Friday, April 9, 2010

Morality and America

I have concern over our nation's recent division over "cultural issues" of morality. Our country seems to be conflicted over our ideological identity. And identity defines how we understand ourselves, so identity is an important aspect of culture.

Morality is considered by some as behavior, judgments and sentiments. Some believe that morality is intuitive, through cultural conditioning. Others believe in a more rational view of morality. It seems that because our country is so diverse, America has come to a crisis of identity. This can be useful or damaging to our ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Awhile ago, I listened to a former KGB agent talk about the process that the USSR taught them in over-taking another country. There were four stages. The third was "crisis" and this is where America finds itself. What is to happen? Will we be overcome by an "authoritarian regime' , whether religious or secular, so that order can be restored? I hope not, otherwise, we will have no more liberty, because others will decide what was of private and personal conviction and commitment.

I hope for the Founding Fathers, and life in the future for all Americans, that the lines will not be drawn and driven on ideological religious or material grounds. We will certainly have disagreements and that is healthy, as long as we can listen to the other side, without obssession. I hope we will attempt to be honest that our nation is not a uniform, and ideologically driven nation.

Our nation has been pragmatic in its approach to bringing unity from diversity. And the Founders used religious language to formulate some of our country's documents. But, others have been based on such things as natural rights, and natural law, which was the scientific view of that day. Both religious liberty AND moral order, which was understood to be the "order of the universe" were what brought about our liberty and underwrote our understanding of justice.

We need to be honest that our nation was not founded as an evangelical nation, but a secular State, which allowed for diverse views about and toward religious traditions. It is a liberal democracy or a Constitutional Republic. Both are needed to affirm and balance the other, so that our nation can remain free, and open. We do not want to limit others liberty because of our own conviction or understanding of 'life".

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