Wednesday, 16 November 2011

We have all become 'non-conformists' now

It's a curiously over-prescriptive society which in one week both attempts to authorise CCTV in taxis to record passengers' conversations (see the post below) and to call for the banning of cigarette smoking in private vehicles on some fairly flimsy 'scientific evidence' (see here)
I'm not a smoker and I don't very often travel in a taxi, but I am afraid that the noose tightening around the throat of other people's liberties may one day soon be extended to mine.
How long will it be, on this kind of reasoning, before it is suggested that children be removed from traditionally believing Christian families because of the possible damage to their psychological health by being exposed to dangerously counter-cultural values?
I admit it's an extreme example (although there is already significant legal confusion between a robust proclamation of the moral theology of the Pauline epistles and criminal hate-speech), but given the almost complete reversal of our social mores over the last decade or so, and the wholesale rejection and constant (and tax-payer funded) ridiculing of the Christian Church's teaching on so many matters, it's not entirely inconceivable.
The current obsession with the enforcement of 'equality' is, of course, no such thing. Equal treatment and tolerance don't form part of the present agenda which simply involves the replacement by legal sanction of one set of values with another.
We are in grave danger of confusing the merely currently unfashionable with the criminally reprehensible, whether it is our views on sexuality, our right to smoke cigarettes or, if we wish, even to eat deep-fried Mars bars. Whatever the liberal myths concerning the so-called claustrophobic atmosphere of the 1950s, we have never been so socially conformist as we are now.
The question for Christians is how to proclaim the Gospel of the love of God in Christ in a pluralistic society which seems to be now turning from pluralism to the strict conformism of the new equality. But the issues which divide us from the surrounding culture also divide us from many of our fellow Christians. We believe them to be wrong, we may believe them to be heading along a path which will lead to the abandonment of the Gospel altogether; we can't doubt their sincerity, even if we increasingly find it impossible to go along with them.
 For those traditional sacramental Christians, conservative but tolerant and with a view of human nature which stresses both the results of the Fall  and our original righteousness, the imperative as we've said before, in the face of those forces in our world which are inimical to the Faith, is unity and how best we can co-operate with God in order to achieve it.

Paul Mealor: Locus Iste

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments will not be published