Once upon a time a sense of shame protected us, as a society, from certain excesses. We have lost the sense of shame and gained the excesses.
Think back on some of those old newsreels covering the opening night premiere of a major film. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford appeared in many films and attended many premieres. They also hated each other and had a long-running feud.
What would people have thought, if the two of them, at one of those gala events, wound up in a hair-pulling, shoe-throwing brawl, rolling up and down the red carpet, screaming profanities at each other? Think the studio bigwigs would have tolerated that? No—Bette and Joan had to observe the social niceties. Or else.
Fast forward to this year’s New York Fashion Week, where two “rap artists,” if that is not an oxymoron, got into it with each other. Hair-pulling, shoe-throwing, cursing—the whole nine yards. But no one seemed to mind. It used to be that being rich and famous entailed a code of behavior that precluded brawling in public like a couple of drunken longshoremen. But not anymore. No one’s ashamed of such behavior anymore.
Last week also featured Judge Brett Kavanagh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, a circus in itself, plenty of shamelessness to go around. But I thought the lowest of its many lowlights was the testimony of a supposed ordained minister of the Free Methodist Church, who told the U.S. Senate that the Word of God justifies the Obamacare abortion mandate which required some people to pay for other people’s abortions.
Shamelessly, in the service of aborting babies in the womb, the minister shanghaied the words of Jesus Christ in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Can anybody but a lunatic twist that into “It’s real social justice to force Christians to fund other people’s abortions”? Where is the “abundant life” for the baby murdered in the womb? The baby’s life is taken. The baby winds up having no life.
Without a trace of blushing, the minister described herself as “pro-life,” as if that word actually means “pro-abortion.” She is also “an advocate for reproductive health”—that’s a euphemism for abortion—and “a community development organizer,” which is nothing meaningful at all.
See if you can follow her reasoning, if we can even call it that. She doesn’t believe in “imposing her religion” on others; so clearly she couldn’t support Judge Kavanagh’s earlier ruling against the abortion “mandate” (and if you’re coming to detest that word, you have a lot of company). That would be “imposing” one’s religious standards on others who don’t share them, and think abortion is jim-dandy. But, she argued, it is not “imposing” when non-Christians use the force of government to compel Christians to fund the abortion industry.
Honk if that makes sense to you.
To refrain from saying or doing certain things because you’d be ashamed to say or do them is part of what we know as civilization. A sense of shame, allied to the conscience, is one of those things that makes it possible for us to live together without trying to jam each other into a wood-chipper. Those two rap artists might have done some serious damage to each other if their respective bodyguards hadn’t intervened. But an active sense of shame would have kept the whole incident from happening in the first place.
And a sense of shame would have restrained the, er, minister from twisting God’s word, bearing false witness against the Scriptures, mangling reason, and turning herself into a false prophet spouting false teaching.
One wonders what, exactly, some of these people would be too ashamed to say or do.
Political correctness is no substitute for a Christian conscience.
I have discussed these and other topics throughout the week on my blog, http://leeduigon.com/ . Stop in and read, before I get banned. A single click will take you there.
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