Since I know many of my readers personally and based on emails I receive, I know that most of you share my concern for the direction our country is taking. I think you’ll agree with me on what I see as the basic problem. I want to be clear that I’m addressing our culture generally. Not you and I as individuals. Most of us would fall into the category of the “resistance.”
We’ve all seen pictures of men standing in soup lines during the Great Depression. People lined up for rations to feed their families. Some tried to get menial work. Anything to provide for their families. My dad told me his family made soup out of chicken feet.
What can we expect to happen in our cities if we had a depression today? Would people sell an apple, eat a chicken foot, or would the “uncivilized” element go on a looting rampage? Remember the rioting in
Angeles in 1992 and the post Katrina riots and looting in New Orleans? What has
changed since the Great Depression?
Do we have such a thin veneer of civilization in this country that a brief loss of electricity, a flood, or a trial verdict, for example, can provide a catalyst for the savages among us to plunder, rape, and kill? What does
have that we no longer have?
Are we as civilized as we pretend to be? Are white collar crimes or government malfeasance different than looting from a moral perspective? Could this relate to the lack of a commonly agreed upon moral code?
has its problems, but evidently they agree on a moral standard of some kind.
I’ve come to believe that the basis of every problem in our modern culture is based on moral ambiguity. That belief is reinforced daily by what I see happening in this country.
The concept of moral relativism and the rejection of any authority higher than man could result in nothing less than confusion and a “disconnect” from a moral standard based on something outside of one’s own personal design. By definition, morals are standards outside of ourselves that we believe in and strive to live by. Personal opinions don’t count.
Back when I was a kid in the ‘50s we knew what was right and what was wrong. The fact that we chose “wrong” didn’t make it “right” and we knew it. That moral gyroscope might have failed to inhibit us on many occasions, but it functioned as an essential guide and still does for many of us.
If you take every aspect of our culture, from economics and social issues to politics and the media, at the root of any problem you will find a missing or compromised moral imperative. Something has changed. We are not
Japan. But are we still America?
Now that we as a society have thrown off the shackles of “that old time religion,” God, and any accountability to a higher authority, we are free to set our own rules. Fyoder Dostoevsky said, “If there is no God, everything is permitted.”
Law has replaced our former moral underpinnings. If it’s legal, it must be moral. Legality equals morality to many. Abortion may be legal, but is it moral? And laws can always be changed to be more accommodating.
Morality restrains us from inside. The law restrains us from outside. In other words, if there is no internal moral restraint, the law will apply controls externally.
We have a culture that has filled our vacuous morality with flexible legality.
In short, we have managed to destroy
primary moral construct. As John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only
for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of
any other.” In my opinion, that’s why we
are where we are.