Election exit polls showed 22 percent of voters ranked “moral values” as the most important issue, above terrorism and the economy. Nearly 80 percent of that group voted for George W. Bush. As the dust settles in the aftermath of his decisive victory, people are still talking about the so-called moral divide in America. Were the polls flawed? Does it matter?
What divide is this? The irreligious have morals values, too. They just differ in many ways from those of Christians. For example, they may claim the moral law derives from man’s best efforts through trial-and-error evolutionary processes. Christians believe it comes from the God of the Bible and reflects his very nature.
One of David Limbaugh’s readers summarizes it this way: “[L]iberals cannot conceive of morals in the sense conservatives do, because this would require acknowledging a God who has set standards for thought and behavior, and then striving to meet those standards (which, of course, we can’t, thus our need for a Savior).”
We all value what we think is right, but is what we believe true? All religions make truth claims, some in direct opposition to others, but they can’t all be true. Fortunately, freedom of religion is a constitutional guarantee in America, and our government may not discriminate on the basis of which religion is true and which is not. We are free to practice false religions. And whether they want to admit it or not, “nonreligious” types definitely practice a religion.
Whether we call our religion Wicca, Humanism, New Ageism or Atheism, we all live by a set of standards that shape our worldview — our understanding of God and mankind. The national election demonstrated a collision of worldviews in a dramatic way. In a Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial, we see an example of one worldview:
“There is no morality in the government forcing the victim of rape or incest to bear the fruit of that horror or to dismiss the health of the mother in abortion decisions. There is no morality in the denial of legal rights based solely on whom one chooses to love. There is no morality in rejecting the promise of a cure to those who suffer from a terrible disease.”
To the editorial’s writer, immorality is “government forcing,” “denial of legal rights” and “rejecting the promise of a cure.” According to this Christian’s worldview, an unborn baby is a life worthy of protection, no matter how conceived. Most Christians believe God ordained the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, and the law recognizes its societal benefits. Society is protecting the institution and not denying “rights.” People are free to love whomever and whatever they choose. Lastly, most Christians contend killing the unborn and harvesting body parts, no matter how many people will be cured, are immoral acts. Worlds collide.
Some liberals say either you support homosexual “marriage” or you’re a bigot. They also believe faith is personal and should be kept private. Christians know faith, while personal, is based on eternal truths that guide every aspect of their lives, privately and publicly.
Some non-Christians are guided by secular humanism, no less a religion than Christianity. They may not believe in the Bible but definitely live by a code of ethics and values: human- rather than God-centered. But Christianity asserts God, as Creator of all things, is the measure of all things. Worlds collide.
The culture war is fought everyday, from the classroom to the courthouse, and Christians and social conservatives are no longer willing to sit back and allow the irreligious and the mainstream media to define what we value.
When worlds collide, the truth emerges.
LA SHAWN BARBER
Ms. Barber is a freelance writer and blogger at www.lashawnbarber.com.
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