By Joseph Kellard
Over at the conservative commentary site townhall.com, I was intrigued to read "Principle vs. Pragmatism," a column by Ken Connor, who is unknown to me.
Halfway through reading this column, I thought that perhaps a conservative has come to see the light about the destructiveness of pragmatism. Heck, he even invokes Aristotle:
"The truth of the matter is that when it comes to the most fundamental questions about human society, culture, and government, the middle ground is not a sensible place to occupy. When it comes down to the fundamentals, things are either right or they are wrong; to suggest that they may be right for me and wrong for you is nonsense. Moral relativism comes into conflict with the Law of Non-Contradiction when operating at the level of fundamental values."
But, alas, the light this conservative was seeing came from Heaven.
"There are, as our forefathers recognized, certain universal and self-evident truths. Human beings, for example, have been endowed by their Creator with an unalienable right to life. It is, therefore, wrong to murder an innocent human being, regardless of whether they are in the womb or in a nursing home. The act of murder is wrong regardless of who makes the decision to carry it out (mother, doctor, family) or how it is denominated (abortion, mercy killing, euthanasia). The character of an act is not changed by the rhetoric that accompanies it or the person who performs it. Such an act cannot be both right and wrong--right for you and wrong for me. It is either right or wrong--period.
"There are certain principles that define the world view of Christian conservatives, principles that we are unwilling to budge on …"
Connor goes on to invoke God and "other principles" that he and other Christians will not compromise on, without noting what those alleged principles are exactly.
Since Connor's basis of morality is God's arbitrary commandments and not the one-and-only reality from which principles are rationally derived, Lord only knows what those "other principles" of his may be, but you can safely bet that they are not a proper foundation for freedom.
* - I made some minor revisions to the original post.