Friday, March 17, 2006

Dan Henninger reaches a conclusion I can buy

in his editorial in todays Opinion Journal entitled, "Barry Bonds, Meet Andrew Fastow: There's more to morality than the politics of sex."
The efficient path to an ethical revival would be to call upon religious institutions and the schools to teach morality. Uh-oh. Morality? Entire presidential campaigns and Supreme Court nominations are fought now over someone's idea of morality. What's right and wrong has become as red and blue as our politics.

But look a little closer. These religious wars are about one thing: sex.

After the 2004 "moral values" presidential election, Pew Research surveyed public attitudes. But the only explicitly identified determinants of moral belief named in their questionnaires are abortion, gay marriage and gay rights (and belief in God).

Maybe it's time for the sex obsessives on the left and right to take their fights over abortion and gay rights into a corner somewhere and give the rest of society space to restore some ethical rootedness in an endlessly variable world. Because letting the vacuum persist long enough on values useful to everyday life will breed too many little Bonds and little Fastows. And because the constant public magnification of these ethical breakdowns makes everyone feel like scuzz by association. It has a corrosive affect on the rest of us, on our sense of who we are.

I was taught to spell "scuzz" with one 'z,' but I like his point.

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