Editor’s note: Below is a video version of this commentary:
An extremely well-educated, intelligent individual asserted in a discussion on morality and ethics that morality is completely separate from religious principle. I found this assertion interesting, and even though I would substitute Bible for religious, I heartily disagree.
In the midst of heated debates today regarding abortion rights, homosexuals, transgenders, same-sex marriages, minor-attracted adults, homicide bombers, and other special interest groups, arguments abound as to what should be considered the basis (if any) for making moral judgments.
There are those who are adamant in their position that religion, based on biblical truths, has no place in the public square and demand that all legal, social, political and economic decisions be made purely from the standpoint of reason, without regard to any standards of morality, which begs the question: Is there any standard for morality?
President George Washington, in his 1776 farewell speech, issued one of the gravest warnings in American history:
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.
Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education … reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
Washington clearly understood the folly of attempting to substitute education for morality (the quality of being in accord with the standards of right and wrong).
Liberal-oriented educators and intellectuals insist that our children can make moral choices in a vacuum. Their position is that choices can be made without regard to any absolute standard of right and wrong. The argument for situational ethics (any decision depends on the situation you are in) presents our youth with a shifting morality as the basis for making decisions. The fact of the matter is, however, that the intelligentsia make these assertions without due consideration of the end results.
Absent religious principles (which, in Western civilization, are taken from the Judeo-Christian Bible), what, if any, are the standards of right and wrong? Who sets them? Has it become merely a matter of opinion? And if so, whose? What, one could reasonably ask, is the foundation upon which we base our actions and order our society?
If one group believes it is acceptable to kill the unborn, and another believes it is acceptable to kill those who kill the unborn, which group is right? Says who?
If one group believes you can practice homosexuality and pedophilia openly and another group believes they should kill homosexuals and pedophiles, which group is wrong? Says who?
This is the conundrum forced upon us by this so-called intellectual liberty.
If there are absolutely no absolutes, then there is no basis for our criminal justice system, legal system, oaths, business agreements or any other form of contractual intercourse.
Our national security, the ability for police to protect us, the pursuit of criminals, the prosecution of lawbreakers, our prosperity and our very existence as a nation all rest upon the twin pillars of ethics and morality.
Remove these twin supports – ethics and morality – from Western civilization, and we find ourselves on the brink of the same destruction that befell another of the greatest empires ever to exist, the Roman Empire. Rome fell not from hordes of barbarians at the gates, but from the abandonment of its standards of ethics and morality, creating rot at its core, among them a weakened moral fiber, discontented, disenfranchised masses (mobs), decline in the traditional citizenry (illegal aliens), literature, amusements and lifestyles portraying gratuitous sex and violence and decline of patriotism.
What, may I ask, is the foundation of the twin pillars of ethics and morality in Western civilization if not the Bible? Ultimately, the standards of morality and absolutes are indispensable for the continuation of our individual liberties and the type of government we enjoy – a free republic.
Historians may someday look back and say of America, as of ancient Rome:
Professing themselves to be wise they became fools … and … as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind (a mind devoid of judgment) to do those things which were loathsome.
– Romans 1:21-28