Compromise vs Moral Relativism

Monday, November 27, 2006

Compromise vs Moral Relativism

Between the Constitution as written and the liberal paradigm, no compromise is possible.  Every concession to liberal policies entails sacrificing individual political liberty.


When people share common principles, compromise is possible.  But when the founding principles of society, expressed in the Constitution, are attacked by liberal moral relativists bent upon destroying those principles, acceding to their demands is, not compromise, but surrender.For that reason, demands by liberal media and by voters that Congress compromise and “get something done” are really demands that we continue slowly to dismantle the Constitution.  The analogy is to heat yourself in the winter by tearing your house down, piece by piece, to burn in the fireplace.

The Constitution created a government of limited power for a religious and moral people.  Political power was to be curbed by citizens’ God-given, inalienable, natural-law individual rights to life, liberty, and private property.  As the English Glorious Revolution of 1689 established, when a ruler arbitrarily contravenes those rights, he has broken the social compact and thereby forfeited his right to rule.

The paradigm of American liberal-progressive-socialists, in diametric contrast, is an authoritarian government that has both the right and the duty to determine how people should live their lives and even what thoughts are to be permitted expression in education and public forums.  In the government envisioned by liberals, the “public good,” as defined by liberals, always trumps individual rights.

In this liberal paradigm, political-state planners are the source of economic and social well-being.  The welfare state is thought to be essential, because private individuals and private businesses are, according to liberal theory, incapable of doing the job.

Liberals are atheists or agnostics (or people who, in ignorance, believe themselves to be Christians) who believe that Judeo-Christian religious beliefs should be eliminated from government and education.  Many liberals insist that the First Amendment’s ban on establishing an official religion means that the United States should be free from spiritual religion altogether.  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., our first socialist Supreme Court member, wrote that morality should play no role in the law.  This, despite Tocqueville’s observation in 1832 that Christianity was the most influential single factor in America’s uniquely successful republican democracy.

At the same time that individual political liberties are steadily curtailed, liberalism advocates no-holds-barred personal hedonism.  Liberals want an amoral society that accepts, even welcomes, foul language, flouting social custom, abortion, sexual promiscuity, same-sex marriage, and an endless list of things designed to corrode and erode the social compact upon which the Constitution was based.  Imposing hedonism, usually by judicial fiat, is a curtailment of individual political liberty.

Compromise with liberals thus necessitates accepting moral relativism, the idea that there are no timeless, religious or philosophical principles of morality flowing from the relationship between humans and God, the Creator of the universe.  One might as well say the 2 + 2 = 4 applies as a principle only when that answer serves the interests of the observer.

Historically, political societies that abandoned their early core beliefs and pursued the course of moral relativism thereafter fell victim to outside aggressors or slowly declined in economic well-being.  Not content with that inevitability, liberals want to accelerate the process by subordinating the Constitution to so-called international law and a world government under the UN.

Truth vs Moral Relativism

Truth vs Moral Relativism

The liberal media denounce Pope Benedict’s adherence to Biblical and historical truth as rigidity.  They want pragmatism and flexibility, which amounts to moral relativism.

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Pope Benedict and Christianity stand accused of “divisiveness.”

Liberals, along with Muslims, denounced the Pope last September when he spoke at the University of Regensburg.  The New York Times demanded an apology for his lack of sensitivity.

What exactly had he done?

As reported in a VOA News article by Sabina Castelfranco, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Islam and violence. At a morning mass, he rejected the use of God’s name to justify hatred and fanaticism. In a theological address to academics at Regensburg University, the pope spoke of the relationship between faith and reason and Islam’s holy war, Jihad. Historically, he said, spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable and therefore, ungodly.

This so distressed Muslims that they were driven to murder Catholic nuns and priests and to destroy Christian churches to prove that Islam is not a religion of violence.

Now, with the Pope’s forthcoming journey to Turkey for discussions with Islamic mullahs, the media have another opportunity to chastise Christians.  The Wall Street Journal, in its edition of November 25, 2006, spotlights the Pope’s forthrightness in a front-page, feature article by Gabriel Kahn and Stacy Meichtry. 

