That phrase – absolutely nuts – pops into my head often when I read or hear the opinions of my leftist friends and acquaintances. Then, I think about that word absolutely, and I realize that’s the problem – the left denounces absolutes, but leftist thought is thoroughly sodden with them.
I am conservative and Christian – a real pre-modernist. I believe in absolute truth, in the absolute existence of God, and that the Bible is unquestionably the Word of that God. I believe the basic concept of morality as absolute – the liberal situation ethics is nonsensical and the Ten Commandments are just as relevant now as they were 3500 years ago. I am sure that Christ’s mandate to love each other is an absolute. When Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No man comes to the Father but through me,” He was speaking in absolutes.
The left-wing post-modernists mock all the above. I have my truth; they have theirs. God is whatever a person wants him to be. The Bible is just an old book written by a bunch of ancient, dead men. Morality needs to keep up with the times. Love should be dependent on one’s race and political point of view. Ones’ sex is not tied to biological reality.
But leftists are not nearly as “open minded” as they claim. For all their trumpeting of liberal tolerance, they actually lean heavily on their own version of fundamentals.
They are absolutely dug in on their ideas – even the ones that obviously need softening and mitigating. Let’s look at tolerance. That’s at the top of their must-do list; must be open and accepting of everyone’s post-modern beliefs. Now, tolerance is a noble virtue – to an extent. If my neighbor is an atheist, it is a virtue to be polite to him, to love and care for him, to get to know him. But what if my neighbor is a pedophile? What if he lures young boys to his house and I know what he’s up to? Should my tolerance continue? The left would say yes. Tolerance is an absolute in their world. Should I tolerate Muslim men harassing young women in my community? Plotting to blow up my church? Mutilating their own daughters? Is there no line to be drawn here?
Diversity, another leftist absolute, is the other side of the tolerance coin. Everyone else’s culture is absolutely better than anything American -- even though it’s not. It is true that America is an amazing amalgam of dozens of cultures, partially because of assimilation, and partly because of intermarriage. I am Danish-Czech-Swiss-Dutch-English, etc. I am married to an English Luxembourgian. We have Irish grandchildren. Most of us are mongrels of one kind or another. And we eat Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Mongolian, and Thai food. Our language is a polyglot affair filled with bits and pieces from hundreds of languages. We are richer for it.
But the liberal doesn’t want us to appreciate our multifaceted culture; we are to denigrate it and prefer the cultures of those who come here illegally. We are to spend a large portion of our children’s education teaching them about other cultures and doing so without any censure of the behaviors of those other societies. If the Netsilik Eskimos want to put their elderly out on ice floes to drift off into a cold, lonely death, then that’s okay. If the Maasai want to yank out the canine teeth of their toddlers then we shouldn’t judge. If it’s part of Sharia law that a man can beat his wife, then what’s wrong with that? The left has sacrificed all moral judgment at the feet of the god of diversity.
They see their right to speak their minds as absolute, never mind how incendiary or untrue. They see their right to believe what they want as such an absolute that it extends to an imagined right of protection from any facts or ideas that go against their beliefs. Even the most diehard conservative Constitutionalist knows that all of our rights have limitations. I can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater; I can’t practice a religion that requires human sacrifice; I can’t set up a loaded Gatling gun in my front yard, and I understand that under certain circumstances the government has to be able to tap phones and read emails. The liberal, however, sees his own rights as absolutes and one of those rights is to demand that government cushion his entire earthly existence regardless of how that affects the rights of others.
Now, I admitted that my beliefs are also unqualified, so where do I get off lambasting the leftists? That’s not hard to explain.
Unlike the left, I have no outward quarrel with absolutes. In fact, the things I see as irrefutable and eternal, are, in fact, irrefutable and eternal.
o God, the Judeo-Christian, triune God, being outside of both time and space, is an absolute. All we know of science and history underscores that as fact. God is the uncaused, immutable Cause who pre-existed all of both human and angelic existence. The left sees godness as merely a misguided human construct, but the evidence makes that nonsense. Extra-biblical verification shows that man has been aware of the Godhead from the earliest times – ancient Chinese pictographs, universal flood stories in over 250 cultures, etc.
o Because God is perfect righteousness and perfect justice, His law is perfect and therefore does not need readjusting to 21st century human standards. Good and evil have not changed. Human nature has not changed. History bears witness to this -- Darwinism notwithstanding, mankind is still a mess.
o We have not outgrown our inherited original sin – the 20th century was the bloodiest in all of human history and the 21st is shaping up to be even worse. The best mankind can do on his own is to fake uprightness (this goes for all of us – Christians included) or to declare that our sins aren’t sins, which changes their status not at all, mitigates their devastating effect on human society not one iota.
o And lastly, truth is true or it isn’t truth. Now, it’s correct that given a half-dozen witnesses to an event you’ll end up with a half-dozen versions of the same event, but that doesn’t mean that an actual event didn’t take place. In short, I believe in reality. Can we always find the absolute truth, be totally aware of the truth. No, partly because, as Jack Nicholson’s character said in A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!” Reality is often a bitter pill.
Reality demands that we face our own imperfections and also face God’s perfections and our ultimate incompatibility with Him. It requires that we accept the fact that the problem has been solved for us. That’s pretty hard on our over-developed egos, but it is true in the most absolute sense. “No man comes to the Father but by me.” Jesus Christ absolutely allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross in order to build a bridge from us to God Almighty. There was nothing wishy-washy there.
The left’s failure to understand that avoiding these uncomfortable absolutes divorces us from reality, leaves us trying to stand and move forward with our feet stuck in the quicksand of fuzzy, nonsensical assumptions. It can make us absolutely nuts.