More than a little ink spilled recently in Iowa over an administrator’s questionable email etiquette. That’s a nice way of saying she used her work email to do some pretty dirty things. In fact, her behavior motivated the powers that be in Des Moines public schools to implement a morality clause.
Morality clause? Aren’t we living in a relativistic culture? Who has the right to implement a moral standard?
Seems like our culture’s digging her own grave, though we hate to admit it. If we all make our own moral standard, how can we say someone else’s is inferior?
C.S. Lewis differentiates moral law from the law of nature in that it is what we “ought” to do, not what we simply do. Trees fall when cut and grass grows in response to rain and sunshine. Nature does those things, but there is not another layer of “ought.” Trees aren’t looked down on if they don’t fall at the feller’s ax. Grass isn’t more supremely regarded if it grows than if it wilts. Nature simply does things and we observe these characteristics.
People, on the other hand, get angry when someone steps in front of the shopping line or if someone steals the family car. We get angry because they “ought” not do such a thing. It’s wrong.
Everyone has their own version of “ought” – the place they draw the line in the sand where relativity fades and objectivity says, “you can’t do that to me.”
I struggle with the controversy in Des Moines because we are clamoring to say this woman “ought not” do what she did, yet we told her all along (as she gained experience and degrees in our system) that she needn’t bother with someone else’s morality. We told her that hers would do just fine.
How many people implementing the city’s new ‘morality clause’ could stand under its inspection? Are some positions more ‘moral’ than others because they are more public?
I race around these questions in my head and wish that C.S. Lewis was giving a lecture next week on a public campus. Jesus would obviously be the first choice, but C.S. Lewis seems more within reach (is that bad?). Honestly, I imagine the same response following a lecture by Lewis and a sermon by Jesus – a bunch of people filing out of a sterile auditorium mumbling their disagreement or support as they walk to their next engagement.
It hurts to hear the high-browed arguments about what should or shouldn’t be done in the public eye. Moral rules outside of divine wisdom are like walking on railroad tracks to an unknown destination.
The excitement and joy of doing what we “ought” is in knowing that in doing so we are free. It is not a morality clause that keeps us behaving as we ought, but a love that can’t imagine behaving any other way.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy