Traditional Moral Positions and the Public Square

1 Comment

Freedom of Speech (painting)

Freedom of Speech (painting) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Canada, it is a crime to publicly assert that practicing homosexuality is a sin. In my ethics class, students regularly write on their essays that being a virgin until marriage is “prudish,” and they do not take seriously the traditional view that couples should refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage. In many academic settings, those who believe abortion to be morally wrong are silenced, to the point that the University Faculty for Life presents an option to its members to hide their membership in the organization so that their colleagues do not find out. The notion that there is objective right and wrong is excluded from most public schools, and moral relativism is taught as the gospel truth (and teaching it as such is, of course a contradiction).

It is true that freedom of speech does not, as the old saw goes, give anyone the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Surely being morally opposed to abortion or to practicing homosexuality or to premarital sex is not the equivalent to shouting “Fire!” Yet such opinions are being increasingly excluded from the public square, in academic institutions first, and then in the wider society.

I believe in academic freedom. If a student or faculty member wishes to defend the moral rightness of premarital sex, of practicing homosexuality, or of abortion, that student or faculty member should be allowed to have a say in the university square. But academic freedom also implies that those with the opposite views on these issues should be allowed to make their case. I am a conservative, but if a liberal student makes a strong case for his position, he will get a good grade on his test and will not be punished for his views. The situation should be the same for a conservative student who makes a good defense of his position in a class with a liberal professor. To give them credit, some liberal professors do give their students such academic freedom and believe in such for their colleagues. There is a subset of professors, however, who want to silence conservative voices, especially on controversial moral issues. Such violation of freedom of speech has taken place in some institutions of higher education, to the point that a professor in one school who presented a natural law argument against homosexual practice (and did not even claim to agree with the argument) was fired–until a court awarded him his job back. The problem is that he should not have lost his job in the first place. What is going on is that hostile rhetoric against moral conservatives is repeated so much that people begin to believe it (“they are haters,” “these people are filled with anger,” etc.). I have never understood why holding moral action A to be wrong implies hating the person who performs moral action A. I wish I could say that such an ignorant position prevails only in academia, but it is present in broader society. More and more the elites in academia, the media, and in Hollywood, are attempting to exclude traditional moral discourse from legitimate discussion and to push their views onto society as a whole. It may be just a matter of time before the United States goes the direction that Canada has gone (depending on election results, court appointees, etc.) and makes illegal conservative moral discourse on abortion and on sexual ethics. I wonder who the real narrow minded people are, the real bigots, the real haters. I would venture a guess that most of them are not moral conservatives.

Creative Writers and Anti-Christianity

Leave a comment

No cross

Image via Wikipedia

I attended two excellent writing workshops today and learned a great deal. However, one thing that disturbs me deeply about the vast majority of the creative writers I have met is their utter hatred and disdain for traditional Christianity and traditional morality. They do not even respect traditionalist positions (such as those defended in the “Manhattan Declaration“) positions and assume that anyone with intelligence and “compassion” would automatically agree with them (at this evening’s meeting the writers’ position was in favor of same-sex marriage but it could just as well be any other practice opposed by traditional Christians). They demonize those who disagree with them as being “haters.” Now I do not hate those with whom I disagree, nor do I hate a person who performs actions that are morally wrong–we are all sinners, after all, and I sin too often and too deeply in my own life. But most of the artistic community HATES any traditional moral position, especially if it concerns sexual ethics. Realizing that some writers and artists are exceptions, why do most writers and other artists hate traditional Christianity so much? Should a traditional Christian even try to do such creative work, even if it is not preachy and “shows” rather than “tells” given such hostility by almost all his or her cohorts in writing?