I guess we live in a day when ethics and morality are discussed in 140 character snippets. Fitting, for the level of dialogue.
I should not be shocked that those who think that man is nothing more than the random chance accident of cosmic forces, the result of atoms bouncing off one another in a cosmic soup of chaos, do not exhibit a deep interest in transcendent meaning or life-guiding morality. If you are not created, you are your own creator; if you are your own creator, you get to decide what is right, what is wrong, what has meaning, what does not. Who cares about those who came before you? They were not as technologically advanced as you anyway, right? Can anyone who lived their lives without even touching an iPad really have any insight into life?
It is interesting to contrast the above words from the current President of the United States with a little snippet found in the front cover of New Testaments that (gasp!) the US Gov’t used to issue to soldiers in World War II. I first heard these words when my fellow elder read from the New Testament he received when his father, a WWII vet, died. Then I saw them again, briefly, in the hands of EB Sledge in the mini-series The Pacific. So I looked them up on line. Here’s what was printed in each New Testament:
The White House
January 25, 1941
To the Armed Forces:
As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest inspirations of the human soul.
Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Of course, we learned from Anthony Kennedy this past week that FDR—and all American Presidents before BO—were animated by animus, prejudice, and bigotry, like all Americans were until about ten years ago, so I guess we can pretty well dismiss anything any of them said, but it is still an interesting contrast.
In any case, when I saw the President’s tweet I had to laugh. It is so laughably absurd, so morally childish, so enthusiastically shallow. And yet so “now,” so reflective of the current culture of the United States, and in particular, of the generation of our youth.
You know, I was once madly in love with Wendy. I can still see her face. But we lived in bigoted times. Discrimination was everywhere. You were simply not allowed to marry the one you loved. Besides, we were in fourth grade.
I am sorta glad no one really believes what the President tweeted. We don’t think kids should get married. But then again—why not? I mean, if a 6 year old can decide he is a girl, not a boy (his parents said he decided that when he was 18 months old—yeah, right–was that during a diaper change?), as the “law” decided up in Colorado last week (anything coming out of the Colorado legal system is now tainted by a strange odor that makes its judgment just a tad bit suspect), why couldn’t I marry Wendy? If 6 year old is mature enough to decide that his biological gender isn’t his “real” gender, then surely that same 6 year old can decide to marry, right? So I should have been able to marry Wendy, since I was like almost 10! Of course, if that boy in Colorado wanted to marry another boy, maybe there would be a movement to allow it? I mean, marriage equality, right? No H8, right?
In a few years marriage will be a relic, an item for the history books. Well, forgive me, I am an older fellow now, and I keep using language in the old ways, the Before Obama ways. Bitte vergib mir! I have not been able to adopt New Speak yet. Marriage used to have a specific meaning to it. The West has been chipping away at that meaning for a very long time, to be sure. But being the bigoted, animus-animated Christian that I am, I insist upon letting a transcendent authority define it for me—that being the sole human being who died and rose again, having prophesied those events, Jesus of Nazareth. He taught that marriage is a God-ordained institution, a covenant involving a man, who is the husband, and a woman, who is the wife. As people used to understand, terms have meanings in contexts, in word groups. Marriage, husband, wife, to marry, etc., all, together, communicated a single meaning. To be a husband had a meaning. To be a wife had a meaning. And that’s what I mean when I say marriage—the real meaning of the word, the only meaning that has lasting value, the only meaning that counts—will be a relic in our society in a few years. Because an association of people—whether that is a woman and a woman, a man and a man, a man and two women, two women and one man, a man and a boy, a woman and a girl, a man and a dog, a woman and a horse, two men and a chimpanzee—whatever combinations the twisted heart of humanity can envision—is not, cannot be, will never be, a marriage. All the benighted judges in the world cannot force those groupings into the meaning of the word marriage, but, since they are obviously bound and determined to do so, what passes for “marriage” in our culture will be a sham, a worthless, shallow substitute. Real marriage will be a relic.
But, of course, relics can have great value. And amongst those who refuse to cower before the faux morality of the rabble who scream “shame!” and “bigot!” at the followers of light, marriage will always exist, because when one has been freed from slavery to darkness, the light shines upon God’s highest callings on our lives. True Christian men will desire to be husbands, men, created by God to be MEN. True Christian women will desire to be wives, women, created by God to be WOMEN. They will not give heed to the perversity of the world, but will find far greater value in God’s approbation of their lives than in the mocking derision of the secularists. They will marry, they will honor marriage, they will find God’s blessings in the midst of the rubble created by the self-destructive course of Western culture under God’s judgment.
I realize I have not been fair here. I used more than 140 characters. As Doug Wilson said to a particularly annoying homosexual zealot recently, who could not bear the burden of trying to think through multiple sentences in a row, “I often have thoughts that require more than one sentence to express.” But the reality is the worldview expressed by Barack Obama is best limited to 140 characters. Beyond that, it is truly out of its depth anyway. It progresses through promulgating its own shallowness in the minds of its adherents. And in responding I have not only demanded a few moments of concentration (look! shiny object! ad in right column! MUST CLICK LINK), but I have refused to bow down to the almighty authority of “the most recent polls.” I know what the polls say. I expect the polls to reflect the opinions of a secular culture that hates what is good and loves its own sin and rebellion. I expect pagans to think and act like pagans. I just refuse to adopt the idea that they get to determine the grounds of dialogue. I refuse to drop down to that level. I know what marriage is. So do they, since they are made in the image of God. In their foolishness they have allowed themselves to be deceived, to be robbed of the life-giving, humanity-enriching institution of natural, ordained, covenant marriage. Most don’t seem to miss it. Yet.