The Morality of Imperatives

Online at CT today is an article by Mark Galli that takes up the recent spike in “moral language” in the public square. Specifically, he points to Al Gore’s speech about global warming, where he said action to counteract climate change was a “moral imperative,” as an example. He also mentions Barak Obama’s recent brush with comments by General Peter Pace about the immorality of homosexual behavior. Galli points out that moral language has become the nuclear option for liberals and conservatives alike.

Christian activists, as we might expect, often pull this card out of their tunics, especially when they get in a prophetic mood. They are getting in this mood more and more lately, making everything and anything a great moral issue. The budget has become a “moral document” to some, as the Federal Marriage Amendment is to others. For many Christian activists, Left and Right, moral posturing has become politics as usual.

Galli concludes that the rise in misuse of moral language undermines the Bible’s approach to morality, which is best illustrated in the parable of the publican and the Pharisee. Read the full article here.

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One thought on “The Morality of Imperatives”

  1. Jamie,

    Thanks for pointing to this article. IT’s scary how strong our craving is for the more immediate relief that comes when we point out the faults in public figures rather than dealing with our own. What i’ve found from years of unfortunate practice, is that the relief soon dies. And all that is left is anguish and self-deceit. The biggest problem then is not the commission of the sin itself, but rather that it has taken over and is scarcely recognizable as sin by me. And of course this just leads to more and more finger-pointing and less and less courage to deal with sin. Then, guilt and the inability (read: unwillingness) to believe that God would be merciful to me. The sin becomes the brick wall from the Cask of Amontillado. Only, i’ve chained myself to the wall and bricked myself in and can’t see past it to the grace that’s already been given to free me. I’m sure that analogy breaks down somewhere, but that is what comes to mind. So, thanks for the encouragement to pull out the cedar of Lebanon in my own eye. One question: how’d you know?

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