Chastity, like other aspects of transcendent morality, is most purely about respecting others as likewise children of God.
Secular conventions are customs of convenience -- what has come into common acceptance that with which most people hope to get away.
Morality is perfectly well extrapolated from the honesty we call purity/chastity.
Outstanding article, and so applicable to many people I know.
One question I have had is the way we use the word "moral" to mean "chastity". Moral extends to so much more than chastity. Of course there is an aspect of morality that applies to chastity, but morality includes honesty, integrity, work ethic, charity, service, etc. Equating morality primarily with chastity is something that seems to be particular to Christianity and especially our church. I think it is very limiting. I believe we would do well to realize that we might do better if we used the term "chastity" when we are talking about sexual behaviors and "morals" or "morality" when we are talking about ALL aspects of the term. I believe this would help us keep the message straight in the world.
Again, an outstanding article. Thank you.
"by using our intellectual gifts to question, not the wisdom of Church authorities, but the rationality of the secular “moral convictions” that now invade us from every quarter"
This is an important statement. I know for sure that experimenting as though the word of God is true is so much more powerful and fruitful that experimenting as though it were not true. But the first is naturally more difficult as well as less popular, so one following the first type will make invitations to others to perform the same experiment but will be less likely to be heeded.
I had a conversation recently with someone who believed in God, but saw his commandments as demands based in vanity, and that God enjoyed punishing those who disobeyed him. I tried to get him to see the idea of a God who knows what leads to happiness, and also loves us, and so tries to clue us in.
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