Are we in the Western democracies, especially in Canada and the United States in danger of completely losing our way? Have we wandered onto a slippery downhill slope endangering everyone and everything we cherish? We are talking about our basic moral consensus that has underpinned our nation since its founding.
In British Columbia, our Supreme Court has started hearing a landmark case to determine whether the federal law barring multiple partner marriages is in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Crown wants upheld the present law against allowing plural marriages, and contends that polygamy is inherently harmful to women and children. But it is far from certain that the court will retain the existing law because of Pierre Trudeau’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Will Canada become a new Mecca for polygamous Muslims and Mormans?
After all, when it comes to sex and coupling just about anything seems to go as far as the courts and some of our politicians are concerned. We’ve mostly adopted as our baseline ethical and legal standard the old 1960s hippy motto of “Do Your Own Thing.”
A little earlier this fall in Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court struck down three federal prostitution laws that prohibited individuals from running a bawdy house, communicating for the purpose of prostitution and living off the avails of prostitution. The court said those laws “force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and the security of the person as protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” But Diane Watts, a spokes-woman for REAL Women of Canada, argued, “Prostitution, usually of young women and men, is not a Canadian value. To remove the provisions which protect young people from being exploited is not in the best interest of Canadian families.” She also noted that Western countries that canned prostitution laws experience increased sex trafficking of vulnerable individuals. Since many of the people who get into prostitution do so because of drug addiction, wouldn’t it be better dealing with the psychological/social issues that led the person to drugs and into prostitution to pay for the drugs rather than just making it easy and legal to start up a brothel?
While the Canadian federal government is appealing this decision by a judge of the Ontario Superior Court, it is probably just a question of time before prostitution is fully legalized. It would appear that we have now definitely entered a time of fluid uncertainty with rising threats to everything we used to take for granted.
One letter writer commenting to the National Post newspaper about this evolving legal/ethical situation noted:
“Who should define morality–devout Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc? All have a different view. And, logic states that the chosen ones should also determine what is acceptable in all other aspects of our lives –otherwise they would have no right to define morality for the rest of us. “
The Book of Judges is an ancient account (1422-1092 B.C.) bearing more than a few moral similarities to our era. It is unfortunate that most of our judges and politicians are unfamiliar with it:
25In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25 AMP).
What does this mean to us in the 21st Century; we who are stumbling about in the public square in confusion like the actors [better yet, screenwriters] of the popular TV series Lost? Judges 21:25 was repeated 3 times in Scripture. When something is repeated in the Bible we should pay attention. Consider this explication:
“What is the meaning of this? There was no king [or counselor] in Israel because in Israel there was no God. The Lord is King. You cannot have a [true] king [or sound political and legal leadership] if you have not a God. There was no nominal renunciation of God, no public and blatant atheism, no boastful impiety [don’t we still acknowledge the Bible’s God in our national anthem?]; there was a deadlier heresy–namely, keeping God as a sign but paying no tribute to Him as a King [that means ignoring all His teachings, statutes, and commandments], worshiping Him possibly in outward form but knowing nothing of the subduing and directing power of godliness. That is more to be dreaded than any intellectual difficulty of a theological kind… Dead consciences, prayerless prayers, mechanical formalities–these are the impediments which overturn… the chariots of progress.”
28 People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do.29 They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness, and hatred… (Romans 1:28-29 New Century Version).
Our whole nation is losing its way in the darkness and fog of moral confusion. And, what we think we have built by ourselves in our pride, we are going to lose.