What is the Most Important Question for Christians, Catholics and Society?
ProLifeCorner.com- by Important Question for Christians–
Most of the people who will read this are Christians and Catholics, but I do invite any others to follow along including non-Christians, our Jewish friends and even atheists. While I will start in a Christian context, much of what I have to offer will be secular and often simply logical.
That important question goes something like this: Should we always judge our actions and decisions as good or evil, or can we set aside good and evil as well as right and wrong in actions and decisions of our choice? This important question should be asked of our pastors, priests, confessors, bishops and particularly our elected officials. Let me know if you get an answer. My guess is that most will decline to answer for fear of offending some individual or some group. Their failure to answer gives you a pretty good idea of why our society is in trouble and has lost direction.
A great place to start with good and evil is at the top level. God sent His Son to suffer and die to atone for our sins. This tells us two things. The first is simple – that good and evil not only exist but are of prime importance. The second is a little more sobering – that some atonement is required for doing evil.
Jesus Christ gave us two rules to live by; love of God and love of neighbor. We love God when we judge our actions and decisions as to whether they are good or evil. We are Christians and followers of Jesus Christ when we define “good” as what is best for other people and society and not what we want. I note that the traditional dictionary definition of a “Christian” is someone who puts others first and is concerned for others.
How does loving God and being a Christian define our behavior? All of this is very simple. When faced with a decision that could impact other people and society we have two choices. We can be unselfish and do what is best for others and society. Or, we can be selfish, pro-choice and accept moral relativism and do what we want regardless of whom we harm. It is relatively simple to figure out which of these is (or should be) the Christian position.
The problem is that very few people who call themselves Christians actually do this. Instead of judging their actions and decisions as good or evil, they set good and evil aside where it is convenient for them. Confessionals in Catholic churches are empty because people ignore good and evil. Even our religious leaders are guilty. When is the last time you heard a fire and brimstone homily about the evils of divorce and single parenting?
The liberals have said that good and evil no longer exist for abortion, euthanasia, marriage and the family wage. Are they right or wrong?
As promised at the start, I will move from the realm of religion to the realm of reality and logic but my message is not going to change to any degree.
Society as a Team
Many of us who have done research into the decades of reports and statistics surrounding social problems are amazed. Those reports and statistics echo and endorse the love of neighbor admonishment of Jesus Christ. Is there some divine intervention here? Most likely, but the real reason is that Christ knew what many of us fail to understand.
Our society works much like a team. When we work together for common goals, we all come out ahead. When we are selfish and do what we want instead of what is best for others, we create problems. When we are selfish, pro-choice or adopt moral relativism, then we are not working together, are not working for common goals, and society suffers.
The bottom line, at least in regard to Christianity, is that there is precious little difference between church and state. I might even mention that this same admonishment was offered years earlier by a Chinese guy named Confucius. He is often quoted as saying: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Working together for common goals is not a new idea nor is it so much religion as it is reality and logic. One could take the position that the tenets of Christianity, at least in regard to the admonishments of Jesus Christ, reflect reality and logic.
If you disagree with me, let’s have a discussion. I will take the position that we all come out ahead when we work together and do what is best for other people and society. You can take the position that we all come out ahead when we are selfish and do what we want.
Interconnected Social Problems
Our social problems and many of our other actions and decisions, including ideal family size and how we vote, are interconnected by our setting aside good and evil while accepting selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism. Again, this is pure reality and logic. Someone who sets aside good and evil with one action or decision is statistically more likely to set good and evil aside in other actions and decisions. Again, this is not rocket science but simple reality and logic.
This can be described several ways. It could be a degree of selfishness, the pro-choice attitude, and moral relativism or the propensity to set aside good and evil in more and more actions and decisions. It can be shown with individuals as well as geographic groups like cities and states. It can be illustrated as a line extending from right to the left. The people on the far right are concerned about telling a white lie while the people on the far left will murder without a conscience. Most of us are somewhere in between. As people and groups move from right to left their ideal family size become smaller, they are less likely to be married and more likely to vote for liberal candidates and liberal issues.
The statistics are all over the place if you want to take the time to look for them. In our two recent Presidential elections the states with the highest fertility rates voted for the conservative candidate while the states with the lowest fertility rates voted for the liberal candidate. Women who are pro-choice on marriage statistically are pro-choice on abortion. Something like 80 percent of women seeking an abortion are not married. Kids brought up in a household without a father are more likely to get in trouble with the law.
Our attitudes impact our decisions and actions to a greater extent than you would expect and even include the pets in our household. Researcher Philip Longman pointed out that in progressive Seattle there are nearly 45 percent more dogs than kids while in conservative Salt Lake City there are nearly 19 percent more kids than dogs. This obvious difference is not due to any shortage of canine breeders in Utah but is based on local fertility levels that, in turn, are based on average ideal family size in both cities.
Utah, where something like two-third of the residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has the highest fertility rate in the United States and is very high in average church attendance.
I beg to point out that those who have done the research will tell you that marriage is magical because it has such a positive impact on many of our social problems. Research shows that traditional marriage is a basic building block of society where mothers, fathers and their children cooperate for the common good of the family. The “strength in numbers” of marriage makes married people statistically less likely to commit crimes, less likely to be the victim of crimes, less likely to be homeless, less likely to live in poverty and even more likely to be healthy in most cases. This again shows the logic that we come out ahead by working with each other.
One of the more fascinating aspects of this situation is that the people who do want to set aside good and evil in their choice of certain actions and decisions do not believe in equality. Our country was founded on the belief that all of us were created equal. But we are no longer equal if good and evil only applies to some people but not to all people. Are they somehow more equal than others?
How can good and evil apply to some people but not to all people? How can good and evil apply in some places but not in all places? How can good and evil apply to some actions and decisions but not all actions and decisions?
Once again, I invite you to have a discussion if you disagree with me. I will take the position that since we are equal, good and evil should apply equally to all of us and to all of our actions and decisions. You can take the position that we are not equal and that some of us should be allowed to set aside good and evil where we want while others should not.
Judging Our Actions
Should we always judge our actions and decisions as good or evil, or can we set aside good and evil as well as right and wrong in actions and decisions of our choice? While Jesus Christ gave us the answer to this question, modern computer-generated reports and statistics have shown that this is not so much a religion as it is the reality and logic of how our society works best. The big question is whether we understand, whether our religious leaders understand and whether our political leaders understand.
Ask your religious and political leaders whether we should judge all of our actions and decisions as good or evil. If they do not give you an answer, then you know our society is in trouble.
Editors Note: Larry Plachno is a successful businessman, publisher, author, and composer of an incalculable number of articles relating to family, life issues and associated problems and solutions. This barely scratches the surface of what Larry really is. His love of God, family and country is inspiring.
For years now Larry has shared his writings with us here at the ProLifeCorner and we are truly humbled by his generosity.
Larry is also an ardent blogger and is a prolific writer. You can follow his work at:www.unselfish.org