Dennis Prager has an intriguing post about the interaction among liberals of morality as a laundry list of public political positions combined with wretched personal behavior:
I first thought about this when I saw how the left-wing students at my graduate school, Columbia University, behaved. Aside from their closing down classes, taking over office buildings, and ransacking professors’ offices, I saw the way in which many of them conducted themselves in their personal lives. Most of them had little sense of personal decency, and lived lives of narcissistic hedonism. Women who were involved with leftist groups have told of how poorly they were treated. And one suspects that they would have been treated far better by conservative, let alone religious, men on campus.
My sense was that the radicals’ commitment to “humanity,” to “peace,” and to “love” gave them license to feel good about themselves without having to lead a good life. Their vocal opposition to war and to racism provided them with all the moral self-esteem they wanted.
Consider the example of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. He had been expelled from college for paying someone to take his exams. His role in the death of a woman with whom he spent an evening would have sent almost anyone without his family name to prison — or would have at least resulted in prosecution for negligent homicide. And he spent decades using so many women in so public a way that stories about his sex life were routinely told in Washington. Read the 9,000-word 1990 article in GQ by Michael Kelly, who a few years later became the editor of the New Republic.
When this unimpressive man started espousing liberal positions, speaking passionately about the downtrodden in society, it recalled the unimpressive students who marched on behalf of civil rights, peace and love.
It is quite likely that Ted Kennedy came to believe in the positions that he took. But I also suspect that he found espousing those positions invaluable to his self-image and to his public image: “Look at what a moral man I am after all.” And liberal positions were all that mattered to the left and to the liberal media that largely ignored such lecherous behavior as the “waitress sandwich” he made in a Washington, D.C. restaurant with another prominent liberal, former Senator Chris Dodd.
In addition to knowing that liberal positions provide moral cover for immoral personal behavior, liberals know that their immoral behavior will be given more of pass than exactly the same behavior would if done by a conservative.
Go here to read the rest. This is all very unsurprising since morality to have any force must be based on religion. If morality does not come as a result of revelation, then it is merely a matter of opinion and that is ever shifting. Modern liberalism has little use for God, except when some God talk is useful during some political battle. Otherwise God, and the moral code He gave to mankind, is to be dismissed from the public square, to be replaced with utilitarianism. Thomas Cromwell, in the play A Man For All Seasons, puts this new dispensation quite well:
I know a man who wants to change his woman. Normally a matter of small importance, but in this case…it’s our liege, Lord Henry, the eighth of that name. Which is a quaint way of saying that if he wants to change his woman, he will. And our job as administrators….is to minimise the inconvenience which this is going to cause.
Morality that comes from God is a code that binds us all, high and low, whether we live by it or not. Morality that comes from politics will inevitably be at the beck and call of those who wield power.