Thursday, November 04, 2004

Values, Truth, and Tolerance

Without a doubt, the world of Political Commentary
is absolutely BUZZING right now over the emerging
Theme of the election: MORAL VALUES.

While "Morality" and "Values" can be dangerous political
fodder, it's GREAT to watch as people everywhere are
having discussions (some polite, some not) over the most
important considerations of human existence.

But what do these words mean? Whose "values"?
"Truth" according to whom? Why is it that the "Red"
states are quickly being cast as the "moral value" states
while the "Blue" states are being characterized by some as...
well, what?

Here is one person's commentary:

VALUES might be things like Hard Work, Equality,
Thrift, and Responsibility. Certainly the "Red" states
have no corner on these Values; but when you add
the adjective "Moral" to the word "Values", the
combination takes on a whole new twist:

Now you're talking about Values which are viewed as "Right"
or "Wrong"; so, for example, in W, you have a President
who VALUES the One-Man-One-Woman institution
of Marriage, because he believes it's RIGHT and that
any perversion of that arrangement is WRONG.

And while he may VALUE civil rights granted by some
consitutional interpretations of the Supreme Court,
his MORAL VALUE on, say, Abortion is that it is
(in nearly all cases) WRONG.

But where do assessments of "Right" and "Wrong"
come from?? And who are we to make them??

Well, it depends on what you believe; it depends on what
you have come to accept as the TRUTH.

If you believe the Bible, you will view its contents as
the TRUTH; the same can be said of the Torah, the Koran,
and any other sacred writings of your World View.

But it doesn't stop there: MUCH of what we assert to be
"TRUTH" we accept on the authority of the Source from which
we discover that Truth: Astronomers tell us the Sun is 93 million
miles from Earth; I assert this to be "True" because I accept
their authority. I could, if I chose, launch an investigation into
the facts and attempt to ascertain for myself if that is
the case, but I don't because I'm satisfied with their authority.

The "Search for Truth" is something many of us have done -- or
still do! -- with as much vigor and curiosity as we can muster,
and some of us are very open-minded to just about any serious,
plausible Viewpoints out there...

But there is an important point to make here, and it regards what
is sometimes referred to as "EXCLUSIONISM":

If you regard position "X" as being absolutely TRUE, then you,
by definition, regard it's exact opposite, say, position "Y", to be
absolutely FALSE. The human mind simply cannot hold two
diametrically-opposed positions to BOTH be true at the same time
(a room cannot be completely DARK and completely LIT at the
same time...).

Does this make you "exclusive"?? Of course not! You've arrived
at "X" because you've done your research, inquired into all the
authoritative resources you can find, granted that some of "X"
sounds a little fantastic, and yet you've still come out in the end
convinced (by Reason, by Authority, and by Eye Witness Accounts)
that "X" is TRUE and "Y" is FALSE.

A man like George W. Bush is not afraid to stand up and say
publicly that he believes ONE thing to be TRUE and another to be
FALSE. That kind of courage, applied to traditional Moral Values,
is what the Electorate saw in him this past Tuesday.

One more point:
Every single human on this planet is a sentient being whom God
loves and cherishes with all His heart. Unfortunately, most of them
will not choose to love Him in return, and will spurn His Will for them
in favor of their own. "Tolerance", for the Christian, does NOT mean
viewing Abortion or Homosexuality with anything less than God's
own righteous anger; it means demonstrating Warmth, Compassion,
and Caring to those around us who, apart from God, will NEVER
experience the Joy and Fulfillment He made them for...

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