We take it upon ourselves to try and teach others our version of morality. We believe it our duty to first teach, then shame, then outcast those who don’t believe and live the same moralities that we do.
This is an appalling way of approaching it.
Morality is not black and white. It is not universal. What may be moral for one man may not be moral for another man of higher understanding.
What may be immoral for a group of people may be perfectly normal and acceptable morality for another group.
A child born with physical or mental disabilities cannot be held to the same moral standards as a child born fully intact and blessed with a fully functional mind.
A child who has never, even once, seen a healthy relationship modeled for her cannot be held to the same moral standards as a child born into a family with one or more beautifully functional examples.
A child born into a neighborhood of drugs and gang violence and prostitution cannot be held to the same moral standards as a child born into affluent white religious neighborhoods.
A child born into a city emaciated by mortar shells and blood-spattered cinderblock walls cannot be held to the same moral standards as a child born into a family whose biggest real fears include SIDS or stranger danger.
So, please. Let’s all stop trying to force the entire world into single standards of morality, and instead focus on finding and defining our own moralities, continue teaching our children our own moralities, and sharing our reasons for choosing the moralities that we do while never condemning others for not subscribing to the exact same lists of morality requirements.
My best friend was made to sit with the children, right here in Utah, just a couple weeks ago. She was publicly shamed and barred from the wedding of her niece that she loves very much because others didn’t feel that she was moral enough.
My own son is being taught that God will separate us in the next life, simply because I choose to believe in a slightly different set of moralities. He is being taught that it does not matter how good a person I am. If I don’t subscribe to his mother’s church’s set of moralities, we will be torn apart. My own family believes the same about me and them.
He is also being taught that he should have two major goals in life. Grow up worthy of that card that tells him if he’s good enough, and then to find a wife and get married in the temple.
Oh, PS. And if he does that, his own dad will not be allowed to come watch him get married one day because his dad is not good enough. He is not moral enough to see his son kiss his bride over the alter. And he will be taught that there is a noble, good, and Godly reason for that.
This is Utah. It is one example of a much larger problem around the world. Elsewhere, groups of all kinds take to public shaming, humiliation, picketing, strong-handing, and even force.
Morality is, after all, important.
It is the very fuel that drives all people. Our senses of morality, and how true we are being to them, drive the majority of every thought, feeling, and action of every person on Earth.
We get angry about it. We get manipulative about it. We get shameful about it. We get judgmental about it. We guilt others about it. We get hurtful and prideful and haughty about it. Sometimes we even get violent about it.
Read that last paragraph and tell me if that is true or not. Tell me if you don’t see that in this world almost everywhere you look. And then tell me what is moral at all about any of it.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. This is one of those posts where the discussion can be awesome. It can also be ugly. So please comment, but be respectful. I’d really like to hear your thoughts on all of this.