seemed normal, intelligent even. So how he could write something so shockingly stupid is beyond me.
First, he makes the same silent slip from “bad stuff happens” to “we need government sponsored religion.” We should not be surprised that bad stuff happens because we are “removing God from its schools and public places.” Correlation, to this guy, equals causation.
How, exactly is the enforcement of the first amendment causing moral decay? Even if you think religion is necessary for morality, telling the government to stay out of religion won’t hinder religion. Are the churches closed? No. Christian radio silenced? No. Printing presses broken? No. Speech silenced? No. The internets eliminated? No. Government is completely superfluous.
And give me a break, whatever may be the current state of the first amendment, there are more Christians in this country and in places of power today than at any time in recent memory. It’s well know that in the 1970’s, Evangelicals began entering politics at a previously unimagined rate. So if we want to presume causation, maybe we ought to presume that our moral decay is caused by the involvement of Evangelicals in politics.
But this typical mistake is not the dumbest part of the post. The post’s author is equally upset at two things: the cold blooded murder of several innocent school girls and the fact that Mark Foley is gay. He just casually offers the two things as “troubling.” Note he is not even complaining about Foley’s abuse of power; just being gay is enough. And that is “troubling” just like murder is “troubling.”
So whose morality is deteriorating? Even if it’s admitted that being gay is evil, how could any rational person be as upset over a gay congressman as they are over the murder of six school children? That’s just stupid.
And if you’re going to reply with the ignorant assertion that being gay causes pedophilia, then read this:
In response to the scandal involving former Congressman Mark Foley, a number of conservative religious groups have claimed that homosexuals pose a substantially greater risk of committing sexual abuse against children than heterosexuals, and have issued papers citing a number of scientific studies to support these claims. However, when one examines the studies cited in these papers, one finds that the religious right has engaged in some serious distortion of the works of others. The scientists who authored the studies made no such claim about homosexuals posing a greater threat to children, and in fact in many cases argued the opposite.
In addition, many in the religious right have employed a version of the “slippery slope” argument, charging that the gay rights movement has led inevitably to tolerance for pedophilia by eroding all traditional norms of sexual behavior. However, the “slippery slope” argument is based on the false premise that the protection of children from sexual activity is a long-standing part of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which has only recently come under assault as a result of the gay rights movement. In fact, throughout most of history, the Judeo-Christian tradition tolerated and even approved of sexual relations between adult males and girls of twelve years of age or even younger. The contemporary taboo against sex between adults and minors developed only in the late nineteenth century, as societies became increasingly committed to the ideals of individual rights and personal autonomy, which led to concern about the possibility of coercion and exploitation in adult-minor relationships.
I wonder if we can amend the ten commandments so that they prohibit being an idiot?