American Tyranny: Moral Relativism’s ‘Tolerance’

The more Western culture rejects its Christian roots, the more we will hear disparaging remarks like:

  • The Bible is no basis for morality. Just look at the treatment of gays, women, and the Canaanites. The Bible should not be taken seriously by anyone!

In effect, they are saying:

  • The Bible does not agree with our modern norms and values. Therefore, it is wrong and must be rejected.

Instead of the Bible, the current norms have become the new authority and every other religion or value system must be measured against these current norms. If they fall short, then they must be rejected.

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This “tyranny of modernity” is no less dogmatic than the values that they seek to replace and, in many cases, it is more intolerant. Just look at a recent Federal decision to criminalize schools that forbid a boy, if he deems himself “transgendered,” to enter a girl’s bathroom. The entire school is made to conform to the whims of one child. Reasonable? Not in the slightest!

This cultural/moral relativism is unreasonable in many ways. For one thing, this philosophy is a denial of any higher, absolute values. Instead, relativists claim that morality is just something that we create. And yet, they will defend their decisions by invoking an appeal to innate human rights – that Transgenders have an innate human right to choose any bathroom that feels right to them.

Well, what gives them this human right if there is no higher objective law to which we must adhere? If instead morality is subjective – just something that we create – how then is it possible to appeal to the higher principle of an intrinsic human right when, according to their own assessment, none actually exist.

If there is no God to confer human rights, based upon His overriding concern for humanity, then “human rights” is just an idea that we create, and if we create it, we can just as easily retract it. Consequently, “human rights” are just a useful and temporary tool to argue for our own set of non-existent rights.

In fact, such human rights advocates acknowledge that the values of society are evolving. Therefore, this made-up concept of “human rights” is also evolving. But if it is evolving and based on nothing more than societies passing whims, then on the basis of what can the relativists claim that the morality of the Bible is wrong? All they can coherently say is that the Bible violates their own created standards.

It is like grading a math exam and failing certain students despite the absence of and correct answers. As the teacher needs correct answers in order to fairly and objectively grade an exam, the relativist also needs objectively correct moral laws to judge the Bible. However, they admit that they lack such a thing. Instead, they admit that they judge by a relative and subjective standard of their own liking.

It’s equivalent to the teacher saying, “I don’t have any correct answers, but I will fail you anyway!” This is the predicament of the relativist. He wants to judge, but with only his own arbitrary and subjective answers, he knows that he cannot judge.

It would be one thing to say, “I don’t like the morality of the Bible.” Logically, at least, that statement is acceptable. However, when the relativist charges that the morality of the Bible is wrong because it doesn’t conform to his subjective, relativistic, and evolving standards, he is acting illogically. If his moral standards are merely something that he created, he has no right to insist that others conform to them!

If fact, if  morality is just something that is humanly created, then they cannot coherently criticize anyone, not even Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot.

Of course, the moral relativist will not admit that his subjectivism has placed him outside of the realm of responsible moral discussion. Therefore, the Christian should remind him:

  • You cannot make objective critiques of the Bible’ standards once you have rejected objective moral law and are left with only your own created standards.

Daniel Mann

Daniel Mann has taught theology, Old Testament, and Apologetics at the New York School of the Bible for 24 years and has written several books, including Embracing the Darkness: How a Jewish, Sixties, Berkeley Radical Learned to Live with Depression, God’s Way. He is a contributing writer for the Christian Research Journal. Follow him:, or join his Facebook groups, Apologetics for Today, Seekers with Questions about Christianity, Christians with Vexing Issues Seeking Truth and Straight Talk.

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