Over the weekend, I received several emails from readers warning me that I might lose my job over the article I wrote criticizing my university?s new harassment policy. Readers who sometimes suggest that I should learn to hold my tongue fail to understand my simple philosophy of life. It is an uncompromising philosophy that guarantees both peace of mind and success in any important endeavor. It can be roughly summarized as follows:
1. If you want to be happy and successful, you must immediately disabuse yourself of the notion that there is no such thing as good and evil.
If, for some reason, this is difficult for you to do, take the time to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. If that still does not convince you, take the time to visit Auschwitz.
2. You must also immediately disabuse yourself of the notion that good and evil are simply relative terms. There are moral absolutes and they have absolutely nothing to do with your personal feelings and perceptions.
It should be noted that people who claim to believe in moral relativism are just lying in order to make themselves appear to be morally superior to others. Their actual belief in moral absolutism is revealed when, at some point, they openly proclaim that there are no absolutes. If everything is relative, the philosophy of moral relativism can?t be absolutely true.
3. Take some time every day to fine-tune your understanding of the difference between right and wrong.
Recently, a good friend of mine lost his mother to cancer. He later made a casual suggestion about the need for some sort of handbook, which could be used to sort out the difficult problems and answer the difficult questions one encounters in life.
Fortunately, such a handbook exists. It is called the Holy Bible.
No one can call himself educated if he has not read the Bible at least once. Even after several readings of the Bible some things will remain unclear. Some questions will remain unanswered. Nonetheless, upon every reading of the Bible, greater wisdom is gained. After all, life is a journey. It is not a destination.
By the same token, one should never go to a psychologist or any other counselor who is a self-proclaimed atheist or agnostic. I cannot think of a single important principle the field of psychology has established that wasn?t already established in the Sermon on the Mount.
4. Life will present you with plenty of encounters with good and evil. Just as you should never pass up an opportunity to promote good, you should never pass up an opportunity to combat evil.
One of my favorite verses of the Bible is James 4:17. It states that ?Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.? That verse reminds us that we don?t have to actually do something to be morally culpable. In other words, there is such a thing as a sin of omission.
It can often be tough to step up and combat evil when one may be risking, for example, one?s job. We humans are so weak and frail that it is often tough to stand up for what is right even when the consequences are merely ostracism or momentary ridicule. In those times, the following verse (Hebrews 13:5) helps: ??For He Himself has said, ?I will never leave you nor forsake you.?? Remember when you read that verse that, quite literally, nothing else in life matters.
In the past, I have been faced with some risky decisions that involved the prospect of taking on campus radicals ? some have been communists, some have been feminists, all have been, in some way, morally decadent. But some of these morally bankrupt individuals also happened to have some degree of power over me and over my economic livelihood.
When, in the past, I have contemplated the prospect of cowering away from these situations, I have sometimes found strength by thinking about some old war veterans ? some in my family, some friends ? who risked or even gave their lives to preserve our nation and our freedom.
The next time you find yourself tempted to cower from something you know you should do, just imagine a roomful of old war veterans. Get in a quiet, dark room. Close your eyes, concentrate on their faces. Then just imagine walking up to one of them to have a face-to-face talk about what you are cowering from and why.
Once, I imagined myself walking up to my grandfather who was hit with grenade shrapnel in World War I and saying something like this: ?Thanks for serving to protect my First Amendment Rights. I?ve been meaning to stand up to some campus feminists who are violating the constitutional rights of some students on campus. But, frankly, I?m afraid of feminists and what they might say about me.?
You might want to end this mental exercise before you picture one of those veterans punching you in the nose.
Just remember that Jesus didn?t die on the cross for you to run from what is right. And war heroes didn?t die on the battlefield for you to cower away while this country is destroyed.
5. Standing up against that which is wrong invariably means that you will have to take on a lot of angry people. If you cannot do it with a sense of humor, you are less likely to prevail.
Without question, liberals are the angriest people in America these days. If you respond to them with anger, you will allow them to conceal this fact while playing upon stereotypes of conservatives that are no longer accurate. In addition, you will not be able to influence people in the middle.
Now, you know a little more about my simple philosophy of life. In my next column, I plan to answer Dr. Phil?s favorite question: ?How?s that working for you??
To be continued?