Leander Harding offers a very interesting piece analyzing the current state of the Church and society through the lens of the theory of “moral inversion”

All of the established churches of the West have within them an element, and very often the dominant element, which combines this sense of moral passion and skepticism about traditional theology. There is enough residual Christian commitment to dampen the tendency to create an exact replica of the calamitous examples of moral inversion in recent European history. (Polanyi thought that Americans and the English in any event were saved from the worst aspects of moral inversion by their tendency not to take theories too seriously and by their pragmatism.) Nonetheless, to the degree that this combination of moral passion and epistemological pessimism infect the Western churches, there will be a tendency to be romantic about ideologies of moral inversion in the culture and there will be a tendency to echo the dynamic of moral inversion in church life. This explains what appears to be a real contempt for traditional Christian ethics, the constant accusations of hypocrisy against traditionalists, the demand for release from what are seen as oppressive doctrines and just because they are traditional, in favor of the “facts” of personal experience, even if this threatens the destruction of the institution. The dynamic of moral inversion also explains the increasing tendency toward the arbitrary use of authority to enforce conformity to the new teaching. The concept of moral inversion helps me understand the at first sight baffling combination of an insistence on personal freedom and the increasingly draconian use of canon law and the levers of ecclesiastical power in stifling dissent. As Lady Scott said; “When such skepticism demanded total individual freedom, the logical outcome was total state control, since there could be no other way for totally free and skeptical individuals to combine.”

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