Moral Accountability

This made me smile.

After almost all six presidential candidates at the Iowa Family Leader’s presidential forum had expressed fidelity to Jesus Christ and talked about rough patches in their lives, moderator Frank Luntz said, “You are so admirable in terms of character.”

It was an ironic remark given the forum’s theme of morality and Christ-centered values. And it shone a light on the elephant in the living room.

Of the six there, Herman Cain stands accused of sexually harassing four women and Newt Gingrich is on his third marriage, having admitted to extramarital affairs during his first two marriages. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Cain support waterboarding — widely believed to be torture — on people accused of having links to terrorism. Rick Perry supports the death penalty.

How do those positions conform to Christian values? And why was no one at First Federated Church mentioning them?

To not do so made a mockery of the whole premise.

We always hear from the ‘without god there can be no morals’ crowd: “Without the judgement of god, how can there be accountability?”  It’s a stupid question, usually delivered with enough sneering condescension to gag a maggot.  How can there be moral accountability when you believe that torture, dishonesty with your spouse, and literally any crime imaginable no matter how severe or malicious can be dismissed if only you believe a Canaanite Jew rose from the dead 2,000 years ago?  In that case, the only accountability left is your own conscience and human sense of compassion.  Without those things, you’re a monster whether you have Jesus or not.

You say “They’re good Christians”.  I hear “I’m a sucker, and I’m voting for these people who have ceased to be accountable to themselves and to humanity.”

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.