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Enslaved by Self-Interest

Alex Crain
Alex Crain

Moderates are moral relativists. Abe Lincoln despised them, characterizing them as indifferent people enslaved by self-interest. But the spirit of the moderate lives in each of us, I think. Only a steady diet of truth along with the quickening of the Spirit of Truth can empower us to stop living "a private faith" cowering in fear of being labeled self-righteous. This era of political upheaval in the world presents especially good opportunities to stand for truth. Dr. Joseph Loconte, history professor at the King's College in New York City, recently wrote these words on the subject:

No leap forward toward a more just society was ever brought about by political or social moderates. The anti-slavery novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," the blockbuster which helped ignite the Civil War, was not written by a moderate. The daring conspiracy against Nazi Germany, the plot to risk all and "put a spoke in the wheel" by assassinating Hitler, was not attempted by moderates. The Letter from Birmingham Jail, a plea to "make real the promise of democracy" and to reject racist laws that "degrade human personality" was not conceived by a moderate. The Polish Solidarity Movement, which defied communist thuggery and created the first crack in the wall of Soviet totalitarianism, was not led by moderates.

No, there was not a moderate among them. Democracy and human rights cannot thrive in the gruel of moral indifference. A democratic culture cannot draw strength from the emaciated ethics of individuals whose "private" morality never intrudes upon their "public" lives. It depends rather on citizens who believe in a set of moral truths -- grounded in the character of a just and loving God -- and who act on their beliefs in political life.

Read the whole thing here

 
Originally published November 11, 2012.

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