Last week, I wrote a column reflecting on the assertion that Christians who support Donald Trump have, in effect, surrendered to moral relativism. In that column, I noted that, in the very same week President Trump addressed the Right to Life March, live and in person from the Rose Garden:
… he sent a letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, an advocacy group for homosexual rights, in which he wrote: "We are a Nation founded on the undeniable truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under the Constitution. As we write the next great chapter of our Nation, we reaffirm our commitment to these fundamental truths and will work to ensure that all Americans live in a country … where their opportunities are limitless.
This seems like boilerplate Americanism, consistent with the understanding of God-endowed equality and rights set forth in the American Declaration of Independence. But, as I go on to point out in the column:
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It's remarkable proof of the inroads of moral relativism that some Christians refuse to see the contradiction between President Trump's words to the Log Cabin Republicans and his speech to the 2018 March for Life. His words to the homosexual activists ignore the fact that the right to life listed in the Declaration is undeniable because it is unalienable – i.e., inseparable from the status of "human being." The same cannot be said of the court-fabricated right of homosexuals to marry, or of so-called transgenders to be called, under penalty of law, by the gender descriptor of their choice.
The assertion of God-endowed unalienable rights depends on accepting the self-evident truth that, as such, human opportunities are not unlimited. They are precisely limited by the provisions of God's will that, by delineating what is right for humanity, produce and preserve its existence. This is a statement that reflects America's moral sentiments. But more than that, it has to do with the moral understanding of humanity, by which we recognize the information of God as the ultimate standard for distinguishing right from wrong when it comes to deliberate human choice and action.
The human capacity for choices entails a responsibility to follow God's rule in making them. We do not have the right simply to choose whatever we please. Simply because we feel an angry or lustful passion or inclination, that doesn't make it right to kill or rape another. Our capacity for choice includes our mind's ability to:
- Distance ourselves from this or that impulse of passion;
- Consider and take account of its character and consequences; and
- Act or refrain from acting in light of the inclination induced by conscious reasoning.
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Such reasoning involves the influence of conscience: Information God has woven into the very fabric of our humanity to help us distinguish, as human persons, what is right for us to do, from what is wrong.
In the era of cybernetics, and the programming of things that makes it possible, we have little excuse for believing that the last statement is simply fanciful metaphor. We begin to understand the extent to which our physical activities, passions and impulses arise from sophisticated information processing. The ultimate mind and will responsible for that programming eludes our direct observance. It may forever do so. But we understand its consequences at least enough to see the difference between what we will, and what we must simply accept as context and substance for our understanding, our will, and indeed our very existence. The Being in which this given mind and will subsists, in relation to everything that, as human beings, we have the ability to understand, is called by the name of the Creator, God.
God, the Creator, as descried, for example in the Holy Bible, is the authority relied upon in the Declaration of Independence. In that document, America's founding generation appealed to God as the Supreme judge of the world. They evoked His authority as Creator to attest the justice of their cause against the British monarch. The principles of God's endowment of equality and right, including liberty guided (though they could not always prevail upon) their deliberations, as they devised and ratified the Constitution of the United States.
The twin issues of abortion and homosexuality are offspring of the same conception of evil, one that willfully rejects the premise of God's will, as He determined it to favor the existence and perpetuation of humanity. Both practices turn away from the lineaments wherewith God distinguishes humanity, within all the rest of His Creation. Limiting His being, in this way and that, He defines, in form and substance the way of being "human," by which He serves and preserves us as such.
Taken, on the whole, as a principle of existence, abortion implies the physical extinction of humanity. Taken, on the whole, as a principle of self-regard, homosexuality implies the extinction of humanity's existential root in self-consciousness. The latter is not simply the perception of the relationship of the self to itself. For it is the discovery of self in another, in the context of materially significant differentiation – which is, at the same time, materially necessary in order concretely to reaffirm their conceptual unity – for instance, in and through the natural family.
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Both child-bearing and traditional marriage represent the conscious recognition of sameness recapitulated in and through difference that characterizes the conceptual unity of all humanity. Through natural procreation, we who are parents materially recognize ourselves in another, and another in ourselves, for we get glimpses of both in the offspring we have produced by our procreative unions.
Both forms of attack on procreative union must be categorically rejected by any sovereign whose responsibility it is to preserve the whole potential of the "human race." With their Declaration of Independence, the people of the United States assumed sovereign responsibility over themselves. They did not do so simply as a matter of power and circumstance. They did so as a matter of right, according to the laws of nature and of nature's God.
For some decades, they have allowed a lawless decision of the SCOTUS, in respect of abortion, to invalidate the appeal to God's authority that justifies this claim to self-government. Now they are poised to do so again on account of another SCOTUS decision, this time in respect of God's institution of human marriage. Abortion suppresses the physical existence of the offspring that results from the union required for the physical procreation of the human species. The oxymoron of homosexual marriage eliminates the formally procreational union God ordains as the conceptual basis for marriage, even though it is the material root of family life. Without it, marriage no longer evokes responsibility toward humanity, which the care and upbringing of human offspring necessarily imply. Abortion removes the child from the picture. Homosexuality removes the human race.
What's left of the practice of sovereignty that qualifies one to represent the will of God in the use of sovereign power? After all, the right use of sovereign power must, above all, take account of the good of the whole. When it involves procreation and responsibility for child rearing, human family life makes the exercise of sovereignty, in God's behalf, a responsibility formally ascribable to each and every human being. What becomes of the people's claim to sovereignty once that formal responsibility, and the God endowed capacity to meet it, are formally severed from the mere title of humanity? The strongest empirical proof of their claim falls by the wayside. It must soon be followed by the claim itself.