Let’s Help the Strange New Morality Fail

We who believe in affirming civilization’s basic building blocks — for instance, the Ten Commandments — sometimes feel like we’re losing, bigtime.  The new morality, after all, undermines them: Thou Shalt Go Ahead and Kill the Unborn and Elderly; Thou Shalt Redefine Adultery as Thou Wish; Thou Shalt Dishonor Thy God With Thy H.R. Budget.

So it’s good to read an article like Victor Davis Hanson’s “Postmodern Prudes” and realize that we are not being bested after all. He catalogs some of the strange contradictions of modern morality. Here is my paraphrase of some of Hanson’s examples:

  • Smoking marijuana — good. Smoking cigarettes — bad.
  • Pornography in college classrooms — good. Calling a woman “honey” — bad.
  • Morning-after pill on-demand for girls under 16 — good. Sex with girls under 16 — bad; illegal bad.
  • Near-nude women gyrating on stage — entertainment. Calling them “hussies” — offensive.
  • Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal — a career-changer. Carrie Prejean’s “I’m for traditional marriage” scandal — a career-ender.
  • Michael Vick’s dog-killing — big news. Kermit Gosnell’s baby-killing — not news.

It made me think of some others.

  • Going hunting — bad. Going to watch gun violence set to music on a giant screen — good.
  • Plastic bottles that hurt the environment — bad. Contraceptives that hurt the environment —good (read Simcha Fisher on that, by the way).
  • Excessive plastic surgery to make a woman into the woman she wants to be — bad. Excessive plastic surgery to make a man into the woman he wants to be — good.
  • Not having a car-seat at the hospital for your newborn — bad; illegal bad. Killing your not-yet-born at the hospital — freedom of choice.
  • Religious people promoting chastity in an age of rampant venereal disease — dangerously repressive. Secular people promoting promiscuity in an age of rampant venereal disease — sexy fun!

And of course …

  • Military interventionism before 2008 — bad. Military interventionism after 2008 — good.

Anyway, you get the drift. Hanson draws his own conclusions from this new morality. But I draw an additional conclusion: This can’t last. An ideology is something to take seriously: An uncompromising worldview that pulls beliefs and actions into its orbit with inexorable force. Environmentalism. Pacifism. Feminism.

But the new morality is only environmentalist until it wants to drive a car; it is only concerned about water pollution until hormonal contraceptives are the pollutant.

The new morality is for peace and domestic civil liberties only when they are threatened by a Texan.

The new morality is feminist except when it comes to pornographers and Beyonce.

The truth is, there is no new morality … just a collection of untethered beliefs “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,” to quote Ratzinger quoting Ephesians on the way to decrying “the dictatorship of relativism.”

The problem with such a morality is that it is very vulnerable: Like a teen-ager, the new morality rushes to affirm whatever happens to be “cool” at the moment. It can easily be hijacked and used for evil by a popular figure.

Its vulnerability is also an opportunity. I can think of literally dozens of people who I personally know who shook their heads at the absurdity of it all and left the new morality behind for firmer ground.

Let us help more people do so.

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7 thoughts on “Let’s Help the Strange New Morality Fail

  1. Lois McKinnon says:

    This is a good article. But can someone tell me who is the Texan threatening domestic civil liberties, and why was Beyonce mentioned?

    1. Tom Hoopes says:

      The Texan was George W. Bush — Obama gets a pass for the same policies. Beyonce was mentioned because she danced half naked at the Super Bowl. My family changed the channel.

  2. mominvermont says:

    Saving puppies–good. Saving babies–bad; right-wing extremist bad.
    Tolerance–good. Tolerating the Catholic stance on marriage (or contraception or abortion)–bad; very bad.

    1. JackB says:

      By your tone you are in the wrong arena. The reason the Catholic Church is having so many problems getting their message clear is very few really knows their position.

      First of all the “new morality” is not new! Catholics have for minelania had issues with the hierarchy. Especially around the middle ages with tyrannical Pope Leo I.

      Their past haunts them. Take the martyred Christopher Columbus who’s conquistadors raped and murdered the Taino Indians of Hispaniola. Do you ever hear their take on this atrocity? Yet, the Knights, of which my brother is a fourth degree, continue their march.

      Acknowledgement is a word not found in the Catholic Bible. That is very evident with the pedophile priest disgrace of the last decade and beyond.

  3. Mike M says:

    The flip side, of course, is that it shows that the majority have given up on reason. That takes discussion off the table as a political tool. We have only whims and naked force.

  4. Laura says:

    Great post! I think one of the most important things we can do to help those that are searching is to cultivate joy in our own lives. By reflecting the beauty of Christ, we can point others to the Truth.

    1. Helen says:

      This is really sick and we need many prayers to ask God for society to change and return to Christianity and have love of babies. It is so sad that those who do not appreciate and understand or care about human life are so shallow in their thinking and in their lives.. I must say though that to use George W Bush name when that is not so is as sinful.Certainly he is not behind this. behind this. I happen to be a conservative and have no patience with liberal socialist as they cannot see the forest for the trees…. Remember it was that party that 75% + denied God. It was a rather embarrassing moment for those on stage at the Democratic convention and even after three votes calling for those who believe in God or Atheism. Atheism actually won but the people on stage were too embarrassed to acknowledge it said the vote was for God. America will have no peace until we begin to live as God deservently expects us to. We have become a Nation where all we care about is our own selfish values, hatefulness, total self indulgence at any cost, no moral decency by many. God please help us. We have a lot of suffering ahead of us and we well deserve it.

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