Has Our Society Lost Its Vision of What It Means to Be Human?

Core Institutions

If the principles of the natural law in social conservatism teach us anything, it’s that society has to have some baseline moral consensus for society to have any long-term vision for perpetuating itself. Sadly, right now we are staring down the secular abyss in our society. When we’re looking at these core social conservative institutions that society needs to thrive, we’re seeing tremendous damage being done to them.

When we look at abortion on demand, 60+ million Americans have been killed through abortion. When we’re looking at the redefinition of marriage, the fact that we don’t even have a common consensus on what marriage is anymore or what constitutes the natural family. I think that’s extremely problematic and destabilizing. And then I think when you look at the question of What is a man? or What is a woman? around the transgender issue, this conflict is demonstrating—to go back to use the term from C. S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man—we really have begun to scrape at the bottom of the barrel, as far as our attempts to abolish ourselves, or to undo ourselves, whether through abortion or by not even being able to identify what a man or a woman is, and then being unable to appropriately channel our understandings of procreation into marriage, and that being the exclusive definition of marriage.

Social Conservatism for the Common Good

Andrew T. Walker

Edited by Andrew T. Walker, these thoughtful essays from Christian evangelical scholars examine the political philosophy and ethics of influential Catholic social conservative scholar Robert P. George.

Different Moral Universes

There are a whole lot of other issues we could say here that are indicative of this, but I think it’s very clear that, increasingly, Americans and individuals living in Western society are not just living with different worldviews. I like to say that we’re living in different moral universes. When I use this language of moral universes, it means that I think, increasingly in the West and here in America, we’re occupying entirely different moral universes. These moral universes are irreconcilable. They’re impenetrable. We are unable to reason together on even the most basic essentials necessary for the common good. That is something to grieve and to despair over.

It’s also a call for us, as Christians, to love our neighbor by sharing the truth with our neighbor about how our neighbor has been made. As Christians, we talk a lot about loving our neighbor, and we rightfully should. One of the ways we have to do that is to set the conditions in our society for our neighbor to thrive. Obviously, our neighbor may not believe that our understanding of their best interest is actually in their best interest, but that’s where we have to be able to have that space for continued dialogue and pleading with them—Even if you disagree with us, we really are for you in our belief of seeking your good.

Andrew T. Walker is the editor of Social Conservatism for the Common Good: A Protestant Engagement with Robert P. George.

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