Pastor Dave  

Ethical paralysis

Chuck Colson, in one of his Break Point articles on (Jan 11th, 2012) shared about a discussion Dr. Stephen Anderson, a philosophy teacher at A.B. Lucas Secondary School in Ontario, had with his students. He primed their minds with a gruesome picture of Bibi Aisha, the teenage wife of an abusive Taliban fighter.

Bibi was caught trying to escape her abuser, and as punishment, was horribly mutilated and disfigured and left for dead in the mountains. Fortunately she made it to an American hospital where her life was saved and her visage restored. You can see her story on YouTube -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MfE9Iv07dA.

Anderson intended to create an educational shock to their ethical system. Instead of the students sharing a strong moral aversion to this inhumanity, the students shocked their teacher with a common fear of making any moral judgment at all. “They were unwilling to criticize any situation originating in another culture.” One student said, “Well, we might not like it, but maybe over there it’s okay.”

This incident may expose what may be the tip of the ethical iceberg, a tip that may well become the tipping point for a generation morally. Our youth appear to have bought into the extreme tenets of multiculturalism, ideas that lead to an unexamined faith in the equality of all cultures. To quote Jonathan Goldberg in a 2005 editorial published in the National Review Online, “Have we opened our minds so far, our brains have fallen out?"

The fact is that not all cultures are equal. We see that tension right now in Canada’s justice system. Canadian law is challenging what appears to be an assumed Islamic cultural right, the right to honour kill. Mohammed Shafia, his wife and son, have been charged with four counts of honour killing that include taking the lives of three of his daughters.

Human Rights Watch defines "honour killings" as “acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonour upon the family....The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that ‘dishonours’ her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.”

Women have been killed for flirting or having a boyfriend without the family's consent. Shafia was caught on tape, after the burial of his daughters, saying: “May the devil s—t on their graves.” The cultural defect here is not just a disagreement about what constitutes honour or homicide, but also, what constitutes a woman’s rights?

Canadian culture has been built upon the bedrock of Judeo-Christian beliefs about right and wrong. Equality between the genders is a Biblical ethic. I know that this foundation is being challenged by present day culture, but it still remains intact regarding the matter of honour killing. To the 2012 Canadian mind, these acts were not acts of honour but acts of crime. All twelve honour killing cases (1999-2012) have resulted in capital charges and sentences to life in prison.

Our youth have grown up with the ideas of values clarification, what may more easily be identified as meta-ethical relativism, the belief that the truth or falsity of moral judgments is not objective. In other words, “It’s moral to me because I believe it is.” Believers tout dropping words like “good,” “bad,” “right” or “wrong.” Morality is personal, and therefore, outside of the infringements of judgment, right?

The lack of principled morality has led to what Anderson describes as an “ethically vacuous relativism” where the key words become “never judge, never criticize, never take a position.” This is the essence of ethical paralysis, and an entire generation has been infected with this debilitating disease.

This lack of morality, and this fear or inability to speak up, is a clear and present danger for the future of Canada. Only a return to ethical foundations will anchor and right this ship and preserve the future of next generations.

This is Canada. Every immigrant is welcome to enjoy citizenship and the blessings that come from the privilege of living in this great nation. However, some traditions and expressions of culture need to be left at the border. They are not welcome in Canada.

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About the Author

Dr. David Kalamen is founder and lead pastor of Kelowna Christian Center (KCC). Married to Carleen for 35 years, they and their family, all living and working in Kelowna, have together been ministering to the people of this region for over 25 years. David cares deeply about the citizens of Kelowna and the state of the city, causing him to develop the Houses of Mercy program to help build compassionate community.

His column "Oh! Canada!" reflects his love for the Canadian people and this nation, and brings a refreshing perspective to local and national issues of common concern.

David has spoken at national and international conferences that have dealt with a wide range of leadership issues touching Christianity, politics, social justice, mercy missions and business. That call has taken him to over 20 nations. He has served on the General Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and is presently a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute. David has authored a book, Life Purpose that has sold broadly throughout Canada.

If you want to contact Pastor Kalamen about this week's column please e-mail [email protected], call (250) 762-9559, or write to KCC at 905 Badke Road, Kelowna, V1X 5Z5.

Useful websites are:
Kelowna Christian Center: www.kcc.net
Heritage Christian School: www.heritagechristian.ca
Heritage Christian Online: www.onlineschool.ca
Global Ministry Training Center: www.gmtc.ca

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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