Sunday, April 09, 2006

Some Moral Equivalency for Your Sunday Sermon

My wife and I are members of the Presbyterian Church. For quite awhile now, I have known that on a national level, the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) is pretty leftist; just look at their recent decision to divest themselves of anything having to to with Israel. But I wondered if that leftism trickled down to my local church. During this morning's sermon by our lead pastor, I got a hint at an answer.

The theme of this morning's sermon was "A World Gone Mad". On this Palm Sunday, our pastor gave examples of how our world has gone mad in our time, and then told of how the world had gone mad during the days of Imperial Rome. In his list of examples of our modern world gone mad, he named the recent senseless murders of a woman in Roseville and two men in Elk Grove. Then, he got down to business. First, he named the Iraq War - fair enough I guess; war is often madness, even if you're one of the good guys. But this next one threw me for a loop. Our pastor said (and I'm paraphrasing),

"People danced in the streets all over the world when the Berlin Wall was torn down. Now, two decades later, we are seeing more walls erected, such as along our border with Mexico, or in Israel."

Do you see what our pastor did here? He equated the Berlin Wall - a wall designed to keep goodness in by preventing the escape of millions of people from a horrible communist prison called Eastern Europe - to two other walls that are meant to keep evil out. Our wall (and fences) that we wish to build along our border with Mexico is meant to protect the security of our borders - both from those who wish to come here uninvited, and from those who wish to come to our country to do us harm. The wall that has been proposed in Israel is to protect that country from Islamic Palestinian terrorists who walk into Israel on a regular basis and blow themselves up on crowded buses and restaurants in the hopes of taking a lot of innocent Israelis with them.
For our pastor to stand up there and say that Israel and the United States are no better than East Germany and the Soviet Union because they all want to build, or have built walls on their border is ludicrous and irresponsible.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from William F. Buckley when he described moral equivalency. He said,
"'Moral Equivalency' is saying that pushing an old lady out of the path of an oncoming bus is just as bad as pushing an old lady into the path of an oncoming bus, because either way, you are pushing old ladies around."

Good Day to You, Sir


Anonymous said...

The danger of moral equivalency is that it paralyzes one from acting. No matter what you do, there is always someone for whom the act will not be beneficial. If Jesus had not espoused a better religion and worked for its spread throughout His world, we would still be worshipping Zeus. If I do not lock my front door and set my alarm when I leave the house, some burglar will be terribly unhappy at the opportunity he no longer has for coming into my "country" and helping himself to whatever he wants. Sometimes people need "walls."

Darren said...

Do you have enough of a relationship with him to address the topic one on one?

Chanman said...

Not really - I mean, we know each other, but we don't KNOW each other. I would feel very uncomfortable meeting with him and talking about it. I know that ultimately, I should. It's quite a moral quandry: Stay mute and keep the peace, or speak up and put myself out there.