Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Whose Church Do I Belong To: My Church or the Orthodox Church of Christ?

Fr. George Morelli

In our day the predominant culture is secularist; a view that holds that religion and the moral precepts drawn from it should have no impact in public life. Secularism is closely tied to post-modernism which eschews the existence of moral universals or even a unifying narrative. Orthodox ethicist H. Tristam Englehardt wrote that postmodernism is "the absence as a matter of fact and in principle of a universal secular moral narrative." Postmodernism has replaced the Western European view of a "monotheistic, monocultural moral vision with strong commitment to faith ... " (Englehardt, 1996).

How is secularism evident in society? One example is the divorce of law from an underlying moral narrative and thus history. Language and concepts (fairness, justice, etc.) that were drawn from the moral tradition to grant civil laws their moral legitimacy are applied in ways that are highly pragmatic and utilitarian in nature.

For example, if abortion, birth control, cloning, sex education, stem cell research and other vexing moral issues produce a pragmatically desirable outcome they should be promoted. No reference to a larger body of moral teaching (and the psychological and spiritual consequences the moral prohibitions seek to avoid) needs to be made.

Read the rest here.

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