A majority rules; A truly moral majority ensures the rights of everyone - including the minority!
by: Reverend Keith Bennett
Your thoughts on this Meditation are welcome. Please use the contact page to provide your comments for publication.
I know this subject is a little dated, but I formulated the title quote and decided to search the web for "Moral Majority" to see what I could find on it.
Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines Moral as:
- a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical
b : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior
<a moral poem>
c : conforming to a standard of right behavior
d : sanctioned
by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment <a moral obligation>
e : capable of right and wrong action <a moral agent>
- : probable though not proved : virtual <a moral certainty>
- : perceptual or psychological rather than tangible or practical in nature or effect <a moral victory> <moral support>
Nowhere in those definitions is the word "Christian" or "religion". Yet when I recently did a Google search for "Moral Majority" I found an entry in Wikipedia. I thought "How cool, someone has already thought of the same idea I had and has published it". WRONG! In fact, the first four results from the search were all related to an organization known as "The Moral Majority". I
vaguely remembered this group name from my past, but couldn't remember what it was or what it did.
Of course, I clicked the Wikipedia link and found it was for an article on the late Jerry Falwell's organization called "The Moral Majority". Really!?? An evangelical Christian organization based on morals? OK, well, there are some good moral teachings in the Christian bible, but as you can see from discussions on this site, there are also many immoral teachings in the Christian bible.
OK, let's give Jerry the benefit of the doubt. Surely this organization's goal is to teach morals to the masses, right? Wrong!! According to the article:
The Moral Majority was an organization made up of conservative Christian political action committees which campaigned on issues its personnel believed were important to maintaining its Christian conception of moral law, a conception they believed represented the opinions of the majority of Americans (hence the movement's name).
Some issues for which the Moral Majority campaigned included:
- Censorship of media outlets that promote an "anti-family" agenda
- Enforcement of a traditional vision of family life
- Opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
- Opposition to state recognition and acceptance of homosexual acts
- Outlawing abortion in all cases, even to save a woman's life
- Targeting Jews and other non-Christians for conversion to conservative Christianity
Where is the morality in that? There is nothing moral about trying to advance your own agenda especially when such an agenda disagrees with the foundation of the country in which you are trying to advance the agenda! The Bill of Rights gives us (the citizens of the USA) the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. Mr. Falwell was using both to try to eliminate them!
So why am I writing this article and bringing up old news (Falwell's Moral Majority was in existence from 1979 - 1989)?
I am writing this article primarily because I am tired of the general
population equating morality with Christianity and moral values with Christian Values. These terms are not mutually inclusive. I live in Oklahoma and often I see news reports where someone (either the newscaster or someone they are interviewing) is trying to describe how good another person is, and all too often they'll say something like "He is a Christian" or "She goes to church every Sunday". Usually these comments are to defend the person, for example "I know he couldn't have done that. He's a devout Christian" or they might be trying to understand why something bad happened to someone they knew, for instance "I can't believe they would hurt her. She was such a good Christian". Really folks, get a clue! Religion does not make you good or evil.
Sure, there are many Christians that are moral. But as history has shown us that there are many Christians that are not moral. It's likewise with other religions. And I'm sure there are Atheists and Agnostics that can be classified as both moral and immoral individuals. My point is that a moral argument is not one of religion, organization or even culture. It is an argument of action. Your morality is defined by how you act - what you do. Not what you say you are.
This is just something for you to think about when you are having
discussions about morality with your friends, family, co-workers or even in your church of choice.
In a truly moral world, a majority rules, but a truly moral majority ensures the rights of everyone - including the minority.
Part of my inspiration for this article came from an article / video linked on UCTAA's Facebook page. There was a great quote at the end of the movie by Brent Walker, Executive Director, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. He said:
I must not ask government to promote my religion if I don't want government to promote somebody else's religion. And I must not permit government to harm somebody else's religion if I don't want government to harm my religion.*
If we can just help everyone understand this simple yet very effective statement, the world would be a much better place.
* For a nice printable poster of this quotation, view this pdf.