I had the television on in my den this morning and could hear it from my computer room I where I was working. The news was turned on and there was a discussion of Yale University asking a guest lecturer to come in and talk for a couple of days to their students about looting. The thing being, he was in FAVOR of looting saying that it was just a form of protest or civil disobedience and we should not deem it as morally wrong. Well, my ears perked up at that. The people on the show began talking and raising their voices over each other as is common place on news programs today and I couldn’t tell what was really being said over the muddled noise. But then a woman’s voice won the shouting match and she began saying with great vehemence… “…we give our college students the opportunity to read portions of Mein Kampf (Hitler’s book) when studying World War II to get a handle on why he did what he did so what’s the difference? Don’t we want our young people to hear from a variety of perspectives in college and to have independent thought? Isn’t that what we send them to college for? If they can’t handle perspective then maybe they don’t need to be in college in the first place!” The rest of the panel could not refute her and went silent with only one man weakly agreeing with her. I got very angry that they couldn’t see why she was wrong and got me to thinking. Yes, we encourage history students to investigate Hitler’s Mein Kampf and writings/speeches by other major players of World War II to get a better perspective on why they did the things they did and what motivated them. When we do that however, there is a great pillar of absolute truth that leads the way of those investigations. That great truth is that murder is wrong, genocide is wrong, and trying to annihilate an entire ethnicity is morally wrong. In other words, we investigate the lives of these people KNOWING that they are the bad guys – the ones in the black hats so to speak. When the towering pillar of truth that murder is evil is in the middle of the room, ALL perspectives of war can be looked at and every perspective can be compared to the truth. However, this guest lecturer is coming to the classroom with impressionable 19 and 20-year-olds DEFYING another absolute truth. There is an absolute truth – another immovable pillar- that says that stealing is morally wrong. Taking something – for whatever motivation – that doesn’t belong to you and your not having earned it is wrong and a consequence must be paid. It doesn’t matter the motivation: covetousness, lust, anger/revenge, laziness, poverty/want, or any other springboard of justification. These things cannot challenge the truth that stealing is immoral. For example: Having taught for over 30 years, I saw many times when a young child would steal something from another child because he coveted it: a toy, a new pencil, or candy money. That theft sprang from coveting. King David took a woman that did not belong to him, but to another man. That theft sprang from lust. Let’s say someone in charge of petty cash at work sneaks a dollar or two out every now and again for a coke and intends to put the cash back but does not. That theft comes from laziness. In the fictional story, Les Miserables, Jean valJean stole bread to feed his nieces and nephews. That theft came from want/poverty. Maybe someone gets fired unjustly from his job. As he leaves in anger, he takes some pieces of technology that belong to his boss and claims ignorance when asked. That theft stemmed from anger and revenge. Because there IS a pillar of absolute truth that says that stealing is morally wrong, all of the people in the above scenarios are guilty. And a consequence must be paid. The consequences will range in severity based on the severity of the theft, but every time a moral law is broken and consequence will be paid. The child will have to miss his recess and have a talk with his parents in the principal’s office. King David, who took Bathsheba and killed her husband to cover that up, lost his infant child. The person who took petty amounts of petty cash may never be discovered, but that will lead to a consequence of taking more and more until he IS discovered. In fact, he should give himself a self-imposed consequence of putting all monies back and giving the authority of the box of petty cash to someone else. While Jean valJean paid too high a price for his theft, what should have happened was that he had to work for the baker until the cost of the bread was repaid and then maybe could work for food. And the man who stole technology from his job out of anger will be found out and because of that may not be able to procure another job of equal value because of it. This guest lecturer is teaching an anti-truth AS truth. He is discounting the moral truth that looting is stealing and stealing is morally wrong. He takes the wrong and re-defines it as his own truth. There can only be ONE truth about stealing. It’s either morally wrong or it’s morally right. There is not neutrality of morality in any situation. If he wants looting to be moral justifiable because of a person’s motivations TO steal, then all of the people in all of the scenarios I gave are perfectly innocent in their actions. There can be no mindset of “well, in this particular situation, stealing isn’t wrong.” If enough of us say that about enough situations, then what we have learned is that stealing is never wrong. And if stealing is never wrong, the God and his Word are anti-truths. I want all of our young people in college to pursue the investigations of all ideas. That's what a liberal education should be. But there has to be a solid and absolute truth in which they can compare all of those ideas to so that they can THEN become independent thinkers because they can discern what is true and what is a lie. This is why our country, including our churches and families, are in a mess. We don't know what the truth is anymore because we have been taught that there is no absolute truth - only the truth as we see it.