A classic essay by G.C. Dilsaver. Don’t miss it. Here is an excerpt:
“…The Christian single-issue advocates are in effect, if not always in intent, minimalists and compromisers. What they are urging is what a functional conscience with but the slightest sense of natural law and moral rectitude would urge. These single-issue Christians fail to see the bigger picture, the essence of the evil itself, because they compartmentalize their faith. It is safer than living that faith out in its totality and it is safely political and issue-oriented rather than dangerously militant and prophetic. Being pro-life becomes militant and prophetic, it becomes heroic and a personal encounter with Christ Crucified, most especially for those who endure a pregnancy that is somehow tragic. But for most of us being pro-life remains an issue, even the banner issue of our conservative politics and our Christian faith.
But Christianity can’t be reduced down to issues or politics. It isn’t liberation theology nor neo-conservatism nor dispensationalism, all of which fall under the category of a semi- or anti-Christianity. Not only is Christianity not merely political, it is not merely moral. You can’t reduce the faith down to a moral code much less one moral position, no matter how serious that position is. To do so does irreparable damage to that faith and, as such, best assures the defeat of the moral position one advocates.
Means and Ends
In traditional Christian morality a good end never justifies an evil means, and even if it did an evil means never procures a good end that lasts. A strikingly relevant case in point was the Fascist government in Italy. Mussolini’s state banned abortion, birth control, and homosexuality activity. As a Catholic I hold these things as intrinsically evil and their curtailment good. However, supporters of Italian fascism, even those who supported it primarily for the advancement of these moral issues, are responsible for facilitating a cataclysmic evil. This evil culminated in Catholics sheepishly submitting to national conscription and participation in an unjust and horrifying war. In addition, it led to the subsequent weakening of Catholic culture, morals, and faith in Italy and to the final eradication of European Christendom. The result now being a de-Christianized Italy that fully accepts those very moral issues some sought to address by compromising with the fascist regime. If even a fraction of the effort and sacrifice that was squandered by Italian and other Catholics in World War II had instead been brought to missionary efforts the world would be looking at the rebirth of Christendom rather than its demise.
Moral decadence always comes in the wake of war…”