In a recent book, the Dalai Lama made an interesting claim. He said we would benefit from having a secular morality that supersedes all religious teachings. In other words, an overarching ethic that subsumes all religious belief systems.
Philosophers like Hume, Hobbes, Kant, and MacIntyre have offered us ways of thinking about morality, including and excluding the idea of a providential God. Any one of which could serve the claim made by the Dalai Lama.
Here's the reason why. Along with many other learning intuitions like language, we come into the world with a sensitivity for morality in place. Infants as young as nine months old can tell right from wrong. So, contrary to what some might believe, humans gave morality to religions and not the other way around.
Religions are the various flavors added by the cultures they come from.
In other words, we are born with the capacity to love goodness, love ourselves and love our neighbors. Everything else is flavoring. Sometimes that flavoring enhances. Sometimes it perverts.
Speaking of perversions, there is a pernicious religious flavoring in the United States that corrupts the very basis of our inborn moral nature. And that religious flavoring is Fundamental Christian Evangelicalism and it has been insinuating itself into our government since Ronald Reagan.
With or without a native religion, those of us who still have access to our inborn human moral sensitivities are repulsed by the vulgar display of "Professional Christian" Con Men and women claiming this president is appointed by God. As preposterous as this claim is on the surface, the real reason lies in their fevered imaginations. His "reign" signals the end times when Jesus will come to judge us, take the good people to heaven where they will enjoy watching the rest of us die agonizing deaths in the final battle of Armageddon. And as a consolation prize, the Jews will be converted to Christianity, the one true religious flavor.
Even these five hundred or so words grants it too much gravitas. The number of arguments to refute this fantasy would fill an encyclopedia but let's just stick with one point. None of this belongs in government. Yet, there it is. Ninety percent of these folks are in full support of the current administration which itself is highly influenced by these fantasies.
Having this set of fantasies so well-insinuated into our administration is bad enough, but the focus of attention is on one of the most unstable and inflammable areas on the planet, the Mideast. Our foreign policy, or what we call foreign policy, in the Mideast is being overtly influenced by Fundamentalist Christian Evangelicals who want the end times to start in a field near Jerusalem.
In my mind, this is insanity disguised as religion to polish it up and offer it as a justification for some of the darkest parts of the human psyche. To want the world to end is the final exasperation of a feeble-minded philosophy, an inability to deal with the complexities of life, a stubborn insistence on failed expectations.
"The world just ain't the way I want it to be, so I want my God to destroy it." That may be just fine for you and yours, but the sane among us have different ideas.
Resist the flag-draped politician who carries a bible. If we need a wall, it's between the bible and the flag.