I read this thread: http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2252506
and in the course of my ruminations it dawned on me. The author has it almost completely backwards. The issue is not failing moral standards, but countervailing ones. His complaint I think is better seen as being irked since his moral cause was usurped by another, similar one.
Here is what I mean. If you listen to pretty much all political discourse today, the discussions are framed almost completely as moralizing. Pro-abortion talks about women’s unassailable rights, right to lifers fire back in the same way. The environment is being ruined by evil corporations and must be purified. The list drags on. The reason that this moral velocity occurs is that the other side of a debate, rather than being able to come up with a staid, rational policy, is thinking precisely in the terms of a crusade. This means if they get the upper hand, they will go overboard.
One of the big issues I’ve been thinking about is how society has become secularized over the last 100 years or so and I really think that most all the trappings of religion remain as the framework for behaviors. People get up and make confessions, do penitence and generally make asses of themselves in the name of a good cause. Oh the eco-warrior would probably be scandalized beyond words to be compared to some little old lady from the WCTU, but they sound the same in most every way that counts.
More to the point I think that, if I am right, it is precisely this sort of thinking (which the Enlightenment was trying to stamp out and failed at) which will continue to be the source of all friction. I for one feel very, very strongly that religion should stay out of politics and so should its proxies.
So people, give me your thoughts. Am I on to something here? Or am I just full of shit?