March 20, 2019 (American Thinker) — Each faith has its own rules for right behavior to which non-members are not bound. My Jewish friends don't care if I eat a pork chop. Whether or not non-Catholics eat a steak on Ash Wednesday or don't go to church means nothing to me. It's one of the glories of our country that we respect these differences. Tolerance and mutual respect help us live together in peace, but they constitute the seed of relativism with which every faith in our open society has to contend.
How do we understand what values are particular to our faith group and which should be universal? A chaste college freshman encountering free-love dorm life may think, “Although it is wrong for me to engage in promiscuous premarital sex, it's not against the moral code of my classmates and is therefore not wrong for them.” This perspective leads directly to rationalizing abortion on the same ground. To adopt the “personally opposed to abortion but won't oppose a woman's choice” position, by the nature of abortion, requires accepting simultaneous conflicting fundamental truths and in turn requires that no essential truth exists. If someone close to you has an abortion, it can't be murder because your loved one is not a murderer. Morally, how do you square the near universal revulsion at a mother killing her newborn baby with the large segment of society that will fight for her right to end the baby's life a week or two earlier?
By continuing to allow legal abortion, we tacitly proclaim that abortion is not wrong. If deliberately terminating an innocent baby is not wrong, then what is wrong? The answer is “nothing.” If nothing is wrong, then morality is just a construct, and no religion has any basis for claiming validity.
This nothingness is why we can't rationally discuss important issues anymore. The idea of a higher truth encourages debate. No matter how firmly we hold our convictions, if we believe there is an ideal truth that we desire to comprehend, it is possible to rationally argue, with the hope of persuading or learning from people with whom we disagree.
If we don't believe in an ultimate truth, but only our own individual truth, then such a discussion serves no purpose. It would be like arguing that green is better than purple — utterly meaningless.
There are elements of radical Islam that are truly alarming, exemplified by documented statements of adherents that they are called to kill people who do not practice Islam. Reasonable people should agree that that motivation is really bad. Yet when a murder is a direct result of that call, news reports obscure this motivation.
Try mentioning real threats from radical Islam to a “no-truth” young person, and you are met with stony silence. Among people who do not recognize an essential truth, there is no basis on which members of one faith group can find fault with or discuss the relative merits of the tenets of a different faith. From this point of view, all religion is illegitimate. We deprive ourselves of the ability to protect ourselves if we don't honestly examine and face threats.
Problematic effects extend beyond the threat from radical Islam: if deliberately killing an innocent baby is not wrong, and nothing is wrong, then the continued existence of each of us is due solely to power and chance.
Our rights are nominally enshrined in law, but court rulings demonstrate that truth and the plain language of our laws are irrelevant, and the government that is supposed to protect our constitutional rights is complicit in violating them. Just ask former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson what happens to you when you report on a topic the government wants ignored or former Vascular Solutions CEO Howard Root about when the Department of Justice decides to make up charges and criminally prosecute you.
Abandoning truth to enable the legal abortion industry has opened a Pandora's box of dangerous effects and has produced a new world of inward-looking people clinging to personal dogmas without the tools or humility to seek real wisdom.
Another teen suicide in our town this week prompts the following question. How can we reinforce the message that each teen's life matters despite how hopeless he may feel when we are also trumpeting that continuing a pregnancy is a choice? How many feel they are not wanted and have absorbed the message that if a child is not wanted, he has no intrinsic value?
Here's another bleak thought. Sometimes I want to ask a beaming new grandmother who is also fervently pro-choice, “What make this one different?” What about the babies you marched for your son and daughter to abort? Or the other women's grandchildren who existed but will not be born alive because of legal abortion? Why is it good that this one is alive but not they?
Do we want to live in a world ruled solely by power, or will we accept the essential postulate of the existence of truth so that justice can have a chance? If we don't want to live in a world run by the strongest with no respect for the least, then we must stand up for the dignity of the very least among us.
Cassandra Chambers is a pen name.
Published with permission from the American Thinker.