mike wrote:I hear you, and my question is, what moral code are we using to determine what constitutes unjust overstepping of their ordained boundaries? You have said, the Judeo-Christian ethic of the sanctity of all life. But, I counter with, doesn't the Judeo-Christian ethic (according to us as Anabaptists) embrace the sanctity of ALL life including the life of our enemies, precluding not only unjust war but also just war? And not only unjust border policy but also just border policy? And not only unjust incarceration policy but also just incarceration policy? Et cetera.
I disagree with Dan here. I don't think that we have a shared moral code with all Americans. Plenty of Americans who think we have a shared Judeo-Christian ethic also support warfare, and plenty used to support racial discrimination and slavery. I think we have one moral code, and we work from that, but other people also have moral codes that differ from ours.
If you google for "morality public square", you'll find a lot of discussion about this question. Imagine a village that has several churches, a synagogue, a mosque, a Hindu temple, a military base, and an ACLU office.
This village has to agree on laws, so we all gather together in the public square in the middle of the town. There's no written code that says what we all agree on, so we have to negotiate. As we negotiate, we each work from our own moral code.
We probably won't all agree to be pacifists or vegetarians or pray 5 times a day or embrace universal military service. In the public square, we will probably agree that murder is wrong. We might or might not be able to persuade others that abortion is wrong. If we can't, maybe we can persuade others that we should help pregnant women in difficult situations so they won't need abortions if they don't want them. We look at the things that are most important values for us, try to understand the most important values of the others, and pick our battles wisely, because we are in this game for the long haul. If we win a vote but also alienate everyone else so they won't listen to us next time, we're probably losing in the long run.
So it's our moral code, seen through the lens of what we can negotiate in the public square. The moral code of the public square is written and rewritten based on what we can negotiate with everyone else. They are working from their own moral codes. And if we want to be able to freely live out our faith and moral practice, we'd better not threaten theirs. In the long run, that backfires in the public square. If they see us loving and genuinely serving other people and God, and are impressed by the fruit in our lives, we may be able to win them over instead.
Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?