June 1, 2012
With the amount of reading and writing I do, I run across various views regarding just about everything. That is my "job," I guess, and it helps keep me abreast to those ideas floating around the pool of public opinion.
One such idea came to my attention when in another paper a gentleman defended President Obama's affirmation of Gay marriage and cited the Golden Rule as the basis for the Presidential approval. Most all of us know the Golden Rule, don’t we? The idea that we should "do unto others as we would have others do unto us."
This rule, however, does not sit in a theological vacuum, and the way Jesus used it should be differentiated from the way others, religious or secular, use it. According to Jesus, it is to be the outgrowth of a life in sync with the moral law of God as revealed in the life of those who believe in Christ and his atoning death for sin.
Take abortion for example. "Surely," goes the argument, "you wouldn’t want someone to bring you into this world to live with an unloving family, or severe birth defect, would you?" Hence, the "Golden Rule."
Then consider the argument used by those who support euthanasia, believing it an extension of "mercy" by intentionally taking a person's life to prevent what they believe to be purposeless suffering. "Surely, you wouldn’t want to lay around and suffer like that would you?" Again, the "Golden Rule."
Finally, the gay activist, if consistent, should concede any form of sexual behavior, and because they don’t want their own sexual expressions stymied they shouldn't prevent the "free" sexual expression of anyone else. According to the "Golden Rule," They should treat every man as they "want to be treated," with the same "absolute" sexual "freedom" they want, right? Careful before you answer.
The Golden Rule tells us that we "ought" to treat others as we would want to be treated, but even deeper, and usually missed, is the question, "How should I want to be treated?" Is the way I want to be treated "right" or "wrong?" Mortimer J Adler put it this way, "To say that one should do unto others what one wishes them to do unto oneself leaves totally unanswered the pivotal question: what "ought" one rightly to wish others to do unto one's self?" (Ten philosophical Mistakes 122)
This question, he reminds us, cannot be rightly answered without the right information concerning God, human nature, sin, salvation, and eternity, hence, Scripture. It's like saying that whatever one desires for himself is what one should do unto others without determining what "right" or "wrong" desires are in the first place.
The golden rule, then, is not an end in itself and without the constant law of God to which Jesus connected it and the new birth by which one is empowered to apply it, it is the "Fools-Golden Rule" to which so many blindly point.
Essentially, while some believe that Obama is catering to the "Golden Rule," his ideas on homosexuality and gay marriage are anything but "golden."