Thursday, July 7, 2016

Who decides right and wrong?

When someone is spotted standing on the edge of a roof, occasionally there are hecklers on the ground yelling “Jump!” But most reasonable people will try to talk the emotionally disturbed person out of harming themselves, because we agree it would be wrong.
But let an emotionally disturbed person decide that he wants to take a scalpel to his genitalia, get his Adam’s Apple shaved, get breast implants and estrogen injections, and he’s applauded for his 'courage', as if mutilating his body is right. No one says anything about his narcissism. It is considered politically incorrect to look askance at his decision, to suggest he needs emotional help.

When ‘We-all-thought-he-was-male’ Bruce Jenner decides that Nope, he’s actually a female trapped in a male body, we are told that the politically correct response is to pat him (her?) on the back and tell him how courageous he/she is. Why? When ‘We-all-thought-she-was white’ Rachel Dolezal decided she would rather identify as a black person, no one patted her on the back. She was vilified, fired, and made the butt of jokes.
How could the NAACP and Eastern Washington University's African Studies department disqualify Dolezal in light of the story surrounding Bruce Jenner? Aren’t there laws against hiring or firing someone based on their race?
In 2009, when middle-distance runner Caster Semenya competed at the Berlin World Championship, her competitors complained that she was really a man. (She wasn’t; She was subjected to a humiliating gender test that proved she's what is now called an "intersex" person, what used to be called a hermaphrodite.)
But in 1976, when Bruce Jenner won the Decathlon, no one requested a gender test. Neither he nor anyone else claimed that he was really a woman. His gold medal has always said “MEN'S Decathlon…” Was he a fraud when Time magazine proclaimed him the "World’s greatest athlete"? Shouldn’t he have to return the Men’s Decathlon medal? He can’t just scratch “wo-“ in front of “Men’s” on the medal…In 1976 there was no ‘women’s decathlon’ event.
Besides, let’s face it:
  • JUMPED! is a better headline than
  • JENNER CHANGES TO A WOMAN will garner more readers than
How is right and wrong determined? When Jesus tried to appeal to Pontius Pilate to choose truth over falsehood, Pilate’s sarcastic reply was “What is truth?” (John 18:38) A lot of people have the same attitude today.
If you and I are at an intersection, do you decide, 'I should go before Bill because... I’m younger, or my car is bigger, or I’m having a bad day, or I’m in a hurry, or…?' I sure hope not.

And why do you not make your decision that way? Because your reasons are subjective, as are mine. You don’t know my reasons for being at that intersection, how bad a day I’m having, how important my trip is.

Instead, you and I both agree to allow an outside agency – the traffic laws – to tell us when to stop and when to go. Similarly, we want an outside agency to call balls and strikes at a baseball game or judge the Olympics. Surely that’s a concept even Bruce Jenner can understand.
People of my generation can look back and pinpoint pretty precisely when right and wrong began to change. In the fifties there certainly were unmarried people living together, but they generally hid it. Why? Because it was considered by most of Society to be wrong. If you were going to live together, getting married first was the right thing. An outside agency – the morality of the Bible – said so. But in the sixties, that changed. People started proudly posting two different surnames on the mailbox for all the world to see. Celebrities started getting married only after their first baby was born and sometimes not even then.
The gay community tries to pretend they are so modern, and that the rest of us are behind the times. But there have been homosexuals since very early in man’s history. The homosexuals of Sodom and Gomorrah were not ‘in the closet’ and that was 4,000 years ago. Homosexuals in our world, since at least Queen Victoria’s day, stayed ‘in the closet’ because the outside agency – biblical morality – said their conduct was unacceptable. In the sixties, when society rebelled against that outside agency, they began coming out. 

Today, what’s being driven into the closet is the outside agency, the Bible’s morality.
The Bible says nothing about transgenders, because until the surgical and chemical advances of the 1960s, there was no such thing. But does being unmentioned in the Bible mean it must be okay? The Bible says nothing about Meth, either...

There were eunuchs, and that surgery was condemned. (Deuteronomy 23:1) There were cross-dressers, and still are. In the fifties, Milton Berle did it on stage to get laughs. Others, like J. Edgar Hoover, did it (in the closet) presumably because of an emotional disorder. The outside agency has always said (in Deuteronomy 22:5) 
“It is not right for a woman to be dressed in man's clothing, or for a man to put on a woman's robe: whoever does such things is disgusting to the Lord your God.” 
When the rebellion against the outside agency gained momentum in the sixties, those surgical techniques practiced by doctors with no moral compass allowed people who were confused about their gender –or who simply wanted attention – to not only change clothing but to actually change their physical appearance.
If Society can change the rules themselves, without subjecting themselves to an outside agency, right and wrong will always be moving targets. How can an individual keep up?
I recently saw a car with two bumper stickers. One said: I’M PRO-CHOICE AND I VOTE. The other, on the same bumper, said: MEAT IS MURDER. This individual has decided – for themselves – that killing and eating a chicken is wrong, but killing a human fetus is just fine.

Western Society has almost completed the overthrow of the outside agency they have been following for 2,000 years; similarly, America has thrown away the rule book that the country agreed to follow 200 years ago when the founding fathers wrote that Americans are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
Their new rule book says that the only wrong is to disapprove of someone else's choice.
Please leave a comment. To read another of my columns on a similar subject, click here.
Bill K. Underwood is the author of several novels and one non-fiction self-help book, all available at You can help support this site by purchasing a book.

1 comment:

  1. Great work brother, much appreciated by many I'm sure with still a working or repairable moral compass...