Monday, December 27, 2010

Don't confuse morality with legality

What is the relationship between law and morality? Rob Tisinai of Box Turtle Bulletin ponders that question while dissecting the writings of Ron Sider, an Evangelical who opposes gay marriage. Sider claims that most people assume that morality and legality are the same thing. What is legal will become normal.

Tisinai responds with one of the Top Ten: lying. Most people see that even trivial lies betray trust, but only big ones, such as fraud, libel, and perjury, are illegal. That's only the start. Lots of lousy behavior (alcoholic parents giving their kids barely adequate care) is not illegal.

If morality = legality is enough to outlaw gay marriage why is it not enough to outlaw homosexuality? Doesn't morality = legality justify theocracy?

Ah, but Sider says we should only outlaw things that actually harm society, such as letting homos raise kids. Evidence, dude!

If that doesn't work (and it doesn't) Sider is ready with the gay rights v. religious freedom battle. But that's muddled too.

Ah, it is all finally revealed. When Sider insists in morality = legality he means the government should enforce his definition of what is moral.

Sider berates his fellow Evangelicals for not speaking out against gay bashing. They should speak instead about what destroys straight marriage -- adultery and divorce. Nice? Um… He feels Evangelicals have lost their moral authority to speak out against what matters most to him -- gay marriage.

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