Secular Political Ideology Vs. Biblical Moral Values: Continuing a Debate with Michael Lumish

A juxtaposed pair of excerpts from Dennis Prager's Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

2. Objective Values vs Subjective Values

It is because that I am an American liberal, and someone who marched against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that I feel some responsibility for standing up against the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood and the rise of political Islam.

David, however, feels that this is simply insufficient. He tells me that my,

“focus on politics doesn’t go deep enough. Left, Right, progressive, conservative — none of these ideologies matter if the person holding them does not really choose to believe in a transcendent God and thus Good and Evil.”

It is at this point, not surprisingly, that the conversation comes immediately to a grinding halt. I do not write about theology, although the history of religion is part of my academic background. When someone tells me that there is "Good" and there is "Evil" and that they stand for "Good" then there is nothing further to discuss, which is why it took me so long to finally respond to David.

Our disagreement: I believe in objective moral values, you, as a progressive, still choose to live according to subjective values. I have to be honest with you Michael. When I saw in your opening that you had put Good and Evil in quotes my heart literally sank.

Because in a sense you're right. If you do not believe that the concepts of Good and Evil can ever be applied to describe something without quotes around it then we are indeed at an impasse. And this is a roadblock that I've hit up so many times before that I put it on my list:

5. Evil Is Something That Cannot Be Explained to Those Who Do Not Know What It Is. It Can Only Be Experienced.

Be happy for your “liberal” friends. They’ve been blessed not to comprehend evil yet. They’re still living in the Garden of Eden. Good for them. Maybe they’ll be lucky and never have to put their ideas to the test. Maybe they’ll never experience what Irving Kristol talked about, what it means for a liberal to be “mugged by reality.” Maybe they’ll never have to look a real evil person in the eye and experience the pain they can cause.


Well, going against my own advice, I will now attempt to explain Good vs Evil and how it applies in a political context. When I say that Left vs Right, Democrats vs Republicans, Liberals vs Conservatives are no longer as important to me as Good vs Evil, Law vs Criminal, and Judeo-Christian vs Antisemite then this is how my perspective has shifted...