1. notleia says:

    The thing is, a lot of people assign moral values to practices that are in of themselves not actually moral issues, but things related to class perceptions or perceived hygiene.
    Like in Japan, you scrub off before you soak in the tub, while in western culture you scrub off inside the tub. Because in Japan, communal bathing is the traditional norm and dirtying the water is a hygienic concern. Or even just communal bathing, which grinds hard on American sensibilities around nudity even when gender-segregated. Or to switch perceptions, tattoos in of themselves are not actually moral (a lot of the times tattoos are forbidden in Japanese communal bathing spaces because mostly yakuza gangsters have them in Japan).

    • Travis Perry says:

      I mentioned several points that relate to your observations but none tackle it directly. The third paragraph line about some cultural issues not relating to spiritual war in context is me saying some cultural issues don’t have moral dimensions.

      The line about Hebrew culture generally representing what God approves of I almost expanded to include a discussion of how the account of Joseph reveals Egyptians didn’t like herdsmen shows there were elements of Hebrew culture others disliked that had no real moral element, ergo not everyone has agreed in history on what is a “moral element.”

      And my comment observing that the New Testament allows people to eat food sacrificed to idols but only if it doesn’t violate their conscience, reveals the importance of individual conscience and acknowledges not all individuals in the world will see the same things as wrong, which would include across different cultures.

      But happily, even though different cultures often disagree on what are moral issues, literate civilizations who have written guidelines on moral philosophy and ethics have a high degree of agreement on the basics of what is and is not moral.

      Does that address your point sufficiently?

      • notleia says:

        I’m not commenting on it as a perceived shortcoming of your article, just that it’s a topic that has very long legs.
        Like, for example, why would drag queens reading age-appropriate stories to children be immoral? They’re not reading them pr0n, but certain factions act like the public library is sponsoring Baby’s First Orgy or some crap.
        Do some background screens on them, that’s some common sense to weed out people who shouldn’t be around children, but that’s a principle that should be applied to youth ministers, too.

        • Travis Perry says:

          I think some people would say the stories you are referring to are not age appropriate if they refer to human sexuality, even if in a non-graphic way.

          I think people could also conclude from the general tenor of the Bible at the very least that male and female are deliberate creations of God and gender lines, whatever they should happen to be, should not be casually crossed. Which would make drag queens inappropriate role models.

          But answering your specific example aside, yes this subject has long legs. You could probably post hypotheticals for years on this topic that I’d be able to reply to one by one.

          • notleia says:

            Welp, given that no one else is interested in this comments section, I’ll let this die a natural death, because boring.

            But I do appreciate your going out of your way to dismiss Israelite exceptionalism, because it’s wrong. People want to believe it because they want to feel good about themselves, but yeesh.

            • Travis Perry says:

              I wouldn’t say I dismissed Israelite exceptionalism–in many ways, ancient Israel was exceptional. Nobody else was building temples with no statute in the center.

              But I did make it clear that one could easily overstate Israelite exceptionalism.

What do you think?