Saturday, August 20, 2011

Principled Opposition and the Dictatorship of Relativism: Ellen Meade says opposition to gay marriage is "unAmerican"

Ellen Meade recently wrote an article for the American Thinker entitled: Why the Right is Wrong on Gay Marriage. Her caviler “there are bigger fish to fry” approach to same-sex marriage is a growing phenomenon among conservatives, libertarians and Republicans. She said, “It saddens me that Republicans think it's okay to trample on civil liberties if it's for the right reasons: gay marriage, FISA, The Patriot Act.” Then she goes on to say, “But, there should be no room in the party for limiting liberty and freedom.” That’s right! Implied in Meade’s comments is that liberty and freedom are absolutes and ends in themselves. It doesn’t matter what you do with such liberty and freedom, as long as you are permitted to do what you want. As such, moral principles are totally arbitrary. If Meade gets her way, two things are bound to emerge with greater force: political despotism and social intolerance.

“Part of being an American,” Meade continues, “is being free to believe what you want, acknowledging that right in others, and being treated equally under the law. Opposition to gay marriage flies in the face of that.” This radical equality pushed by so many political operatives and media personalities is what Alexis de Tocqueville warned us over a hundred years ago in his book, Democracy in America. He cautioned that equality indiscriminately pushed to an extreme is but the precursor of despotism. If equality is an absolute then the nature of merit, moral values, and religions have to be neutralized! As such, achievers and non-achievers, the sacred and the profane, criminals and the law-abiding, men and women, parents and children, heterosexual and homosexual all must be reduced to one dead level.

But once society travels down this road, without any kind of spiritual, moral and social hierarchy, one thing stands supreme above the multitude: and that one thing is always the State! When people can no longer rely on each other with their different gifts, possessions and rank in society, they are forced, over time, to rely on big government for aid and protection. After all, if everyone is the same- existing on the same level with the same characteristics -then no one is in the position to help his neighbor. The only helping hand which will stand out above the rest is the State. As a “libertarian-leaning Republican,” as Meade styles herself, this unintended consequence flies in the face of what she claims to stand for, namely, limited government.

There is yet another irony to Ellen Meade’s call for tolerance. Unconditional tolerance, a tolerance without any objective moral reference, inevitably leads to an indiscriminate intolerance; an overbearing one! As Judge Robert Bork cleverly put it, “Non-judgmentalism leads to judmentalism.” Indeed, the greatest threat to those who call for tolerance at any price (regardless of morality) is a belief that certain behaviors and values are immoral. After all, with the recognition of an objective, God-given moral law there naturally follows a response by the believer which involves some form of intolerance; whether it be hatred of sin or a renunciation of evil. This is something that Christ bids every Christian to do. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.”

In June of 2005, just before being elected pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke of the irony of unconditional tolerance; better known as relativism. In his “Dictatorship of Relativism” speech, he said, “We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” But for anyone who does recognize anything as for certain…well…they are deemed by the likes of Ellen Meade to be enemies of liberty and freedom. Pope Benedict XVI, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, went on to say that “Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism.”

Shortly afterwards, Cardinal George Pell commented on the “Dictatorship of Relativism” in a speech given to The National Press Club of Australia. He said, “Relativism is meant to serve as the operational principle that delivers tolerance, mutual respect, and a basis for civic peace, in contrast to the way religion causes war and dissension. Those who defend secularism and relativism continue to offer this rationale, but secularism and relativism can be dictatorial, intolerant of principled opposition …”

Here I caution Christians: This secular relativism, dictatorial and intolerant of principled opposition, is coming to you from all sides: from Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals and libertarians. Catholic Charities in Illinois is now feeling the heat of this intolerance. One of the largest adoption agencies and foster care providers is not being shut down by the dictatorship of relativism, courtesy of the State of Illinois. It is reported that 2200 children will now be transferred to other social welfare agencies. Never mind the quality of service it has provided for thousands of children. That doesn’t matter. All that matters is that opposition to the gay-rights agenda be silenced and put out of commission.

The injustice done to Catholic Charities in Illinois is a fine example of how social intolerance led to a kind of political despotism. If fact, this movement of intolerance is to be pushed back, the New Evangelization in America has to call the gay-rights movement for what it is.

Finally, this leads me to a question I have for Ellen Meade: Are you offended that Catholic Charities, who stands opposed to same-sex marriage, is not being treated equally under the law to those social welfare agencies who do adopt to same-sex couples? Does equality under the law apply to those who oppose same-sex marriage? For many gay-rights advocates it does not! This is but one glaring inconsistency of the "Dictatorship of Relativism" so aptly described by Pope Benedict XVI. But there are many more.