The wrong-headedness of the latest SCOTUS ruling in favor of evangelical web designer Lori Smith is obvious to thoughtful Constitutional and Biblical scholars -- as it doesn't reflect the values, sentiments, and standards embodied in either document. The previous day's ruling on affirmative action at Harvard is likewise transparently oblivious to the racial realities of American culture and history. But the question to my mind is: Why is this happening? Why are folks who say they are committed to longstanding principles of the U.S. Constitution, the New Testament, and indeed civil society itself so eager to abandon those principles?
Well, I think it is all about fear. A deep, abiding terror that one's status and privilege of being "White and Right" is severely threatened by the natural, normal evolution of a morally maturing culture. It is a knee-jerk grasping after the power and wealth that will inevitably be lost as a more equitable arrangement of civil society is achieved.
And I don't see an end to that grasping. As long as this fear-powered conservatism energizes our electorate and our government officials, these irrational and hypocritical patterns will continue to amplify themselves. What the U.S. Constitution and the New Testament actually promote are concepts like equitable justice, inalienable and universal human rights, the criticality of a strong and democratic civil society, and the unfailing power of a generous and accepting spirit, a reflexive willingness to help others, and an unconditional compassion for our fellow human beings.
Will the overarching principles of love and equality, so venerated by some previous generations, prevail...? Or will we continue to slide backwards into selfishness and prejudice?
Well I suppose we will see how folks decide to vote in the upcoming 2024 elections and beyond...and who decides to abdicate their responsibilities and not vote at all.
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