American Politicians are enamored with history. They appeal to the America people’s poor memory of the past by insisting that there was a magical era when all was plentiful, peaceful and mild–A life where everyone behaved themselves and got along—when people, especially politicians, were MORAL.
Has America ever been Great”? Sure, it has.
Has America ever been “Moral”? Certainly it has.
But mixed in with all that “Greatness and Morality” have always been negative contributions by and from people like me—NOT SO GREAT AND NOT ALWAYS MORAL.
Let’s pause the narrative set-up for a bit—long enough to see through a lens unclouded by politics and marketing ploys.
What do politicians mean when they say “Great Again”?
Politician A means to say:
The Great Generation. People born from 1900-1930 Americans reeling from war, devastation and a “Great” Depression.
What’s so great about Depression and War? What does poverty, attrition and death have to do with greatness? Answer:
Such trials on personhood created character and maturity. These Americans produced a collective effort at freedom and a preservation of the Constitution that guarantees “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
This is their “great” way of life. It protects freedom of speech even when someone chooses to be bigoted and cruel. It allows a baker to sell his cake to whomever he chooses. It allows for the voices of conservative, liberal and all points in between. It assures diversity and encourages variances of opinion (University) without resorting to autocratic rule and socialism.
Politician B means to say:
The present Generations. People living today who take full advantage of the character and contributions of The Great Generation.
Many of these people care nothing of how their freedoms have been forged and secured. They are as the proverbial turtle on the fence-post, unaware of how they have risen to prominence, possessing an ability to see forward and yet have no rear-view.
“Great” to this crowd is not always the inheritance of a nation ready made for individual effort, sweat and resolve–rather, more often the creation and protection of perceived RIGHTS that are necessary for the future they envision.
Rights to shut down the oppositions point of view. Rights to morality if it is “MY” morality. Rights to have someone else pay their debts. Rights to prefer the fantasy of feelings over the reign of truth and fact.
What do politicians mean when they say “Moral Again”?
One: Define Morality for Politicians A & B to a satisfactory agreement. Not going to happen. Let’s go on to #2.
TWO: Go back to where there was a supposed “moral” in the past. Was it 1800, 1900? 1930? How about 1960? Some say that we need to go back to our countries founding.
After careful research, we find that there was no moral past—only a past with someone’s idea of morality being practiced as law and order.
Morality as a collective construct demands that science and conscience will do battle with all who believe that morality can never be held accountable to an objective truth. Subjective feelings employ a perceived freedom to exalt one’s opinion as a truth. Therefore, no country shall be wholly moral, and neither shall it be universally great. Americas greatness is maligned, as is her morality, when truth is relegated to a role of antagonist and ethics serve only as a prop to support perjury and to defend the guilty. The battle is lost and the country is defenseless when we exchange the truth for a lie–when more do this than not. When the moorings of truth are abandoned or detached in the name of freedom, we sink to the bottom of our sea of immorality, ambiguity, depression, anxiety and relativism. Our new and proud leaders are become “the blind leading the blind.”
DO Greatness & Morality NEED ONE ANOTHER FOR CO-EXISTENCE?
If so, we owe it to ourselves to let go of the notion that greatness and morality become necessary ingredients for survival. Great and Moral are more symptoms than causes. Immorality denies greatness and greatness employs morality, that is unless what we exalt as “Great” requires immoral behaviors.
We are all on a sliding scale where only the proposed definition of morality changes while our actions may reveal yet another reality.
If I steal from you because I convinced a lawmaker to make such action legal, then has the immorality of theft by taking been annulled?
If Friedrich Schiller reveals the horrors of death by the murderous ideology and hands of Nazism, and if most nations of the world agree that what happened to the Jewish people in the death camps was “Immoral”, has this assured that everyone in the world defines murder the same? No, there are people (i.e many Islamists-Muslims) that see such death as “justified”.
When people of the same sex are now legally “a married couple” because a nations law superseded the law of a Christian God, has morality been made great because it inclusive of these behaviors despite the bible—God’s book of instruction and His morality? Does the new law assure that an inner conscience will miraculously transform and conform?
The world needs to be a safe place for all people, including the practicing homosexual. In a pluralistic country like the USA, homosexual behavior (homosexuality is an adverb-not a noun–or a new protected status of human being) is a personal choice protected by the constitution and the law. Does this mean that a clear conscience will follow them home after the celebrations and parades on their behalf? Absolutely not. This is perhaps the greatest tragedy that feigned “supporters” do not seem to care so much about. They are too busy puffing up their own egos and “reputations” as not being homophobic” to acknowledge the rates of depression and suicide in this community. Truth in the conscience cares not about impotent support from any source. Legal is not the same as moral or ethical.
A mother has been granted moral authority over another person growing within her own body. Morality is in her hands for two people but only one can exercise her version of it.
A doctor prescribes and injects chemicals into a pre-teen body because this child is confused about her sexuality as relating to gender. A doctor surgically deforms a child’s body because of a whim of subjective belief in the face of objective science and a “moral” code and pledge of ethics. Is this a moral action? Yes, it is. It is a morality that has to do with abandonment of ethics and morality as previously defined immoral and unjust. One swipe of the political pen and such horrific mutilation is legal, yet, remains full of evil. The medical staff gets a pay check and the child receives a sentence to life without escape from depression, dysfunctions of mind, body and spirit for the rest of their lives. All in the name of freedom, money, and a new morality that is sweeping the land.
