On a trip to Russia just after the collapse of communism in 1991, I had a conversation with a Marxist scholar who was devastated by revelations about the horrors just then coming to light in his country. “I had no idea things like this were taking place,” he said. “I became a communist with the best of ideals, to fight racism and poverty, to bring about a just society. Now I learn that we created a monster. We saw evil in others—the capitalists, the rich, the exploisters—but not in ourselves. I have learned to distrust any utopian philosophy, especially one that sets ‘us’ against ‘them.’ The danger of evil is inside of all of us, rich or poor, socialist or capitalist.”
Rumors of Another World
Christianity argues that every human heart is capable of good and evil. Every human being is capable of better and worse, right and wrong, true and false. That is a hallmark of Christian thinking (it is a hallmark of classical thinking as well)… Since we’ve jettisoned that, notice what’s happened here. Some people are pure hearted and others not. We no longer believe that everyone is capable of evil. If you’re African-American, for instance, in a university setting you cannot be racist because of the power structure is against you. If you’re poor, the 99%, you can’t be greedy—it’s only that 1%. What’s happened now that we’ve jettisoned Christianity, not only are you jettisoning the soul, not only are you jettisoning transcendence, not only are you jettisoning free will, you are also jettisoning this idea that we are all morally capable in our hearts of choosing one way or another. So we have entire demographics now who are innocent, no matter what they do, and other demographics . . . no matter what you do, if you are Caucasian, you are guilty of all this litany of sins. This is regressive. This is not progressive. This is anti-rational, it is not rational. This is racism and bigotry masquerading as progressivism.
[T]he defender of sexual freedom sees a parallel between what is seen as anti-gay prejudice today and racial prejudice as it was practiced at its lowest point decades ago. Here, a word game has entered the vocabulary. Relativist convictions are supposedly prejudice-free, while absolute convictions are branded as phobias. Any stigma can lick a good dogma, it is said. With that verbal deconstruction of a worldview, all questioning of sexual freedom is castigated as a phobia. Quite amazing that atheists are not called “theophobes” or that those against Christians are not called “christophobes.” Pejoratively, the counter positions have been appended with phobias till we may have a whole new polyphobic dictionary.
But that is the lesser problem. I contend that equating race with sexuality is actually a false premise and an unfortunate analogy. In the matter of race it simply doesn’t matter how I feel about it; my ethnicity transcends my preferences or inclinations… Why is this analogy unfortunate? Because it moves the debate from what is right to what are one’s rights. Ironically, the political party now most aligned with arguing for rights was once the same party that argued against the emancipation of slaves because of the slave-owners’ “rights.” In that case, those rights were overruled by what was right. Interesting that a new word wasn’t coined then to describe those who made moral arguments against the slave-owners’ rights as “slaveophobes.” Thankfully, essential human worth and moral reason trumped existential and pragmatic preferences and by God’s grace, what was right was deemed to be right and the slave was freed.
Adolf Hitler worked out an “evolutionary ethic” in Mein Kampf (1924). Applying Darwin’s principle of natural selection of the fittest to human ethnic groups, Hitler concluded that since evolution has produced the superior (Aryan) stock, we must work to preserve it. Likewise he believed that inferior breeds must be weeded out. On this basis he killed six million Jews and about five million other non-Aryans.
Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options