Tolerance—The New Secular Morality
There are those in our increasingly secular world who are attempting to redefine morality. For them, virtue no longer embraces the shunning of adultery, fornication, pornography, vile language, and deviant homosexual and asexual practices. Rather, their new righteousness, their rubric, is tolerance—the apparent wholesale acceptance of culture-bending aberrations.
For these secularists, their so-called tolerance supersedes traditional social parameters that have kept behaviors that are destructive to individuals and families in check for millennia. And for many judges and politicians, their “neo-broadmindedness” now trumps constitutional guarantees pertaining to religion and states-rights.
The secularist brand of tolerance is literally the de-religionizing of our society; scrubbing out the Divine and mocking individual eternal potential with its concurrent prerequisite to circumscribe appetites and passions. This humanist doctrine would impose on all, the degrading lie that man is merely a product of chance, and that man, therefore, is free to unbridle his “natural” desires; restrained only marginally (and maybe temporarily) by a societal caveat that a participating partner needs be a “consenting adult.”
But incongruously, the secularist’s tolerance is one-sided and does not extend to those who object to this humanist perception of man’s existence! To profess a belief in Divinity and in man’s eternal nature and divine potential, and to adhere to a code of ethical behavior that transcends (and controls) the animal within us, is unacceptable. Why? Perhaps, because being reminded of eternal constraints is likely to guilt-laden those who refuse to be bound by such codes, and that is insufferable. Therefore, those espousing religious mores are deemed the ones culpable and need to be cowed into silence—or, at least, relegated to the inconsequential.
Such secular tolerance (intolerance?) is nothing more than self-justification—literally calling good, evil and evil, good (See Isaiah 5:20). But try as one might, an eternal law can never be abrogated and “wickedness never was (nor ever will be) happiness.” (See Alma 41:10 and Helaman 13:38). Ultimately, that law will have its due claim.
In the meantime, this new “morality” is taking a frightful toll in spiritual and, therefore, social cost. HIV is just one example. Worldwide, with over 36 million victims, the physical and monetary cost is astronomical. In the US, it is in the top 10 causes of death among 25-44-year-olds. With over 1.2 million victims in our country, and a lifetime projected cost for disease-management per individual of over $400,000 (2016 dollars), the economic price in medicine and treatment alone as a result of de-stigmatizing the once deemed immoral behavior that is the root cause of this epidemic, is a staggering half-trillion-dollars over the next few decades. Yet, virtually nowhere does one hear a call for abstinence, for a return to sexual purity, as the key to prevention.
Instead, the intolerance-brand is slapped onto believers who eschew behavior that is antithetical to who God is and who the race of Adam can become—an extraordinary hypocritical distortion.
Believers must stand for righteousness. How? For some, it may mean trumpeting our message from a public soapbox. For all, we neither embrace nor tacitly accept behavior that undermines individuals, families, and our way of life. And, we defend our right and duty to condemn such behavior for what it is—deleterious to man’s well-being, both in this life and the next. However, whatever we may do, I believe we must avoid personally attacking individual non-believers. That would be taking a page out of the secularist book.
Nevertheless, we must not allow this secular movement to go unchallenged, for it is also the death knell to our God-inspired political system. Over 200 years ago, John Adams said this about a government sans religion. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. …Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (Emphasis added.)
In a word, we are on a secularist slide whose angle of descent is sharpening precipitously. Unless real morality again takes hold, our society will soon be impaled on the jagged rocks of unchecked self-gratification we are plummeting toward.