Signpostings

Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:
    scr.im/rwld

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at Sharewik.com

    [Content Caution]

To Believe or Not to Believe?

Posted by Dale Kuehne on March 2, 2011

Thesis: In the iWorld, the less we believe the better.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/8353512/Foster-parent-ban-extreme-distress-of-anti-gay-Christians-over-ruling.html

If we accept the thesis that we live in an era where we encourage and reward those who hold less dogma and belief, then if a Christian couple is not allowed to care for foster children because they believe homosexuality is wrong, should a gay couple be allowed to care for foster children if they believe Christianity is wrong?

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny
I want loads of clothes and f**kloads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
‘Cause everyone knows that’s how you get famous
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
‘Cause I’m being taken over by fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
It’s all about fast cars and passing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
and that’s what makes my life so f**king fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
and its not my fault it’s how I’m program to function
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
‘Cause I’m being taken over by fear

Forget about guns and forget ammunition
Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission
Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner
Now everything is cool as long as I’m getting thinner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
‘Cause I’m being taken over by fear

The Fear by Lily Alllen from It’s Not Me, It’s You (2009)

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3 Responses to “To Believe or Not to Believe?”

  1. Or… should a gay couple be allowed to care for foster children if they believe heterosexuality is wrong? After all, if they observe a gay lifestyle, that leads one to surmise they believe heterosexuality is wrong. Sadly, we are coming to a point in our society when everything goes… yet at the same time, we are coming to a point when that same everything goes mentality puts unbearable limits on the rest of society.

    • Simon said

      One cannot conclude that a couple leading a gay lifestyle would inevitably believe heterosexuality is wrong. I’ve never met a gay couple who thinks that way, and the most common attitude I’ve seen from gay couples and the gay culture is about letting people choose whatever arrangement they like. It’s their complete commitment to unfettered freedom (at the very least to protect their own lifestyle) that makes the very notion of moral disapproval of any “lifestyle” abhorrent to them.

      And I think we all welcome legal freedom to make our choices, even if that means allowing others to make choices we wouldn’t agree with. Even so, we all, and we individually, have to reckon with the consequences of ‘unfettered freedom’, as you point out. The irony of this ruling, by focusing simply on belief, not action/deeds, is that it seems to disregard & undermine the very inner moral life and ethical force necessary for our freedom not to descend into tyranny (of the state or of the self).

      The other irony is that in the name of freedom, and simply on the basis of what they believe not on anything they’ve done, this couple has been denied the right to foster, and their potential children have been denied the right to have foster parents – rather than an institution – willing to care for them.

      The assumption of the court, and of so many commentators around the internet on this, is that the couple’s belief about homosexuality inevitably results in judgment, condemnation, bigotry & hatred towards children in their care who show gay tendencies. Isn’t it possible that love could reign instead? Don’t most parents seek to teach their children to choose right from wrong in a context of love, even as they try to understand who exactly their children are?

      The courts, the commentators condemning the couple, the couple themselves, all need to reckon with what it means to love our children in a context of relational love and commitment and to raise them with a rock solid moral foundation that will promote love and freedom. The law and vitriol against a religious couple with traditional views isn’t helping much.

      (sorry for long comment!)

      • Simon, You eloquently expressed just what I was trying to say. It was the assumption aspect of the court’s ruling that stung the most. I believe one can–and several fine people I know do–disagree with someone, an institution, a political party, a belief, and maintain a relationship with respect, dignity, and love, the true relational love that Dale has so often tried to relate to us. Yet, at the same time, I don’t know anyone who is free of moral disapproval or bigotry. How we manage that and contain it within a respectful discourse, no matter what the subject, is one of the things that can mark us as civilized, caring beings. The court effectively shut off that important dialogue and that is a shame.

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