The Journal article’s headline is A Tumultuous World Tests a Rigid Pope: Inside the Vatican, Benedict’s intellect and style intimidate. How will they play outside the Church?  Confronting Muslim anger. If you are an online Journal subscriber, read the article here.

The reporters observe disapprovingly, Nineteen months after being selected pope, Benedict is transforming the Vatican with a different style and a different stance. Beneath his blunt words and rigid style lies a profound divergence from John Paul’s buoyant optimism. Pope Benedict believes that the Roman Catholic Church must stand apart from the world of today rather than embrace it.  ….. For Benedict, the modern age is defined by growing secularism in the West and the rise of religious fanaticism most everywhere else. In order to fulfill its mission, he believes, the Church needs to shun both forces. Benedict is “pessimistic about the compatibility of the Church and the modern world,” says Mr. Spaemann.

…. Benedict’s emphasis on tradition risks alienating a broad cross-section of Catholics who argue the Church needs to become more accessible to maintain its increasingly diverse flock.

Many people mistakenly assume that, because the Journal’s editorial staff is conservative, the Journal’s news staff are similarly aligned.  This front page article is a good example, both of the Journal’s liberal slant on news coverage, and of present-day moral relativism in action.

Implicit in the article is the viewpoint that there is no such thing as truth, no such thing as right or wrong.  The writers have absorbed the relativistic view inculcated in today’s colleges and universities that flexibility and pragmatism, other names for moral relativism, ought to be the sole criteria for belief and action.  Adherence to the truth is characterized as impractical rigidity.

Flexibility and pragmatism were the watchwords of John Dewey, the 20th century’s most influential liberal-socialist-progressive.  The doctrine of Pragmatism which he popularized was that Darwin’s evolutionary hypothesis had proved everything to be continually changing and evolving.  Thus there can be no such thing as permanent moral truth from God, rooted in human nature, because there is no such thing as fixed human nature.  Pragmatism, instead, teaches that there are only actions that get you what you want, or fail to do so, in changing circumstances; the end justifies the means.

In the vein of Dewey’s philosophical pragmatism, the Journal reporters simply assume that the goal of Christian churches ought to be maximizing their membership by reaching a doctrinal compromise that would alienate the fewest people.  It seems not to have occurred to them that a Christian church has no purpose other than preaching the New Testament Gospel as written.  Without that, there is no Christian church.

Flexibility and pragmatism are the hallmarks of a society that no longer believes in itself, because it has lost touch with the traditions that brought the society into being and enabled it to survive against outside aggressors.  They are the hallmarks of societies in political decline.

Flexibility and pragmatism, as Professor James Q. Wilson wrote in astonishment, led his students to reject the judgment that Hitler’s National Socialism and his Holocaust were evil, because those students had been taught that right and wrong are unscientific value judgments.

If Pope Benedict’s allegiance to Biblical Truth alienates a broad cross-section of the Church’s diverse flock, the logical conclusion is both that the alienated portion of the flock is not truly Christian, and that some Catholic priests have drifted into heretical doctrine and taught falsehood to their parishioners.  Unfortunately, the same is true of the Protestant denominations, as well.

Compromises on Jesus’s teachings, Sunday morning entertainment, and feel-good messages are not Christianity.  Preaching the Bible’s truth is the only way to bring individuals into a fruitful relationship with God and the only way to maintain the integrity of Christianity. 

To do otherwise would be the equivalent of instructing Marine Corps volunteers in boot camp that Semper Fidelis is the motto of the Corps, but it isn’t necessary always to be faithful to your buddies in combat and to fight for each other if you have a different opinion or just don’t feel comfortable with the history and traditions of the Corps.

McCain Pain

McCain Pain

Traditionalists – people who believe in the Constitution as it was written – will find little to like in Senator John McCain.  Like Supreme Court Justice David Souter, he is an establishment, liberal Republican in the Nelson Rockefeller mode, so deeply imbued with the moral relativism of modernity that he no longer knows where to find home port for the Ship of State. 

