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Reader Opinion: God's Word is the standard

Recently, Amy LaValle Hansmann wrote an opinion piece entitled "An Atheist View of the Golden Rule." Hansmann made the claim that "morality can be quite easily boiled down to one simple piece of guidance, which is commonly referred to as 'The Gol...

Recently, Amy LaValle Hansmann wrote an opinion piece entitled "An Atheist View of the Golden Rule." Hansmann made the claim that "morality can be quite easily boiled down to one simple piece of guidance, which is commonly referred to as 'The Golden Rule.'" It should be noted, however, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" has no virtue or meaning without the ethical and anthropological distinctives of Christianity.

What do I mean by this? "Do unto" is an ethical consideration which begs a moral standard. For example, a man may sexually assault his neighbor and attempt to justify his crime by saying he would personally welcome such activity, thus abiding by The Golden Rule. Without an objective moral standard (the Bible), who can tell him his actions are wrong? Additionally, "others/you" presupposes a corresponding anthropology which grounds human dignity. In order to have any coherent, relational injunction, the question "what is man?" must be answered. I would submit that without the imago dei (the image of God), there is no justifiable sanctity of life. Without the imago dei, we are simply star stuff, mindlessly bobbing along the surface of the cosmos.

The Law/Word of God is the complete and coherent system which defines the parameters of The Golden Rule. The first and prior table of the law deals with man's relationship with God and is summarized by this prerequisite imperative: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). Second table commands "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," (Matthew 22:39) dealing with human relationships are subordinate to and delineated by first table commands. God's Word is the only standard that can justify The Golden Rule.

Seth Carlton

Fifty Lakes

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