Why so much outrage?


Does it strike you as strange to hear people express moral outrage when these same individuals forcefully reject any notion of an absolute moral order?

Evidently there is a moral order to which all rational people should subscribe and these folks get to tell everybody else what it is! They scoff at those who don’t see it their way as if only redneck imbeciles wouldn’t agree with them!

If you haven’t heard much of this tone of outrage, check in with MSNBC some evening. Listen to people like Martin Bashir, Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell. These are the real angry birds of cable news.

While I realize that this tone comes from both sides of the political aisle, it just seems especially strange for those who  profess to champion tolerance and are quite ready to ridicule any thought of an absolute moral order. 

The disdainful and condescending hate that flows from these MSNBC commentators is on one level, sheer hypocrisy, and on another, close to being dangerous. We don’t need this kind of hostile rhetoric with all the great problems we face as a nation. 

They promote such a strong “us” vs. “them” mentality that they can make no claim to promoting tolerance or pluralistic civility. I certainly hope politicians on the left will run from this spirit as fast as possible.

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Citizenship, Communication, Culture, Democracy, Democrats, Fox News, Government, Hate speech, Leadership, MSNBC, Obama, Partisanship, Political Correctness, Politics, Progressive?, Rachel Maddow, Tolerance. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Why so much outrage?

  1. Isn’t Martin Bashir a Christian? I saw an interview where he said he attends Redeemer NYC (Timothy Keller’s church).

    • I believe you’re right about attending Keller’s Church. Bashir is certainly the most civil of the group but lately I’ve been troubled by his tone.

      • Yeah, he fascinates me. I remember watching him cover Michael Jackson years ago. He pretty much schooled Rob Bell on amending the gospel and his post-modern ideas. I’m just wondering if he would indeed embrace an absolute moral order.
        I agree with you about the tone- I also wonder how much, if any, tone is showmanship and/or cultural.
        Great ideas all around. Thanks!

  2. Keith says:

    Rejection of an absolute moral order doesn’t imply morality or ethics suddenly become impossible or unreasonable.

    Is there an “absolute” idea of beauty? No, but we have beauty contests, none-the-less.

    • But it certainly makes the outrage odd and a bit troublesome. Odd, because it violates the essence of moral relativism; troublesome, because making personal preference coercive raises many concerns.

      • Keith says:

        You say “troublesome, because making personal preference coercive raises many concerns”.

        I agree, it sure does.

        But, when Christians legislate gay marriage or abortion, aren’t they attempting to make their personal preferences coercive?

        That’s not bad or good, it’s what we all do, shared rules are literally part of the definition of the word “society”, and absent rules imposed from outside the society, we are all attempting to make our personal preferences coercive, ranging from the definition of marriage to frowning when someone butts in line at the movie theater.

        But for a Christian to argue the other side is attempting to make personal preference coercive is hugely ironic.

        I live in a country where the holidays are all Christian and business are closed by law on Sundays; where Christian prayers are offered before school board meetings, sporting events and political inaugurations; where schools hang pictures of Jesus, invite pastors to evangelize in the classroom and hand out Bibles to students; where gays have limited civil rights; where pharmacists refuse to dispense legal medications; where an Oklahoma judge sentences a juvenile to attend church…

        I’ll stop, but a review of the litigation files of either the American Center for Law and Justice or the Freedom From Religion Foundation will present you a long list of places where Christianity is coercive in our society.

        As I said before, Christians are so utterly privileged in this country you don’t even see how privileged you are.

    • We certainly have absolute ideas of beauty. And most come to agreement on these ideals. And those that don’t, often will, when they seek at a deeper level.

  3. Keith says:

    You say “odd”. I genuinely don’t understand why it would be “odd”, unless you’re arguing moral relativism implies belief that all possible actions have equal standing, and I believe that’s incorrect.

    Moral relativism may imply all actions are equally “valid”, but doesn’t imply all actions will have equivalent benefit: we all decide what’s good or bad based on our values, and the farther one gets from “good”, the less tolerance we have for it. Most people are outraged by murder, less concerned with speeding, even less concerned with littering.

    When people argue god defines absolute morality, they ignore the fact that God is silent on most possible moral choices and ambiguous or wrong on many others.

    God’s silence: consider “The Trolley Problem” (A trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by dropping a heavy weight in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?) God doesn’t help us here, other than in very general terms.

    The fact that Bible-believing Christians differ so markedly on topics such as abortion, gay rights, or capital punishment alone proves God is either silent or at least unclear on many moral issues.

    The Catholic position that a pregnancy which threatens the life of the mother can only be medically addressed by a procedure that does not directly (key word “directly”) attack the baby’s life is complex moral reasoning: it’s OK if the baby dies, and it may be unavoidable and expected the baby will die, but it’s only abortion if the medical procedure itself is intended to kill the baby. Show me the Bible verse on which this moral reasoning is based, and then we can discuss Christianity’s access to “absolute morality”.

    God comanding immoral actions: it takes a lot of work to argue God is against slavery, rape or mass murder of non-Christians, or many other acts we consider not only morally wrong but outrageously morally wrong. God clearly stated these acts were not morally wrong for the Israelites of Moses’ time. Has God’s view on rape changed since the Old Testament was written? How can something so obviously morally wrong for us have been morally OK for the Israelites of Moses’ time?

    In short, Christians are in the exact same boat as non-Christians, making the exact same choices based on the exact same “inner voice”.

  4. Your analysis proves my original point. Not only do you insist upon a morality that others (at least reasonable souls) should follow, but you profess to understand what the God of the bible commends and then sit in judgment over God. You seem to have a grid through which you hold God accountable and we should all recognize it as superior. Yet all of this is merely based in preferences with no binding authority outside of what you think. Strange kind of conversation. But really strange when it involves outrage! Why should you ascribe any kind of moral measurement for or against the mere opinions of others?

  5. andydbrown says:

    “The real angry birds of cable news”… 🙂 They always try to paint conservative Christians as the angry ones. You hit the nail on the head with this one, Pastor!

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