Moral in the Eye of the Beholder

October 27th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 10 comments

Sometimes, living in today’s world can make one dizzier than a sped up roller coaster. A few times recently, newspaper articles starkly contrasted with one  another.

A short while ago, Gene Klein wrote a thoughtful article for the Wall Street Journal explaining why 94 year old Oskar Gröning, who was a paper-pusher at Auschwitz, correctly received a prison sentence despite his age and the comparative non-violence of his position in the concentration camp. Mr. Klein ended his piece with these words, “It is necessary that Mr. Gröning be punished, not only because of the past, but also because of the future…Anyone who participates in genocide—no matter what their role, no matter how long ago, no matter how repentant–is forever responsible and forever accountable.

The piece evoked emotion by stating the fact that Mr. Klein and his family entered Auschwitz while Gröning worked there. Mr. Klein said, “…(my father) was killed by a system of genocide in which Mr. Gröning knowingly played his part.”

The very next page in the same newspaper discussed the Sisters of Mercy who were being pushed to ignore their moral code by the Obama administration, in this case regarding abortion. While I can quibble with Mr. Klein’s understandable position as well as with the use of the term genocide to describe abortion, reading both of articles together emphasizes the point that certain times call for unpopular stands despite what the reigning culture tells you is the ‘correct’ way to think. Even ignoring the fact that going against the Nazi party was often a death sentence, those who worked for the Nazis were taught that their actions were moral and upright. The Democrat Party is certainly not based on Nazi principles, but its devotees too viciously scorn and deride any morals other than their own. Vindictiveness against traditional religion can only increase under a Clinton presidency.

A few days after that juxtaposition of articles, I read a piece exploring a movement urging Christians to be less involved in today’s cultural clashes. Can we please draw the line from A to B to C? My husband is fond of saying that politics is nothing more nor less than the practical applications of our values. In a civilized society, how we vote should reflect the society we would like to see. When, as is the case for most Americans in the upcoming presidential election, both candidates personally fall severely short as moral standard bearers, the only thing to focus on is policy differences. We, like Mr. Groning, are, “…forever responsible and forever accountable,” for how we vote or for abstaining from voting. Whether the court of public opinion holds us to that standard or not, in the present or sixty years down the road, in the next few weeks we each face a moment of truth. Both choices may be terrible, but without relying on what we hope and dream may happen in the future as a result of our choice, we need to live in the present and pull the lever for whichever candidate and positions we feel represents our values more than the other. Sometimes a bad choice is the only choice we get.

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10 comments

Daniel Youngblood says:

Agreed , I believe you are far too kind to Mz Clinton. At the end of the day it is a battle between good and evil, The Clinton\ Washington machine is on a path to the destruction of our freedoms. It only leaves us one choice. Go Mr. TRUMP. Do you and Daniel believe in the agenda 21. Respectfully yours Dan

Brenda says:

From what I have learned the educational machine of this country is very intolerant of Christian values and beliefs. I see a growing hate, dehumanizing and segregation of Christians in our society. I truly believe if we do not pray, fast, vote, turn from our wicked ways, openly stand up for what is right and seek God’s help now we will all too soon find ourselves in the same plight as the Jews under German rule.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Brenda
I largely think you’re right and I see Tuesday last as God’s 2nd chance to do exactly what you prescribe
Cordially
RDL

Manuel Lopez says:

I wonder why conservatives think Trump would do their bidding when he gets to power. A man who’s god has always being is belly is suddenly going to change and become the gold standard for conservative values. Look at his personal history he never honor nor uphold the most important covenant relationships with his wives nor honor contracts with thousands of sub contractors who worked for him while he was getting rich off their labor. Trump would be worse than Hilter if he gets to power. Go and study history and see how Hilter started his rise to power. He started with blaming a race for Germany malaise. What is Trump doing?

Susan Lapin says:

I don’t expect him to rule as a conservative. I do expect him to rule more conservatively than Hillary. I think the Hitler comparisons don’t stand up to historical scrutiny. Hitler had a vision and a mission that he was working towards. I think it more likely that Trump is an accidental candidate.

David Altschuler says:

Without commenting on the German case, I’ve read several times that the Nazi’s did not force people to work in the death camps. It was dangerous to oppose them, of course, and opting out of an assignment might well get one sent to more dangerous duty, but one could usually opt out of death camp duty.

Susan Lapin says:

I’m not defending Gene Klein. I do think it is easier to be a noble hero when reading about situations others were in rather than when you are in the situation yourself.

LJ says:

If I can post here, it will have finally worked after all. It’s been a while and I have been very busy. However, I will make a quick remark. We currently have a presidential election choice between two Democrats. The reason behind this fact is that there are not enough upright or just voices being able to break through the left-wing media’s anti-American-Enterprise and anti-Judeo-Christian values fortress. Those people own the news that the world gets to hear and see.

However, my family of four and I waited an hour to vote early thankfully. Now we’re setting off on a road trip to visit a place I’ve never seen except in pictures, though I did live in a similar environment. Part of our trip will include celebrating the 241st United States Marine Corps Birthday with my Marine husband and his fellow Marines for a Bravo Company 3rd Tank Battalion reunion! And I am hoping that other November celebrations: (we have 3 additional birthdays this month, too) Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving holidays are spent with sincere gratitude to our Creator for every blessing of this life.

Susan Lapin says:

Sounds like an amazing trip! Enjoy.

LJ says:

Many thanks for the reply, Susan. I’ve also enjoyed reading about your amazingly beautiful boating vacations! I learned to sail on Lake Whatcom in 1995, but I have not done it since then. We’ll be traveling to see the Grand Canyon (my first time) and then off to meet for the reunion. I’ve been to Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Monument (before it was a National Park) and even lived in Twentynine Palms (where I met my Marine husband) but the pictures do make the GC Park look quite different from these other desert cities.

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