Monday, May 30, 2011

The Moral Middle

What is the Moral Middle? It is the overwhelming majority of America. We hardly ever hear about it, however. What we usually hear about are the moral extremes: the conservative and the liberal. But, most people don't actually fit into either of these categories, even when they think they do.  There is usually something, some issue, that they either secretly or openly feel the opposite on. There is almost always some exception.

To understand what the moral middle truly is we must first look at examples of the extremes.

The Liberal

I recently expressed my opinion of Lady Gaga's performance on the 2011 Spring American Idol finale. I thought it was atrocious that this particular performance, which included simulated sex acts, was aired on a TV show watched by millions of children. The choice of venue for this act was wholly and completely inappropriate.

I was immediately attacked for my objections. To date, I've received 131 pieces of hate mail on the topic. What struck me the most was that none of these attackers would even address the issue of showing what amounted to soft porn to children. They wouldn't even touch it. They couldn't. Instead, they attacked me personally. Some called me a hypocrite because they knew I was not a conservative extremist. Others, those who don't know me at all, called me a prude. But, none of them would actually debate the issue.

Children + Porn = NO!

They wouldn't debate the issue because they know they are on the loosing end. They can't call it artistic expression protected by freedom of speech because freedom of speech does not include the corruption of minors. Especially not other people's minor children. Their only defense is to bully and attack the detractor personally in an attempt to redirect the focus so no one remembers what the original issue was. With me that didn't work. Okay, it worked for about 20 minutes. Then I realized what was happening and started shutting these smut peddling morons down.

The Conservative

A friend recently gave me this link to an article on entitled Single Girl. In this article the author advocates marrying girls off when they are still in their teens. Not giving them the option, but forcing them too. This way they'll have a husband to properly guide and discipline them. The author also advocates hitting them to keep them in line. The idea is to marry a girl young, sending her straight from her father's home to her husband's home, and never allow her to live on her own or know anything resembling freedom. That way she'll never miss it.

I would also like to point out that the author decided not to give his or her name. Could it be because the majority of grown men who consider themselves conservative disagree with their archaic view? Probably. That, and he or she didn't want to deal with the inevitable hate mail. Moreover, they don't want to hear the words "Welcome to Islam."

The Moral Middle

Now let's talk about an example of the moral middle. Take your pick, there are hundreds of millions of them in the the United States alone. We call them the Average Joe.

Someone in the middle might call themselves conservative, but not be willing to marry their daughters off at age 13 for "their own good". They may think that their daughters should finish college before getting married, or that it should be their decision if they want to wear pants or a skirt.

Someone in the middle might call themselves a liberal, but be horrified to find their children watching anything with rating over PG13. They may think that marriage is actually a good thing, and that parents should be married. If not to each other, at least to someone.

Someone who is in the middle might have started their young adult life thinking they were liberal, only to have some bad experiences with the liberal extreme and then decided that maybe they were conservative after all. Or, vice versa. Perhaps she is a girl who married young, then decided that was a really bad move. Perhaps she move out of her parents' house immediately after turning 18, fell in with a bad crowd, wound up on drugs, then managed to get clean and sober and turn her life around.

Someone who is in the moral middle might be a single mother whose husband decided he wasn't ready for kids after all and ran out on her.

Someone in the moral middle might be a good, church going man who doesn't make his wife wear a dress all the time, because he wants her to be comfortable.

Someone in the moral middle might be a teacher who claims to be liberal and forward thinking, then upon hearing that one of his former students got pregnant and decided not to get married says, "Well, that's a stupid idea."

Someone in the moral middle is a normal person. A regular person, who doesn't see the world in black and white. Someone who has the intelligence to take each and every individual situation as it comes and not assign a blanket belief that must held to with absolute rigor. They may use the framework of a greater belief, but handle the details in the manner they personally feel is best. They exercise their right to change their minds as new information and experiences are presented. They do not let someone else's rules micro-manage their lives, yet, neither do they throw the rules out.

The majority of America is in the moral middle because we are the sum of our experiences. If we are alive, we are still experiencing... everything.