Thursday, November 04, 2004

Morality - It's The Golden Rule, Stupid

Watching the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour there was much discussion of how many voters cited morality as their deciding issue in the election. A Democratic source had told the reporter that this was something neither the party nor the media understand. Watching the discussion one can only think, how true! I’ll try to make it simple for them. Rather than portraying John Kerry as a windsurfer, skier or hunter; think of him as a “fisherman” who buys his “catch” at the store. Kerry is a world class teller of fish stories. If you’ve looked at the pictures on PCF45 you’ll see that Swift boats ran on quite narrow and winding rivers, not the wide Hudson River bounding Manhattan where the network anchors live. Kerry’s after-action report in the Rassmann event stated that he had come under “5000 meters” of heavy fire. This is absurd on its face. The boat would have disappeared round the bend well before reaching 1000 meters! And the AK-47 does not have a range of 5000 meters. And the report for the action had no men wounded by gunfire and no bullet holes in the boats! It just did not happen that way. It’s been exaggerated out of proportion. It is a fish story.

Another aspect of morality is best known as “The Golden Rule”. This rule is the simplest expression of our desire for equality and fairness. So why did the media hound Bush on his National Guard service and demand he sign a Form 180, when they did not demand the same of Kerry? Not only did they not make equal demands, CBS used plainly forged documents regarding Bush’s Guard record. CBS does not play by the Golden Rule. Our media talking heads also toss around the concept of immorality. Once more they’ve got it wrong. The term of art is amorality, a reckless disregard for fairness to go with their reckless disregard for the truth.

And of course there is this fear of Christian Fundamentalism. But isn’t the Golden Rule a fundamental tenet of Christianity first delivered by Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:31 “And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”)? The simple fact is the United States was founded on Christian fundamentals. The Golden Rule is imbued in our founding documents. Therefore, to be American is in some ways to be a fundamental Christian. You don’t have to be Christian to be American, but you must graft Christian tenets into your belief system to be American. Obviously, Christianity owes much to Judaism. It has a form of the Golden Rule stated in the negative.. “Thou shall not do unto others…” Both share the Ten Commandments. Maybe the Democrats and the media might consider the commandment that “thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” when presented with forged documents.


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