More Equal Than Others

Among Christianity’s many influences on Western civilization is the concept that “all men are created equal.” The idea that human beings are equally valuable simply by virtue of being human is common even among those who otherwise reject religious teachings. What was once solely a religious principle has become almost universally accepted as a humanist principle. Two people might differ in their race, gender, intellectual abilities, age, or level of wealth, but both are equally deserving of respect, fair treatment, and equality under the law.

Call this “Belief A”.

Most people who support abortion argue that the fetus gradually acquires human rights as his/her nervous system develops in utero. According to polling done by Gallup, 61% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal during the first trimester of pregnancy. That figure drops to 27% during the second trimester, and to 14% during the third trimester. Since human life biologically begins at conception, this means that roughly half of Americans believe that some human organisms (third trimester fetuses) should have a legal right to life, while other human organisms (first trimester fetuses) may be legally dismembered with metal clamps and vacuum hoses.

DE-abortion1

In other words, these individuals believe that human worth is not derived “simply by virtue of being human,” but rather by possessing certain physical qualities. Thus, all humans are equal, but some humans are more equal than others. Call this “Belief B”.

A person cannot rationally hold both Belief A and Belief B. If “social justice” extends to some groups of humans – but not to others – then it isn’t really social justice.

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The Humanist

TL;DR: Secular humanism can’t adequately ground objective moral values. If moral values are to be drawn solely from what we observe in nature, then they would need to align with the observed “ultimate purpose” of our universe…that is, heat death.

Bronze age tripe, that’s all it is
The scribblings of a goatherd
To call this tome a “holy book”
One must be quite the dotard
It’s full of nonsense, myths and lies
I hear it calls for slavery
My plain contempt can’t be disguised
Free Thought takes much more bravery

Free Thought, you say?
Do tell me more
You really have intrigued me
A system without creeds, you say?
No room for touchy-feely?

That’s right, he smirked
I need no God
My reason is sufficient
The Scientific Method guides my path (and it’s sufficient)
I draw my morals from within
Human nature never fails me
Deep down inside all men are good
And frankly,
Blind faith scares me

Blind faith, you say?
That’s not unique
To buildings with a steeple
Surely, then, you have a way
To ground your faith in people?

My faith in mankind needs no grounding
Surely you can see so
Empathy
Kindness
These things are Good!
Everyone agrees, no?

Not everyone
Said I to he
Though that would make me merry
The problem with your view, you see
And not to be contrary
Is that the virtues which you cite
Come off as arbitrary
You say that we’re the product of a mindless game of chance
Our fleeting lives in tune with Nature’s odd and wondrous dance
Yet if you think this through, sir, and use science as your guide
Then ought not moral virtues work toward Nature’s sure death slide?

The Problem with Liberal Theology

‎”I would repeat that liberal theology is only humanism in theological terms.” –Francis Schaeffer

In certain liberal churches, there is a tendency to accept the idea that there are “many ways to God”. The idea that there isn’t anything particularly special about Christianity, and the many kind and generous Muslims and Hindus of the world have found their own way to God and should be left to themselves.

I assert that this isn’t a sign of love, or acceptance, or tolerance. It’s a sign of cold indifference.

“I don’t think Christians know what they mean when they proclaim Jesus as Lord of the world. That is a massive claim. If you took that seriously, you would probably have to be a fundamentalist. If you can’t be a fundamentalist, then you should give up Christianity for the sake of honesty.” –Gerd Lüdemann, a former liberal Christian

Many of these same churches also hold to “progressive” views on issues like homosexuality, cohabitation, and the sacredness of human life. Passages of the Bible that are deemed offensive are either ignored or creatively reinterpreted. Rather than confronting sinful behavior like Jesus commanded (Matthew 18:15-17…also see Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11), openly sinful lifestyles are accepted – even celebrated – as normal among the congregation.

In the end, these kinds of churches cease to resemble anything like historical Christianity. They become social clubs.

On his blog, Andrew Collins contrasts this with the Evangelical approach:

“Many Evangelicals, if they’re honest with you, don’t like what the Bible says about things like God’s sovereignty, hell, or homosexuality, but they choose to believe them anyways. These Christians have a unique freedom to admit that their own perspectives, even their own moral sensibilities, may be a little tweaked. As such, they seek an external standard by which to correct themselves….what sort of relationship can you have with a personal God if He does not contradict your beliefs, assumptions and sensibilities every once in a while? If you find that your God is always exactly who you want Him to be, could it be that you haven’t found God at all, but rather created a god in your own image?(emphasis mine; read the full post here)

Most recently, we’ve seen examples of liberal writers and theologians advocating for various forms of Universalism and denying the existence of hell. I’ve been getting a little carried away with the quotes – so I’ll close with an excellent video from Francis Chan addressing this issue. For the “short version” watch the two-minute segment starting at 3:32.