A moral distinction

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Dennis Schenkel draws an interesting parallel to politicians who support abortion rights while proclaiming themselves "personally opposed" to abortion:

I think some politicians have no idea what kind of nonsense they are speaking when they suggest that they are personally opposed to something that is gravely evil, but that they believe it to be a matter of personal conscience. They even believe their Church backs them up on this, and not without cause, since sometimes the same nonsense can be heard spewing from the lips of a priest.

One way to determine whether a difficult moral position is consistent and permissible is to compare it to another, similar moral problem, one in which there is no question about what is right or wrong, and see what we can learn from the comparison.

Consider the case of the hypothetical, fictional German citizen in the 1930's and 1940's...let's call him Johannes Kerrymeister, to make up a name completely at random. Being a faithful Catholic, Herr Kerrymeister is personally opposed to the wholesale slaughter of innocent Jews and others whom society deems to be non-persons.

I'll let you read the rest of it here.

I think this amazing ability to straddle the fence on profound moral issues is rooted in the post-modern rejection of objective truth in the moral realm -- "it may be true for you, but not for me". John Kerry tries to cloak his moral confusion and moral cowardice under the guise of nuance and sophistication.

Increasingly, the key difference between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party seems to be between those who believe that there exist timeless and universal standards of right and wrong and those who do not. This is not to say that voters, candidates, and activists are perfectly sorted between those parties based on that principle, but that seems to be the trend. Some political analysts have noticed a correlation between voting for Democrats and holding loose attitudes regarding sexual morality. As more and more people with strong religious convictions no longer feel at home in the Democrat Party, those who are hostile to religion and who reject moral absolutes have become dominant in that party.

Even among social liberals, you have a contingent of "9/11 Republicans" -- people who hold secularist views on sexual morality, but who are willing to apply the word evil to Islamofascist terrorism, in contrast to other social liberals who seem to fear that measuring anything, even terrorism, by an absolute moral standard will grant a foothold for absolute moral standards to be applied to sexual mores.

That latter group may have a point. In the 1960s, certain liberals were appalled at the weak-kneed, apologetic response of some of the their fellow liberals to oppressive, imperialistic Soviet Communism. Over time this core group of "neo-conservatives," which had broken with the mainstream of liberalism over foreign policy, began to question liberal orthodoxy on domestic policy. Their movement away from liberalism was accelerated by the left's hysterical response to their "apostasy" from the true liberal faith. Time will tell if today's "9/11 Republicans" become tomorrow's "neo-neo-cons".

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» Herr Kerrymeister from weaselteeth.com

Dennis Schenkel is a 2nd-year seminarian for the Diocese of Memphis, studying to become a Catholic priest at Saint Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana. Here he takes a bare-knuckles look at the moral ambiguity of John Kerry.I think some... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 19, 2004 4:07 PM.

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