Saturday’s a day where the mind gets to thinking. Today, I’ve been about religion and politics; in particular, I’ve been thinking about legislating morality. This is something the Republican platform wants to do; this is something the Democratic platform eschews. The Republican platform is driven in their position by the religious conservatives — many of them orthopractic in various ways. But assuming you do believe in Heaven and “The Other Place”, is legislating morality the way to get there? Is prohibiting abortion, gay marriage, contraception, &c the right thing to do.
I can’t speak to the Christian viewpoint. I do, however, remember a sermon at some point where the Rabbi talked about the phrase in Deut. about choosing live and death, good and evil, and pointing out that what was important was making the right choice — and in order to make the right choice, you need to have the ability to make the choice in the first place. This is also captured in the SCJ FAQ where the Jewish concept of ha-Satan is discussed:
The word satan means “challenger”, “difficulty”, or “distraction” (note that it is not a proper name). With the leading ha- to make haSatan, it refers to /the/ challenger. This describes Satan as the angel who is the embodiment of man’s challenges. HaSatan works for G-d. His job is to make choosing good over evil enough of a challenge so that it can be a meaningful choice. In other words, haSatan is an angel whose mission it is to add difficulty, challenges, and growth experiences to life. Contrast this to Christianity, which sees Satan as God’s opponent. In Jewish thought, the idea that there exists anything capable of setting itself up as God’s opponent would be considered overly polytheistic—you are setting up the devil to be a god or demigod.
Note the notion of meaningful choice. If in order to do good… in order to get into Heaven… one must make the right choice and it must be a meaningful choice, then you would think the Orthopractic would embrace legal abortion, legal same sex marriage, legal pornography, and such. By having those things legal and supported, they could then make the meaningful choice not to have an abortion and to raise a child… they could make the meaningful choice to have a traditional marriage. By making those items illegal, we would be placing man’s law above God’s law, and not exercising the ability to “do the right thing” on our own.
[Of course, not legislating morality also permits those with different beliefs to exercise their beliefs, which is also in accordance with the constitution. Legislating one particular religion’s prohibitions over those of another appears to be implicitly establishing a state religion… but of those in favor of such prohibitions fail to realize that, because it is their religion that is being implicitly established.]
Music: Diamond Girl (Seals & Crofts): Nine Houses