Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who's The Boss?

It might be fascinating to walk down the street interviewing people, asking them: "Who is the boss of your life?" You'll probably get fairly similar responses ... myself, my wife, my parents, God.

In fact, this question of who does the bossing is an incredibly important shaper of our decisions, our policies and our outlook on life. I had no idea how significant this was until I started to analyse political views in light of this issue. Let's take a look at a number of divisive issues in this light...

The "boss" issue is crucial to the issue of abortion. Pro-choice is distinctly about showing that the mother is the boss and has all the choices. In homosexuality and gay marriage, once again its about individual choice - that the individual is the boss and nobody can impose morality on them. Move along to pornography and clearly we're dealing with the same issue - personal preference rules over a general morality that is imposed on the individual.

Without much effort, we'll see that this emphasis on being your own boss is a key agenda in the liberal and humanist movement. Personal independence is closely related to the humanist concept of man as god and the intrinsic good nature that is everyone's makeup.

At that moment a party like the ACDP walks in and demands that God be recognised in the constitution as the head over all things. This is not just a bunch of wording in the constitution to appease the religious right, but rather a very distinct answer to the question of: who is the boss? When you begin to walk down that road, you'll see policies change.

On the question of abortion, the mother is not the boss anymore, but she is under a greater law and a greater duty, that of protecting what has been entrusted to her. In homosexuality, when God said marriage is between one man and one woman, that's the way it must be if He's the boss. Pornography falls away under a similar greater law.

It won't take long to study modern media and know that there is a distinct emphasis on choice, independence, questioning of authority and doubt in the wisdom preached by leadership. While there is a healthy position of awareness and pressure on unfair authority where one has the scope for such a position, where would you say the pendulum has swung to? Would you say it's fair to admit that we're repulsed by the thought of subjugating ourselves to a "greater power"?

The reality is that we're all sheep, led along by silly impulses, vain thoughts, short-term grievances, long-term cynicism. We have strains of beauty, moments of clarity and dashes of kindness, but when we stop and take a long, hard look at ourselves, we all know there's a selfishness that rules us to the point that our decisions our not always in other's interests, and even worse, not always in our own interests either. We hate to bend our knee to God, but at some point, by volition or without, we're all ready to admit we haven't got it all together.

The ACDP's position is not that we want a country under God in subjugation, control and manipulation. Rather, we believe that there is a better way for South Africa, a greater good, a bigger love, a gentler kindness, a superior wisdom. We know as everyone does, whether they admit it or not, that humankind is hell-bent and fails to walk the line they know is best, despite their best intentions. Our position is first humility and then gratitude. Humbled that we fall so far short; grateful that God keeps giving us a second chance and a hope and a future. Bow our knees? Happily.

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DISCLAIMER: This blog serves as a commentary and the views presented are not necessary the official views of the ACDP. For official statements and contact details, visit: www.acdp.org.za