Counterfeiting Virtue — the Secular Left

Written by Wes Walker on March 8, 2013

Counterfeit_Notes_(5029625096)Do you remember when the counter-culture, anti-religious types only wanted to be left alone — to live as they pleased?  They have stopped looking for permission to break cultural taboos, and have become the very machine they used to rage against, giving us the latest generation of finger-wagging Pharisees.

Last summer, an obscure interview with a restaurateur touched off another round of the marriage debate.  The ferocity of the divide was revealed when an armed gunman (carrying 15 sandwiches from that restaurant) announced “I don’t like your politics” before opening fire at the Family Research Council.  Political tensions are tapping into something far deeper and more visceral than simple policy differences.  It isn’t just one issue, either: almost anything can quickly become supercharged.

Abortion’s ethical question shifts focus from the concern about the unborn child, to outrage against “denying” the mother’s “right to choose”.  (Notice the “denial of a right” language that presupposes a legitimate right unfairly denied.  Through that wording, they’re already halfway to winning their argument.)

Humanity, they assure us, is nothing more than one mammal on a continuum of many.  This is the springboard of frivolous animal rights cases. The animals rights ideology becomes elevated above (for example) the right of a child not to be subjected to shock tactics from groups like PETA.

Teachers behave as surrogate parents. (Actually calling themselves “co-parents” in some cases.) Because, as Hillary knows, it takes a village to raise an idiot; and when the child is everyone’s responsibility, failure is nobody’s fault.  Such people think they can, and should, teach their own strain of values, ethics and morals.  This often supersedes literacy, numeracy, history or physics. Some countries in Europe even forbid parents to homeschool because the right of the government to inculcate values in children takes priority.

The values taught are of the “Pride Week” variety, or the environmentalism variety,  employing words like “tolerance” — which means “tolerance” in exactly the same way that Pravda means “Truth”.   They teach about the (capital E) “Environment” — not in the traditional sense of clean air and water, but touting our modern system of penance and indulgences known as Carbon Credits. Heretics to the new doctrine are “climate change deniers”, who are “killing the Earth”.  

My city has an electric car-sharing fleet maintained at taxpayer expense from the same budget that cannot keep our low-income housing clean, safe or vermin-free.  The program carries the dubious and pretentious name “vrtucar” (virtue-car).

For a group founded on anti-authoritarian sentiment, they have quickly elevated new authorities.  “Science” is offered as the highest form of authority, serving as a cudgel against all others, but stretched far beyond its real ability or function.  When “science” is used to answer questions beyond its scope (metaphysics, ethics, philosophy, humanities), or to discredit valid sources of knowledge, it has degenerated into pseudo-religious “scientism”.  

The old priestly authorities are rejected, only to replace the robed figures with lab coats.  But do not question “settled Science”, such heresy will not be tolerated.

Traditional justice as a uniform law equally applicable to all people of any age, creed, or social standing devolves into a system of rewards and punishments for redressing slights (real or perceived), and favouring people with “special” protections and privileges specifically based upon differences of age, creed, gender or social standing.  “Justice” is replaced with “Social Justice”.

Charity is different, too.  No longer freely supporting causes you value, the new virtue of charity is government supplied, mandated, and regulated.  Taxpayer support is compulsory, but not taxpayer consultation; government officials will handle the details.  This is a charity that has no compassionate motive by the giver, or gratitude by the receiver, and thus loses any redemptive value.  With no direct involvement, the taxpayer cannot punish waste, corruption or ineptitude by withholding donations, because “donations” are taken by force of law.

The schism seems to run so cleanly down religious lines that coincidence cannot mathematically account for it.  The Left’s “NuVrtu” is almost precisely opposed to traditional Christian values. Even when using familiar language (like charity, family, tolerance, love, justice) the traditional meaning is radically altered.  

What accounts for such consistently antithetical positions to Christianity?  What if it isn’t coincidence?  Don’t forget, in nations where Christian influence historically held sway, there is now a move to erase all cultural traces of it.

Christians view life as sacred, as bearing the image of God.  Through history they have cared for people dying of plagues, rescued abandoned orphans, and provided for elderly strangers who would otherwise starve.  Now the world (preemptively) euthanizes their elderly, and leaves born-alive babies to die.  Ethicist Peter Singer argues for justifiable infanticide.

Covenantal marriage is abandoned for various libertine alternatives.  Primacy of government replaces primacy of family.  Communities rally around causes, but not relationships, the list goes on.

This precisely aligns with the Christian view of two rival cultures in perpetual tension; not a battle of armies on the field, but of ideas in the hearts and minds.  Winthrop stated, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or a power without them; either by the word of God, or the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or the bayonet.”

Those whose virtue consistently opposes traditional Christian values reveal their hostility — not to Christians, but to their God.   In doing so, they tacitly acknowledge His existence.

Image: From my London Underground Tube Diary;…;source: Counterfeit Notes; uploaded by Oxyman; author:Annie Mole from London, UK; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license