Liberals and Democrats often complain that they are being unfairly characterized as the amoral and irreligious party, and that conservatives don’t have a lock on morality. Of course, this is true. Both parties have their own set of morals and ethics that they aspire to and try to
push use as a basis for their approach to legislation.
And while being a “moralist” is now a pejorative label (see EO’s In Defense of Moralism), both parties do want to be seen as not being in opposition to morality.
The problem with liberalism, however, is that it has lost ground in the moral arena, in both reality and public opinion, because it has (1) taken mature movements like black civil rights past the point of justice to supporting injustices like reverse discrimination, and (2) has taken their love of freedom to a point of supporting irresponsible behavior and trampling the rights of others in the name of freedom.
Going too Far
As I wrote in The Civil Rights Movements of our Times, every movement for rights has within it the seeds of extremism which can take over and end up disgracing its founders by fighting beyond the point of equal rights to special consideration over others. Black hiring quotas is only one example. The anti-masculine man-haters in the feminist movement set back male-female relationships for decades by their insistence that equal rights also meant erasing any biological or psychological distinctions in the general male and female genders.
Today, the pro-choice and pro-life movements are both making this error, pushing for their own respective either/or solutions, rather than a reasoned compromise, like that made at my pet-project-that-never-got-off-the-ground, Citizens for Responsible Abortion Limits.
Using Freedom to Trample Rights
The best example of this is abortion rights – liberals are so pro-choice, they have basically supported infanticide. They deny the unborn child’s right to live in the name of freedom for the mother. That may seem moral to them, but it seems morally repugnant to many.
Using Humanism and Tolerance to Promote Immorality
Nowhere are liberals looking more immoral than in the sexuality department. I mean, with regard to teen sex, they take what appears to be a defeatist position (“they’re gonna have sex anyway”) and therefore set low expectations regarding chastity and self-control, opting instead to not only show them how to have sex “safely”, but encouraging them to do so!
And with respect to homosexuality, to boldly try to push this questionable identity choice onto a society goes beyond equal rights – it is pushing for special consideration. This is not moral, it is extreme. Male and female is the foundation of a family unit, and of a healthy society. To push to morally validate gay marriage as a civil right is and should be viewed as wrong-headed and immoral.
How the Liberals Can Take Back the Hill of Morality
If liberals really want to be seen as moral and religious, they need to, um, line up more with the conservatives ;), and not take such extreme stands on the the issues. And BTW, extreme conservatives ought to move towards the middle a bit on these as well – conservatives may be seen as the party of morality, but their weak environmental stand is just one of their sins that need to be abandoned. OK liberals, to be seen as moral, you need to deal with these issues:
- Abortion: support the rights of the unborn, at *least* in the 3rd trimester, if not the second
- Church/State: abandon the secular fundamentalist view of “separation of church and state” and adopt a view that is religion-friendly without being religion-establishing.
- Teen Pregnancy: start giving more than lip service to teen abstinence programs and make an effort to reduce teen sexuality, not just teen pregnancy
- Gay Marriage: Sorry boys, but pushing for gay marriage is just not going to cut it with those of us who look at nature and see that such relationships may make you feel better, but they aren’t what creation intended. And BTW, if you are going to go for it anyway, you can’t exclude other loving family relationships like polygamy and polyamory without being viewed as hypocrites. Liberals should drop this cause like a hot potato, and leave it at civil unions. And don’t teach our kids that it’s OK because “it’s now the law – see, that makes it right.” Public education already has enough problems without you encouraging our kids to test out their homosexual possibilities.