the ethical upper hand


I recently turned down a speaking engagement simply on the CHANCE that there would be men in the audience.

Is there a simple and pure moral and ethical code that humans can live by?  Of course not!  Societies are in a constant state of development and change so it’s impossible, yes totally impossible, to write rules that cover every cultural and technological eventuality.  That’s why the Bible doesn’t mention if atomic energy is acceptable or if genetically engineering crops is a good idea.  Jesus had no opinion on whether salsa dancing is an appropriate art form or if the internet is a burgeoning hub of evil.

Historically, Christianity has been used to the warm glow of the ethical upper hand.  Love your neighbour as yourself.  Yet he who is without sin cast the first stone.  Blessed are the meek..  Do not kill.  Do not steal.  In societies of yore where homosexuals were already scorned and slaves were an everyday part of life, it was easy to keep the less palatable aspects mixed in with the ‘nice’ stuff.

These days, however, they’re a bit on the back foot and, from some chats I’ve had with other bloggers, sliding further backwards at an alarming rate.  Apparently, many Christians nowadays do believe that women should be silent in their churches.  Need we even mention their contention that homosexuals need to pray better to their deity to get over their ‘sinful condition’.  I seriously think if these people were offered slaves, the support they receive in the Bible for this course of action would be enough for them to go for it.

The Christians more focused on the common sense aspect of real ethical and moral considerations that relate to current society are in a bit of a pickle.  They’ve accepted that women are equal, scraping up a few Bible passages to try and justify this, but know, on the whole, their holy book does not actually give this message. And they’re lost about what to make of the permanent committed homosexual relationships of their fellow Christians.

If all Christians could just manage to focus on their core belief (their deity is nice and it wants its creation to be nice  to each other) and take the rest with a pinch of salt (which they manage to do when they’re tucking into a bacon sandwich!), then I could happily leave them to it.  But while far too many of their faith are spreading unethical and culturally out of touch nonsense based on the opinions of a few men in a very distant society, I really feel I should at least comment.