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Rock-Solid Living In A Quicksand World
Rock-Solid Relating: A Simple Stepping-Stone
So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets
Shortly after prayer and Bible reading were taken out of our schools in the early 1960s, a quicksand-like vacuum began forming. More and more, the philosophy of freedom from religion began to take over our country. This philosophy began to replace freedom of religion. Then an intentional movement to require churches to stay within their four walls ensued. Colleges and universities packed their schools with professors who accepted the newer, more relativistic, philosophy. They espoused tolerance of the viewpoints of others, but they kept conservative thinkers out almost exclusively.
For a time, the church would not stand up to the secular humanist agenda. Some of the church leaders were clearly secular in their thinking as well. Very few, if any, stood up to the onslaught of this “new morality”; therefore, with good people doing nothing, these “tradition phobic” new moralists gradually began to influence much of the young people’s thinking. It’s only been in the last few years that anyone has stood up to secular humanists. Standing up to them has come at the price of being labeled a “hater,” a “homophobe,” a “bigot,” or some other derogatory name, as they imply that only the secular really cherish diversity. If this is true, then why do they do all the name-calling when an idea or issue is being discussed—especially if the idea is different from their own?
Therefore, biblically based Judeo-Christian philosophies of relating (values upon which our nation was based) began to wane in importance. One of the rock-solid values that served our culture well is found in Matthew 7:12. All my life, I was taught this Golden Rule. In fact, this would often be a rule that was posted on the wall at school: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I’ve been to public schools where all kinds of nice thoughts and rules for relating are posted, especially in elementary schools. Yet I suspect the Golden Rule is not quoted there as often as it had been.
Something has begun to replace the Golden Rule. We call it “political correctness” or “being PC.” Political correctness seems to allow other people to determine for us what is right or what is wrong. Some elites in some place spin—from their ivory tower—Biblephobic, so-called appropriate ways of speaking about other people. I am unsure who anointed these dictators of morality. I really don’t know who gave them the right to be in charge of legislating or codifying morality. They simply seem authorized to decide that someone is offended, and from their spin pinnacle, they target offenders. Usually their bull’s-eyes are focused on the people who hold what we now call traditional values.
These elitists categorize people into various small groups or ethnicities, and they set up a moral code that appears to me to be dividing people. Again and again, they are the ones who decide who is or is not offended. They are the ones who decide the goodness or badness of interpersonal relationships; therefore, it seems today that people are more easily offended than in the past. People retreat into their various socioeconomic or ethnic or gender-biased groups, and it seems far more complicated for people to get along than in the past. The so-called higher-ups want to govern the culture, it seems; meanwhile, where does that leave individuals?
Please let me be crystal clear. It is true that numerous words and activities were occurring—and still are—that are hurtful and demeaning. Some of the things that have been identified as unhealthy, demeaning, hurtful, and abusive are indeed inappropriate. To say this in what has been labeled a traditional way, they are unholy, sinful, and completely wrong.
However, the quicksand of it all comes when someone who is not involved in the personal relationship between two people assumes the right to have authority over other people. Their moral policing is offensive to freedom-loving, traditional-minded people, as these freedom-crushing authorities enforce their own morality or ideal of so-called social justice. And they seem completely oblivious to their own disagreeable or obnoxious ways.
When the Golden Rule is applied, it allows individuals the freedom to connect with one another. It is a positive rule for living that gives the individual the opportunity to attempt to understand other people and their way of feeling, thinking, wanting, and doing. It allows the opportunity to “walk a mile in the other person’s shoes.” It quite simply allows for empathy to happen in the moment of time when the persons are interacting. And it allows for people to ask an important question: “Given these circumstances, how would I want someone to treat me?” The Golden Rule also gives the other person the opportunity to answer that question for him or herself. And it ultimately opens the door for both people—the person asking and the person answering the question—to treat each other with dignity and love. The Golden Rule does not require an elitist or governmental overseer of morality. It really opens the door for rock-solid relating in this quicksand world.
This philosophy is far superior to setting up a paradigm of modernist thought where each individual group is on guard. The Golden Rule is far superior because all parties concerned want to treat the other person with dignity and respect. From the outset, the entire question involves the thought process of how I would like to be treated. If I am unsure whether my answer to the question would work for the other person, I can ask for him or her take on the matter. Indeed, the Golden Rule would have me ask, “How would you like to be treated?” Again, it would not require “big brother” looking over my shoulders to be sure we play fair.
I have observed political correctness in action for a long time now, and I have noticed that more people have gone to their separate “corners” as this divide-and-conquer morality has increased. Rather than being united by the secular rules for living, it seems we are more divided than ever. Maybe that is what is intended. People seem more concerned about their right to not be offended, which is written nowhere in the US Constitution or the Bible, than they are concerned with how to love one another. I have also noted that, more and more, the PC philosophy pushes us farther away from the values that have served our culture so well.
As these PC rules are increasingly dictated, people learn to be easily offended, and traditional or authentic values, which governed our lives, are relegated to the trash heap of the past. I really think it’s a quicksand philosophy.
Why not try using the Golden Rule as part of your philosophy for relating to other people with whom you are (or are not) connected? I think that when we answer the question, “How do I want to be treated?” and when we use our answer as a guideline for relating to other people, then I believe we are on our way to developing a healthy, loving, and rock-solid relationship.
BEWARE OF THE PC POLICE!