I realize that is a question that could cause a firestorm of responses, innuendos, challenges, rejections, and vitriol, but in my mind, it is a valid question. There are many reasons for my asking it and I hope I can provide a sampling of my reasons. If those samplings resonate with you, then it would behoove you to renew your commitment to God and to vetting what is happening in our present world politically, economically, socially, morally, academically, medically, and religiously. In short, take another look at life.
I recently read an article that declared, based on their research and polling data that “More Americans Than Ever Say the U.S. Has Poor Moral Values.” Is that true? Why would that be the current opinion of the majority of Americans? The report declared that 50% categorize the moral values in the United States as “poor.” That is deeply disturbing. Another 37% viewed it as only “fair.” At the opposite end of that spectrum 1%, yes ONE think that America’s moral values are “excellent” and 12% view them as “good.” Does that bother you?
Even worse was that three-quarters believe that moral values are getting worse, not better. Even sadder is that this is not a new phenomenon but a view that for the past two decades and longer there is a perceived moral decline in America. I would say, in the rest of the world as well, but we are focusing on America in this consideration.
In studying the research more deeply it was reported that although the majority believe America’s values are worse and three-quarters believe the morals are getting worse, few could define what “morality” is. If you do not know what “morality” is how can you say it is better or worse? We are incredibly disjointed in the usage of terms that coming to a consensus definition of morality would be impossible.
We talk about values with no common ground upon which to define the term. Absolute truth is rejected by much of academia, the so-called scientific community, leftists, and too many in religious circles. What are values? Each of us likely has a definition and we expect the world to ascribe to our view, but that is not reality.
I have had people tell me that they vote based on values. Their values, the candidate’s values, the political party’s values, or what? I had someone say, “America no longer has values.” Seriously? Everyone has values, but what they are is subjective and transient in many cases. For example, Mother Teresa had values but so did Adolf Hitler. What those values were is the rub. That would make the statement, “We have values to mean we have opinions.”
Yes, I believe in values! I believe in biblical values and morality! I believe in integrity, honesty, responsibility, and covenant! The question is not about America’s values but America’s virtue. If we define virtues as good moral habits and practices, we will have a definitive measure of morality. The opposite of virtue is vice, therefore the question could be are we more prone to vice than virtue in America in 2022? If the answer is yes, then we have identified one of the most significant problems, and that immediately points to the remedy.
In June we celebrated Father’s Day and focused on the value of good fathers in the home. Well, that is what many of us did. The government has taken actions over the past 4 or 5 decades to dismantle the two-parent home and create a world where too many fathers abandon the home and their responsibilities. That has led to many of the ills in our society. The absence of fathers has and is creating a crisis and we are ignoring it.
The Heritage Foundation published a report in 2018 after the Parkland, Florida shooting with an amazing observation. It was reported that in the twenty-five most recent mass shooting since Columbine that 75% of the shooters were from broken homes. That is an astounding discovery and suggests not only problems but solutions. I go back even further and the governmental edict that largely banned the Bible and public prayer in our schools and where that has led.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and was the Continental Army’s surgeon and held strong views on God, the Bible, Freedom, Education, and Moral Virtues. He declared, I believe rightly, “If we were to remove the Bible from public schools, we would be wasting our time punishing crimes and taking so little pains to prevent them.” That is what we have done and the escalation of violent crime and the lack of respect for human life has increased. We did this to our hurt.
The recent shooting in Uvalde, Texas where the perpetrator Salvador Ramos killed innocent children mercilessly has provided some insight into the need for strong, moral, godly, and responsible fathers in the home. Ramos is reported to have had almost no relationship with his biological father. His mother lived out of state, and he had a strained relationship with his grandmother, whom he also shot. His father said in one interview, “Salvador would always say I didn’t love him.” Sir, your absence provided a basis for that view.
Someone said, “If you want to know what kind of father you were, don’t look at your children. Look at your grandchildren.” The reason for that declaration was that families with both fathers and mothers in the home in a loving relationship and doing their parental duties are foundational in our nation. We are losing that, and, in that sense, I would suggest that America is less moral than ever. We can fix the problem, but only with a return to strong families, a return to belief in God, and a return to accountability and responsibility.
It is reported that 80% of teenagers admitted to psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes. Psychologists tell us that children are 100-200% more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems who come from fatherless homes. A child from a fatherless home is 68% more like to use drugs or alcohol and is far more likely to become sexually active at an early age and commit violent crimes. Fathers, you are a lost treasure, and we need to reclaim that lost gem.
Still, further, 63% of teens who attempt suicide are from fatherless homes. Not to just throw out numbers but the report is that 71% of children that do not finish high school come from fatherless homes and 90% of runaways are from fatherless homes. Statistics reveal that sons who are without a father in the home are 300% more likely to become incarcerated and stay in juvenile institutions. That screams the problem that is fixable! The solution is simple, not necessarily easy, but definable and fixable.
In Psalm 127:3-5 we read, “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” The word heritage could be translated as gift. Children are given to us to nurture and train so they can perpetuate the race in a good and godly manner.
America, we have many problems and virtually all of them are traceable to our relationship with God. If we return to our commitment to moral virtues and our responsibility as parents through rekindling our relationship with God, we will see a dramatic decrease in many of the issues we now face. We can allow the devious to steal our kids and our society or we can draw a line in the sand and stand for God, good, Faith, Family, and Freedom!
God bless you and God bless America!