Wrong the Right Way and Right the Wrong Way
The thing is those questions really don’t matter to their rightness or wrongness. Neither does the question “is this against the country’s law?” or “since this disgusts us should it be illegal?” The laws stand until people start accepting wrong as okay. Since it feels right, it shouldn’t be wrong: so the law changes.
There have been times where the smartest people made the best rules and plans to do horrible things. When the wrongness of something is ignored because it feels right, that doesn’t make it right.
I hope they still teach about the Holocaust5 when you’re reading this. Or Kosovo. Or what happened in the Sudan. Or the Spanish Inquisition. These people did wrong while following their laws.
Maybe their conscience was clear that way. Doesn’t matter. They were still doing wrong.
Part of the problem is that people want to be allowed to do wrong. Even when they know what they’re doing is wrong.
It should make you wonder why that is.
Remember when you guys would get in trouble and I’d take your toy or something? The next day one of you would sneak into my room and take it back. You would maybe say to yourself “Well, Daddy didn’t tell me that I couldn’t do this today.” But you knew that what you were doing was wrong.
People are like that sometimes: they know what’s wrong but they want to allow things because today, things are different.
That’s not the only way people want to be allowed doing things. The other way is by trying to find that whatever they were doing was never disallowed anyway. In other words they’d think “we didn’t realize it until today but this was always okay.”
That one is probably easier to fall into.
It’s funny (and yet scary) when I think about it how the raging liberal and the extreme fundamentalist go to the same Bible with the same purpose of finding a verse with an explicit command.
The fundamentalist takes the command to show that there is a law that should not be broken. But then, when they don’t find a command against a sin that has come up, they stammer. The wrong thing is left without an answer.
The liberal takes the command to show that it was commanding against something else. Since there’s no command against a certain thing, there is now (they teach) freedom. The wrong thing is left as right without questions.
While I write, I think the right people went off and did wrong by emphasizing some right things the wrong way and to an unfortunate end. That’s confusing. My generation is living it out but the problem probably started a couple generations back when finally Christians started thinking about the joys of marriage then thought marriage could be (wrongly) dissected. Still confusing.
In one of my favorite stories the Grey Wizard Gandalf confronts the White Wizard who now calls himself Saruman of Many Colors. Gandalf tells him “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom6.”
Imagine a shiny glass ball that glows. You want to find out what it is so you throw it against the ground and examine all the bits. But now, the ball doesn’t glow. In fact, it’s no longer a ball.
That’s what happened to marriage.
There were no lesson plans involved. There were no preached messages. But the lesson was taught and the message preached. Romantic love, a good thing, was wrongly set up as the goal of a real marriage. Sex is good, but movies and songs praised sex apart from marriage. Things were also made that let people enjoy sex without enjoying children.
Marriage became one thing. Sex was something else. And Having Children was something else. Sex you could do with someone you love. Marriage you did when you found someone you love and could stay with. And Having Children became something you did when you were the right age.
Then people got unhappy: they didn’t have enough love, or enough sex, or too many kids, or they never got married. Then a hunt for all those rights: divorce made more sense, so did the hope of finding someone who would reflect happiness in all those broken pieces.
Christians finally ran with it. They rightly saw that they should enjoy sex as a married couple but then made sex something that had nothing to do with having children. Christians rightly saw the idea of loving one’s spouse but then hunted for the rush of emotion that was the marks of their initial love. Dissatisfaction increased. Divorce increased.
And now, you guys are seeing more of the results. Just like in my day. People just want to be happy and they think that means that everyone should have a right to do whatever they want with marriage.
And since Christians bought into it, no holds were barred.