Senator Bernie Sanders has undergirded his presidential campaign with the declaration that “Income inequality is the great moral issue of our time…” Other political leaders also push free health care, free education and gender equality as the utmost in moral importance. But what are the greatest moral issues of our time? What grieves you when watching the news or reading an article, or breaks your heart when thinking of the future of your children? I would venture that it is not income inequality. The differences in wealth and income are caused by a multitude of factors, and while some causes are outside of individual control, many are directly related to personal choices, desire and subsequent effort to improve one’s own circumstances. The important moral questions that face us today are much deeper, more dangerous, and have greater consequences if left unanswered.
Immediate International Moral Crises:
- Terrorism: a world-wide epidemic, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives. Nations that reject terrorism as a method of furthering political or personal agendas are the only hope for those that face its threat every day. Terrorism threatens to re-draw the political maps of the world, not to be replaced with states and statesmen, but with murderous and ambitious groups fighting for ruthless control over people groups.
- Sexual violence: For many, the use of rape as a weapon of war is “the greatest moral issue of our time.” According to William Hague, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, sexual violence and rape have ruined millions of lives in our lifetime. “Normalization” of such acts, acceptance and silence, have increased its use[i]. We need our political leaders to lead the counterattack and condemn these crimes.
- Human Trafficking: World-wide, there are approximately 27 million adults and 13 million children (some as young as 4 and 6 years old) that are victims of human trafficking. Up to 80% of these cases are for sex[ii]. When we live in a time that claims more slaves than ever before in history, can we conscientiously declare that income inequality is the greatest moral issue we face?
Foundational Moral Issues that Affect the Fabric of our Nation:
- Religious Freedom: Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, the freedom of both soul and conscience to believe and act according to personal conviction and faith. A nation that protects this right, encourages tolerance and peace among its citizens, and protects the meaning of liberty.
- Abortion and the Right to Life: There have been over 50 million babies aborted since the fateful decision of the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade in 1978. Do unborn children have the right to live? The answer to this human rights question is crucial and fundamental to society and to our Nation. The answer determines how we perceive the value of a human life, and how we answer will affect every question concerning the sanctity of life; young or old, healthy or frail[iii]. Do we believe in the human soul? If we do not, how does this affect every other thought that we could have about the human condition? This moral issue has not lost importance by the sheer amount of discussion it has produced, but remains fundamental to our society and to humanity.
- Sanctity of Marriage: Marriage has historically and traditionally begun the family unit. The moral and legal definition of marriage being between one man and one woman has been the building block of our homes and communities. To change this definition is to ignore a fundamental truth that gives substance to our understanding of how human beings interact, and how we teach this moral belief to our children. The family unit is crucial to a strong and healthy nation. When marriage is undermined the healthy family is as well, and thus the strength of our nation.
- Sexual Education: The Comprehensive Sex Education being taught in many of the schools in the United States and around the world amount to one thing: the destruction of innocence and the corruption of our youth. These classes promote the sexualization of children at younger and younger ages, by teaching them harmful behaviors and exposing them to sexually perverse and explicit materials that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Please do not let the political agenda of pro-homosexual and pro-abortion groups undermine the safety of your child. Call your school, find out what your children are being taught and take a stand if it violates your moral reasoning and principles.
Often the most important issues of our time are laid aside for lesser, but still pressing, matters. Undoubtedly income affects the majority of Americans. But we must not forget that fundamental rights of liberty which give us the freedom to pursue happiness, to pursue our dreams, are intrinsically linked to moral virtue and our answers to the hardest human questions. Ask yourself the hard questions, about the soul, about the safety of our children and the importance of good character. Ask yourself about the role of nations to prevent genocides, to protect the innocent. The most important moral issues are too important to ignore.