What is your opinion of someone who does something “good” or “right”, but does it the wrong way, without following the rules, the system, ignoring the will and rights of others in the process? Is it right? Does the end justify the means?
My problem of late is that the people who are claiming the moral high ground, are also claiming the moral relativity of the end justifies the means.
What am I thinking about? A lot of things. Let me illustrate with the DACA issue — something I have followed not exceptionally close, and yet can easily see a lot of problems with the situation.
Let’s go back to the election. Before being elected president, a lot of the Trump-nay-sayers were warning us about his totalitarian tendencies. We would all lose our rights and get herded into prison camps, etc. etc. Yet what are the people complaining about with DACA? That he is choosing to NOT exercise extra-constitutional powers like his predecessors, but is actually reigning in the “discretionary” powers of the presidency.
Trump has indicated that he has no problems with the DACA policy in concept, but it is just one more presidential extra-constitutional policy that he is rolling back — the exact opposite of the totalitarian image we have been warned about. If congress were to pass the same policy, constitutionally, he would have no problem with it.
And yet, because he is choosing to follow the law, to live within the law, instead of putting himself above the law, he is now the villain.
What of those who are saying this, making him the villain? Do they have respect for the rule of law, for the rights of others?
They claim they are fighting for justice for those who were benefited from DACA. But DACA isn’t a matter of justice. The people benefiting from DACA had no rights to what they received from DACA. DACA was an act of compassion and mercy. Too many people out there have justice and mercy confused. It isn’t wrong to exercise mercy. It is wrong to exercise mercy to one person through injustice to someone else.
Let’s go back to my first paragraph. Exercising mercy without following the rules, the system, ignoring the will and rights of others in the process, is mercy WITHOUT justice.
Since many of the people I know objecting to the DACA removal are religious, Christian figures, I will throw in a scripture verse. Micah 6:8
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
These people are getting this confused, and trying to do mercy by perverting justice.
A dear pastor friend of mine shared the post of someone else about DACA. Based on his previous statements, and the way he shared the post, I am afraid he agrees with her post. I am disappointed he does, because of the descriptions and attitudes she expresses that are intolerant and unchristian.
She declares that the DACA rollback is both immoral and “unbiblical” (must be an 11th commandment somewhere in scripture that it breaks that I haven’t read yet).
But the worst line, really, is this one:
If any of you want to argue with me, I will unfriend you, ESPECIALLY if you are a so-called Christian, and especially are a pastor. It only means you’ve bought into the heretical White Amurican (SIC) Nationalism they’ve been shoveling and I’ve no capacity for you, you goat. If you wish to ask questions, that’s different. But if I even detect a remote amount of fight in you, you’re out. And if you wish to unfriend me, well I don’t need the likes of you anyways, you cruel hearted fool. And if all of this is too much for you and not “Christlike” enough – take this as a turning the tables moment.
If this is an example of toleration, then give me bigotry. This sort of attitude is an example of what C.S. Lewis warned us about:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)
These Christians would rob everyone who does not agree with them of their free will to disagree and make their own decisions, because they are so sure of their own righteousness. They are modern-day Claude Frollos, the Pharisees of our times.
To clarify my position: I have nothing against the policies inherent in DACA, but I will not sacrifice the rule of law, freedom or speech or freedom of conscience for it. Nor will I unfriend or troll anyone over this issue. I leave to others their free will to act as they see fit on these items.