In the Arena

Morality?

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Peter Wehner, former White House propagandist and now a fellow at the “Ethics and Public Policy Center” is worried that the long-term impact of the Larry Craig affair will be to

“make those who are perceived as holding ‘moralistic’ views more hesitant to speak out on moral matters. “

Well, I certainly hope so–especially those who consider homosexuality a matter of “morality” rather than a matter of nature. If Wehner is arguing that Craig’s behavior was immoral because he is married, that’s one thing (and, in fairness, Wehner cites both Republican and Democratic cases of heterosexual infidelity). But I suspect that he also thinks homosexuality is immoral. Take this paragraph:

Some people see hypocrisy and get upset because people are not living up to moral standards they champion. Others see hypocrisy and get angry because the people who are hypocrites are advocating moral standards. The difference is huge. One cast of mind says that so long as you’re not publicly arguing for a set of moral values, then it’s more acceptable to cross lines and do what you want.

But there’s a third possibility: Some people get angry at Craig’s–and a long list of theofoolish sexual demagogues’–hypocrisy because they don’t consider consensual adult homosexuality a matter of morality at all. Some people are infuriated at people like Craig etc. because they promote the social stigma that forces closeted gay men to find sexual solace in secret, shame-ridden places like public restrooms. Some people are angry enough to actually celebrate Craig’s outing because of the untold pain and suffering that people like Craig have caused.

So, the question comes: What would Jesus do about all this? Well, Dr. J had plenty to say about infidelity. Nothing to say about homosexuality. Sadly–as Wehner himself has written in the past–Christianity has strayed far from the original Good News, which posits love above all else. The fierce, shaming absence of love amongst those who hold “moralistic” views should be seen as a theological scandal. Sadly, it is what passes for righteousness among the ignorant.

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