Morals in Religion

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 23, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Last week we touched on how the US government does not favor Christians over non-Christians in the election of officials. The official stance of the US government was declared by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1961. No religious test or declaration was necessary to run for any office. This week, we're going to touch on morality—its source and merit. My friend, the atheist I've been writing about, wants to complain about laws in the US that are based, in his mind, on the Christian idea of morality. Let's take a look at his statements:

“Blue Laws are on the books. They ban certain behaviors due to upholding “morality,” but strangely, things like alcohol restrictions are on the Christian Sabbath of Sunday, not the Muslim Sabbath of Friday or the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday. As an atheist, I was forced to follow Indiana’s restrictive liquor laws, even though I am not subject to moral reasons not to buy beer on Sundays. Seriously, buying cold beer in that state is a [expletive]!”

If you've never heard of “Blue Laws,” according to Wikipedia they are “laws designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities for religious reasons, particularly to promote the observance of a day of worship or rest. Blue laws may also restrict shopping or ban sale of certain items on specific days, most often on Sundays in the western world. Blue laws are enforced in parts of the United States and Canada as well as some European countries, particularly in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Norway, keeping most stores closed on Sundays.”

Wikipedia also tells us that such laws have been deemed constitutional by the US Supreme Court on numerous occasions even though they appear to have religious origins. These laws are classified as laws that are wrong because the law says so rather than a law against something that is inherently evil. That's the difference here, and that's why my friend's argument is actually incorrect. To be more clear, his example is incorrect. The laws that we enjoy in these United States that are based on morality—declaring something illegal because it is something wrong in and of itself—are obviously based on the Christian moral code. Most of the “Blue Laws” in the US have been repealed. These are laws against something that that the law says shouldn't be done. It's not a moral law, meaning it's evil in and of itself. See the difference? Let's delve into the source of morality for a moment.

Some will argue (and by “some” I mean evolutionists primarily) that morality evolved as mankind evolved. The reasoning for this is because atheists believe that the fact that we exist is proof that we evolved from simple ancestors through the long process of evolution (we all share a common ancestor). Likewise, the fact that humans have a sense of moral judgment and standards of moral behavior is taken as evidence that such morality is also a product of evolution. The illogical nature of such claims, I hope, is obvious. This is a great example of how atheists first believe in evolution from a single common ancestor and then view all the evidence they see through that lens without question. So their argument is, “We exist, therefore, we evolved. Morality exists, therefore, it evolved.” That's the whole of it. There have recently been attempts to use “science” (in quotes because it's philosophy based on the presupposition that evolution is true) to explain the matter, but they fail to recognize that science only describes what “is,” not what “ought” to be. They cannot describe why morality exists using humanistic philosophy or materialism. In fact, morality is subjective in the atheist view and, therefore, not really morality in my mind.

As we talked about in my last couple of blog posts, the hope of atheism is insignificance wrapped in hopelessness and despair. From the atheist's point of view, humans are nothing more than insignificant products of random natural processes. We have no intrinsic value, demand no moral consideration, and have no moral obligations. The atheist understands there are objectively determined matters of right and wrong. They cannot figure out how to explain this but will attempt to in order to support their belief that God is not real and that they are rational. But even atheist Sam Harris declares that genuine morality must be objective: “valid and binding independent of human opinion.” He recognizes that real morality must be objective. I'll add to that and say that without God as the source of morality, there can be no objective morality, only popular opinions. For the atheist, this is a large problem. If morality is just popular opinion determined by society, anything can be determined to be “good.” That means, had the Nazis won the war and murdered all the Jews because they believed it was good, it was the moral thing. This is obviously not true. Regardless of who thinks it's wrong or right, exterminating large numbers of people simply because you've decided they are “inferior” is always immoral. Regardless of popular opinion, rape, incest, child abuse, and molesting children or animals is always wrong. This is because morality has a source higher than society—higher than man. That source is God. He told us His standard in the Bible expressed in the Ten Commandments and written on every human heart.

It would only make sense that the Christian idea of morality is written in the laws of our great nation. Our nation was founded by Christian men on Christian principles to govern a predominantly Christian people. Since my friend wanted to make this an issue of the law and government, let's see what the Founders had to say on morality. John Adams, our second president, said “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.” He further said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” That's interesting, I think. John Adams is saying that a nation can only be governed rightly if its basis is Christian. That means a nation can only be free if its foundation is the Bible. This atheist is complaining about and criticizing the only reason he lives in a free society and enjoys the liberty the US has to offer.

Our first president, George Washington, noted, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens.” It almost sounds like he's suggesting it's un-American and unpatriotic to not have faith in “religion” (which most assuredly is the Christian faith he's talking about). Washington felt strongly about it and went further saying, “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” This great man in our history is saying that regardless of your wisdom and education (which atheists believe their position is one of higher reason and learning), you cannot separate religion (again, most likely Christianity) from morality. It's what our nation was founded on and why the Declaration of Independence was written.

Robert Winthrop, speaker of the house in the 1850's, said, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.” This is just a sample of the statements made by our Founders that claim that morality hangs on faith in God alone and no other source can be found.

My friend believes it's unfair that he, an atheist, would need to be subjected to the laws of man that are based on the Christian faith. Of these laws, we would include murder, theft, and lying since these are found in the Bible. The entire framework of our nation's system of government is found in the Word of God. It's because of this that this atheist is even free to be an atheist here. The tolerance of the Christian faith is unrivaled. If only this atheist would spend a little time in a Muslim state where his views are not just the minority but are forbidden.

My belief is that if he is not happy with the local “Blue Laws” he's forced to deal with, he can either work around them—living his life such that he tolerates these laws (like buying his beer on Saturday) or he can move. We are free in these United States to live in whatever area we choose. Isn't that wonderful? That's another great freedom we have here that others may not so readily enjoy. The fact is, if it weren't for Christianity founding this nation, it would be a very different place and not for the better. If it weren't for the morality instilled in man by God, anarchy would rule. Is that what this atheist wants? Why is morality important?

Morality is about doing what's right, regardless of the consequence. It has a great deal to do with relationships and how we treat others. It encourages “good” behavior and respect towards others, enhancing our relationships with others. Making good moral decisions improves society and builds stronger relationships, not to mention it makes you a good contributor to society. It has NOTHING to do with earning something from God. It's the byproduct of having Christ in your heart.

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