Letter to the editor: Morality vs. the most loving action


In the Nov. 30 Echo, Mr. Peter Abler reaffirms "Morality is not ambiguous." His defense is thorough and honest in response to my letter to the editor (Nov. 23) challenging some of his convictions and assumptions.

We do disagree on the nature of morality. While I generally uphold the wisdom of the Ten Commandments in shaping my sense of what is right and wrong, I take my foundational view of morality from the profound, often radical, freeing wisdom of Jesus.

For example, Jesus allowed his disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath because they were hungry, and he affirmed a person who rescued his sheep who had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath because he was saving a life and it was valuable to the owner. (See Matthew 12:1ff).

"Moral ambiguity is the lack of clarity in ethical decision making. In other words, moral ambiguity is when you have an issue, situation or question that has moral or ethical elements, but the morally correct action to take is unclear, either due to conflicting principles, ethical systems or situational perspectives." ("What is moral ambiguity?" search Google.)

So I hold to this delicious notion of moral ambiguity that opens the door to doing what is most loving in situations that are gray. Martin Luther once wrote, "When you cannot clearly see the right thing to do, make your decision and sin boldly, and let your trust in Christ be even stronger" (paraphrase, see "sin boldly, Martin Luther," again on Google).

I have so much more to say (especially on Roman Catholic Canon Law, your definition of politics and your notion that a "logical, analytical manner" is the correct approach to morality). However, I am faced with a moral dilemma. Your paper only allows me to write 300 words. Moral ambiguity!

Terry Frovik,

Lake Shore