Matthew Vines: Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery?
Douglas Wilson: Yes, far more serious.
This two-part post is written in part as a follow-up to my review of Steven Pinker’s excellent book, The Better Angels of Our Nature.
The book raised (again) some questions regarding the Evangelical worldview. I had also discussed this with a fellow blogger (in comments on our respective blogs), and I have been thinking on the issue since then.
The crux of the issue is this: In just about every measurable way, the world has gotten far better over the history of the world - including the last 100 years, 50 years, and 20 years. In particular, violence is on a long term and short term decline - and it’s not even close. (I recommend Pinker’s book for a detailed examination of the evidence.) Likewise, slavery has been abolished in most of the world, and that which still exists is (except for a few places like North Korea) not sanctioned by government power. In the Western world, at least, we no longer slaughter people for political and religious differences. We disapprove of torture - rather than promoted it. We no longer support lynching. War now must be justified by a greater good, rather than glory and plunder. Domestic violence used to be considered acceptable. Now it is punished by our laws, and is also on the decline. Ditto for child abuse.
And yet, Evangelicals insist that the world just keeps getting more and more evil.
Why is that?
That really is the question.
I’ve thought about it, and discussed it, and broke down the categories of “evidence” that the world is getting worse, and have come to the following conclusion:
For Evangelicals, “Evil” is spelled S-E-X.