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Carol Turoff gives us an Arizonan’s perception of the real John McCain.

November 14, 2006
McCain: Embarking on the Ship of State

By Carol Turoff

Here comes John McCain. If only he could get Arizonans to like him.

Arizona Senator John McCain sees the trouncing Republicans took nationally as an encouraging sign for his 2008 presidential bid. McCain is, after all, the ultimate chameleon, wearing his Republicanism as a badge when it serves him, yet pandering to the left when convenient. GOP losses provide him the opportunity to warm to Independents and swing voters, further antagonizing the conservative base of his party. Strategizing with advisors and confidants, he is expected to open an exploratory committee by month’s end. But in his home state of Arizona, McCain is not universally beloved by his fellow Republicans. While it is true he is repeatedly reelected, his challengers have been less-than-lightweights in the political arena. The old adage of Never a Hero in Your Own Hometown seems to apply, since the elected precinct committeemen in McCain’s own district have actually voted to censure him.

He was also denounced by the Maricopa County Executive Guidance Committee comprised of GOP leadership in a lopsided 17 to 3 vote. Mohave County later voted similarly. The EGC’s resolution declares, “We condemn John McCain’s betrayal of the trust Republican voters placed in him.” Pretty strong stuff from his party cohorts.

Hoisting the mantle of “moderates” and registered Independents, his candidate endorsements sorely lack influence with GOP voters. Whether endorsing gubernatorial, congressional or outlying city council candidates, his local selectees often lose. Where McCain shines is on the national horizon, as the mostly liberal media shower him with ample attention. And, why not? A registered Republican who acts like a Democrat plays well with this crowd. Having ditched the Goldwateresque title, “maverick,” he once reveled in, he currently appears to prefer, “reformer.” Now we just have to figure out what that means.

McCain’s much ballyhooed hug of President Bush concealed the dagger he was simultaneously sliding into George’s back. Their animus reaches back to 2000, when both campaigns were driving hard and fast. The underlying rancor swelled as he vocally opposed Bush’s tax cuts. Recently, McCain has given the military grief over detainee interrogation techniques. In supporting gun control, he antagonizes Second Amendment supporters. Forging what he terms “bipartisan” alliances with Democrats Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy does little to endear him to his political brethren.

Barely escaping with his own political life after questionable associations with convicted financier, Charlie Keating, McCain’s epiphany has placed him in the forefront of campaign finance reform. Such efforts further exacerbated internal rifts, since opponents argue the measures violate First Amendment rights, infringing upon free speech. As leader of the so-called Gang of 14, he drew criticism for his deal-making regarding judicial filibusters. Support of embryonic stem cell research and his repeated votes to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,lessening dependence on foreign oil, rankle. Kudos he received for his support of the Iraq war are tempered by his waffling on implementation and enforcement of reliable border security. McCain supports a guest worker plan offering citizenship to those who flagrantly and illegally enter our country. He was denounced for advising Hispanic demonstrators to discard their Mexican flags while marching through American streets, lest they further inflame U.S. citizens. McCain has also taken refuge in the global warming camp, much to the chagrin of many in his party.

Already age 70, he would be the oldest president in U.S. history, if elected. That fact, coupled with his renowned undisciplined temper and recurrent melanoma, could ultimately be deal breakers. Currently, the McCain’s are in the process of selling their Phoenix estate and moving to a high-dollar high-rise, where they have purchased an entire upper floor; providing the much needed security a national leader requires.

But close on his heels are Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and California Congressman, Duncan Hunter. Both Republicans are seriously eyeing the 2008 presidential race. Interestingly, this is the first time in eighty years there is neither an incumbent president nor vice president seeking election to the nation’s highest post.

Conservatives are left to ponder their intolerable choices if faced with Senators John McCain or Hillary Clinton heading the 2008 party tickets.

Carol Turoff is a former two-term member of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. During her eight years on the commission, she participated in the selection of four of the five current Arizona Supreme Court Justices as well as 17 judges on both Divisions I and II of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Appointed by two governors, Turoff served with three chairing Supreme Court Justices.