IN AMERICA, MORALITY IS
RELATIVE–Based upon feeling and social construct before any empirical science and certainly not withstanding perceived religious intersectionality. Law and morality may become detached for no other reason than need for escape from accountability.
IMMUTABLE—Based upon the absolute, unchanging creator of all things and people—GOD—the bible or holy book of its followers.
BEMUSED—Based upon the conflicts and disparities prevalent with the doctrines of Relativism vs. Absolutism, their disillusionment is experienced as generalized abandonment of all things moral. Therefore, we may or may tolerate people rather than prosecute them when a law is broken. Morality is not necessarily in the equation.
Whatever morality is to you or wherever your chosen source for than version, might you consider the following:
The inner conscience has an objective voice. I somehow know when I have done wrong or right. This voice has been with me from birth. No one had to teach me to be selfish, to harm or steal from others.
14 Some people naturally obey the Law’s commands, even though they don’t have the Law. 15 This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, 16 when God appoints Jesus Christ to judge everyone’s secret thoughts, just as my message says. (Romans 2:14-16)
I can quiet/numb my conscience and deny it, but not eliminate it so that I may be freed from it.
4 God’s Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons. 2 They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. (I Timothy 4:1-2)
The source of my conscience may also be denied or discovered.
19 People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. 20 They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are 21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.” (Galatians 5:19)
It is indeed Great to Be Moral and Moral to Be Great as long as both are sourced from the humility found in Jesus Christ.
“You know that those foreigners who call themselves kings like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over the people they rule. 43 But don’t act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. 44 And if you want to be first, you must be everyone’s slave. 45 The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue[h] many people.” (Mark 10:42-45)
What happens when we define morality as the Eternal Law preached by Jesus Christ?
What happens when greatness is understood as the character of Servanthood modeled by Jesus Christ?
Such ideas that became foundations for millions have endured attacks in every generation for over 2000 years. Greatness and morality then must endure constant battle complete with accusations and persecution. This is true for the individual as well as the nation.
EXTRA READING ABOUT MORALITY AND GREATNESS Romans chapter 1
1 From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus.
God chose me to be an apostle, and he appointed me to preach the good news 2 that he promised long ago by what his prophets said in the holy Scriptures. 3-4 This good news is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! As a human, he was from the family of David. But the Holy Spirit[a] proved that Jesus is the powerful Son of God,[b] because he was raised from death.
5 Jesus was kind to me and chose me to be an apostle,[c] so that people of all nations would obey and have faith. 6 You are some of those people chosen by Jesus Christ.
7 This letter is to all of you in Rome. God loves you and has chosen you to be his very own people.
I pray that God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
A Prayer of Thanks
8 First, I thank God in the name of Jesus Christ for all of you. I do this because people everywhere in the world are talking about your faith. 9 God has seen how I never stop praying for you, while I serve him with all my heart and tell the good news about his Son.
10 In all my prayers, I ask God to make it possible for me to visit you. 11 I want to see you and share with you the same blessings that God’s Spirit has given me. Then you will grow stronger in your faith. 12 What I am saying is that we can encourage each other by the faith that is ours.
13 My friends, I want you to know that I have often planned to come for a visit. But something has always kept me from doing it. I want to win followers to Christ in Rome, as I have done in many other places. 14-15 It doesn’t matter if people are civilized and educated, or if they are uncivilized and uneducated. I must tell the good news to everyone. That’s why I am eager to visit all of you in Rome.
The Power of the Good News
16 I am proud of the good news! It is God’s powerful way of saving all people who have faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 17 The good news tells how God accepts everyone who has faith, but only those who have faith.[d] It is just as the Scriptures say, “The people God accepts because of their faith will live.”[e]
Everyone Is Guilty
18 From heaven God shows how angry he is with all the wicked and evil things that sinful people do to crush the truth. 19 They know everything that can be known about God, because God has shown it all to them. 20 God’s eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made. That’s why those people don’t have any excuse. 21 They know about God, but they don’t honor him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, and their stupid minds are in the dark. 22 They claim to be wise, but they are fools. 23 They don’t worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles.
24 So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies. 25 They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God’s creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen.
26 God let them follow their own evil desires. Women no longer wanted to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural. 27 Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish deeds.
28 Since these people refused even to think about God, he let their useless minds rule over them. That’s why they do all sorts of indecent things. 29 They are evil, wicked, and greedy, as well as mean in every possible way. They want what others have, and they murder, argue, cheat, and are hard to get along with. They gossip, 30 say cruel things about others, and hate God. They are proud, conceited, and boastful, always thinking up new ways to do evil.
These people don’t respect their parents. 31 They are stupid, unreliable, and don’t have any love or pity for others. 32 They know God has said that anyone who acts this way deserves to die. But they keep on doing evil things, and they even encourage others to do them.”