Sometimes, I wish I wouldn’t think so much, but I do …and with all of the issues supposedly having to do with morality – or a lack of it – because of homosexuality and abortion, primarily, I have found myself thinking a lot about morality, what it is and what it isn’t.
And I have come to believe that America is not very moral, and neither is the world, for that matter, if morality is defined according to holy scrips and not human opinion.
By that, I mean that every holy book – torah, bible, koran – list as a direct command from God that we are to 1) love God with all our hearts, all our minds and all of our strength, and 2) we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
We do not do that. We don’t even think about doing it. In fact, if the truth be told, we as people thrive on contention and conflict, we think nothing of treating our “neighbors” as though they were objects, and in spite of going against what the God of all of us says we are to do, we think we are qualified to talk about morality, and decide who is and who is not in the right.
There is a reason the order was given to love each other – and to treat them as we would want to be treated. It’s because “love works.” I cannot help at this moment but think of Jennifer Hudson, sporting her new body that has come because she has adhered to the Weight Watchers regimen. Do it, she says, try Weight Watchers … “because it works.”
So does God, and what God says to do.
It is hard for me to watch us disrespect and disregard each other, and we all do it, myself included. It’s hard to watch kids bully each other, nations bully each other, parents bully kids, husbands bully wives and visa versa…while we act religious and decide that the actions of others, and not ourselves, are immoral.
Why am I thinking that God could not possibly be pleased with how we live out of healthy relationships with each other?
I shudder to think of the upcoming presidential elections. I shudder for a couple of reasons. One, while the nation is choking for air due to the recession, these politicians will spend literally millions of dollars on their campaigns …while people are still losing their homes, unable to get medical care and going hungry … and the other reason is because they will, without abandon, rip each other apart. The attacks on President Obama will be vicious, the racism carefully hidden so as not to be overtly offensive, but it will be there.
Surely, that is not being moral.
I once had a discussion with a very devout pastor who said that if I could not and did not denounce all other religions other than Christianity, I was not fit to preach.
I didn’t preach while I was at his church.
I couldn’t understand how it was loving or right or moral to put down all other religions and the people who practiced them, seeing as how there was and is one God, who made us all.
Likewise, I lost some credibility when I said I could not and would not denounce homosexuality or homosexual people. How could I do that and be moral?
I cannot even denounce white people who are rabidly racist. I can and do stay away from them, but the direction from God is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
I remember reading that the late Sen. Jesse Helms once acknowledged that the imperative to love one’s neighbor was certainly Biblical, but that we had the right to choose our neighbors! He was defending his defense of segregation.
But that’s not what the Bible says. It doesn’t say that a neighbor is one who looks like us or thinks like us. Our neighbor is anyone with whom we are in contact. Go figure.
So, it seems to me, as Americans defend their fear of Muslims, and Muslims defend their hatred of Americans and politicians defend their waste of money on nasty, name-calling campaigns while the people they say they want to represent suffer …that a crucial commandment is all but lost and/or ignored …and that is the command for us to love and respect each other, no matter what.
The world is immoral, religion notwithstanding.
That is a candid observation.