Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Christians Should Be Thrown Off Buildings," A Fair and Reasoned Analysis by Frank Bruni

I married ISIS on the fifth day of May, but I could not hold on to him very long...

The final published title of Frank Bruni's notorious recent New York Times op-ed was "Bigotry, the Bible and the Lessons of Indiana." But a tipster told Mahound's Paradise that the title referenced by the post was Bruni's original choice. It was changed at the last minute when the Editor-in-Chief argued that it might cost the New York Times its sixty-two remaining Christian readers around the country, and the newspaper couldn't tolerate the resulting drop in advertising revenue.

Though I am a Christian, I am not going to argue here for the Christian position per se against Bruni, or the Indiana gay rights vs. freedom of religion controversy. If you want to know my position on providing pizza for Elton John's wedding or whatever, look it up in the Catholic Catechism. There are five whole chapters on it, right before the two chapters on what color combinations to wear in Spring and the one crucial chapter on how to annoy the hell out of Freemasons.

Rather, I am going to stick up for objective morality.

Oh, you don't believe in objective morality? Then go away, you silly commie.

"Sticking up for" means making claims, not arguments. It's up to you to fill in the arguments. What, do you think I'm going to do everything for you?

I'm not going to "play all my cards."

I'm not going to cite any quotations from Bruni's recent article. That's because I can't type while holding my nose. But the following propositions are a reaction to it. If you haven't seen it already, you can read it (see link, above). 

Here are twenty propositions:

  1. Objective morality doesn't change.
  2. People's opinions on it can and do change.
  3. Sometimes people are wrong about it.
  4. If one is open to the claim that people might have been wrong about it in the past, then one should be just as open to the claim that people might be wrong about it in the present.
  5. That assertion has consequences.
  6. The majority (in totality or within a particular favored place or group) is often wrong.
  7. People's opinions on objective morality aren't always advancing closer to the truth. (This is sort of a corollary of 4.)
  8. Science, as it's typically defined, doesn't necessarily help, especially if it is favorably contrasted with morality.
  9. Historically speaking, proclaiming "modernity" as a kind of moral savior is usually a prescription for moral decadence or worse.
  10. If one favorably cites the "biases" of "authors, cultures and eras," as a reason for preferring current moral claims to past moral claims, then one is a dunce. See 4 and 7.
  11. Being in favor of gay marriage is (in some sense) reasonable. Sorry, Christians.
  12. Being against gay marriage is (in some sense) reasonable. Sorry, gay marriage people.
  13. Believing that one or the other is better because one or the other is preferred by the majority (in totality or within a particular favored place or group) now, or because "history" is on the side of it, or "modernity" is allied with it, or because "science" tells us so, is Stalinist. Sorry, Stalinists.
  14. If you're going to trash the moral claims of "ancient texts" simply because they're ancient, then you're a dunce.
  15. But if you have some other reason for trashing the moral claims of ancient texts (and I'm not saying there aren't necessarily good ones), then provide something in their place. And, no, the opinion of the majority or whatever, doesn't count.
  16. The "throwing Christians off buildings" thing is obviously an allusion to ISIS--that cutting edge Muslim craze--throwing gays off buildings.
  17. Every time you think of Christians refusing to make pizzas for gay weddings, also think of that.
  18. Why would any self-respecting gay man want pizzas for his wedding?
  19. If you're a straight man who wants pizzas for his wedding, you're sentenced to watching at least ten episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
  20. Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Well, I'm done. Asserting claims about objective morality is tiring. I feel like Moses or something. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. The New York Times is a dying rag. But I'm open to being hired to provide a counterpart to Bruni. I can also do restaurant reviews...

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