OUR MORAL COMPASS
Sometimes you have to sit back and ask just where did we go wrong. Sure, we in the West have a great life. We have great technology today, we can choose the sex of our next child, we can screen for disease, we can even buy a trip around the moon, albeit at $100 million US. At least that’s return. We can live longer than our grandparents on average, and we have an abundance of food, opportunities, and medical care. It seems like a pretty good existence.
On the whole, it is. We are one of the most fortunate generations to ever walk the earth. The world is ours, not only the world we can see and touch, but the world of microscopy that we only imagined before. We can see atoms, nuclei, chromosomes, dna, and even quarks. (Look it up, it’s good for you. Try Merriam-Webster Online.)
We can see into space further than we ever dreamed that we would. Oh, I’m sure that someone dreamed it I guess, certainly a man named Hubble, whom we later named a telescope after. But for all of that, we still have so many unanswered questions. Man has always had them. It seems though, the more we try to prove how great we are, the more things get placed in disarray.
For the last century, and mostly the last 60 years or so, we have been deliberate in casting aside the philosophical anchors that we were founded upon. Every once in a while I hear someone ask the same questions once again. “Why are the kids today so rude?”, “Why are people so cold?”, and of course, “Doesn’t anyone have manners anymore?”, and, “How did this happen?”
The evidence of our drive to destroy the belief structure of our forefathers stares back at us with cold, uncaring eyes. In a childhood rebellion carried over into adulthood, we stood up and said “no” to those we should have been eager to learn from. We took the book of commandments off of the night table and threw it into the waste bin. We are enlightened now; we don’t need superstition. I have one question. What did it hurt?
I can remember growing up and occasionally going to Sunday School. I always had a good time, and was always treated well. I was, however, taught many awful things there. The teacher used to tell us to love one another, and to forgive. We were taught to be thoughtful, caring, and giving. Can you imagine? It’s a good thing that we put a stop to it.
The effects of this “brainwashing” were everywhere. I remember back then, I was picked on a lot, but because of those ‘good influences’, I never thought to pick up a gun and ‘put a cap’ into those kids who taunted me. As a result, I had to learn how to endure, how to make amends, and even how to run. At least the kids today are not burdened with that old conscience thing. First, we got rid of morality, and then we lifted men up and paid them big money to tell us how to get even. We called them celebrities and gave them silly names like ‘Half Penny’ and ‘Big G’.
I played guns, cops and robbers, and all of my toys looked real. This was never a problem, because children simply didn’t play with real guns. Today, all toys must be painted to look like toys, because a passing patrolman just can’t be too sure anymore. As well, I never had a deep hidden desire to kill anyone, it was simply a game that was played to stimulate the imagination of a little boy.
Our schools are places of anarchy. The students no longer honour the teachers, they no longer respect each other, and the teachers are no longer allowed to exercise authority or discipline. Johnny’s self-esteem is much too important. We lament the state of our education system, but do not consider the fact that we send our children to school without the basic instruments of learning as already mentioned. Those would be honour, discipline, respect, and a morality that dictated and taught common decency. Most parents today are too self absorbed or busy to prepare their children. After all, we can just blame the teachers and the schools, right?
I can still remember the couple down the street. They used to argue a lot. It was probably caused by someone with a moral compass telling them that they should stay married. Things are a lot better now. Now couples can sleep around, thus relieving the stress. Heck, they can even split up without guilt now. Sure, the kids will suffer, but at least the parents will finally be happy. After all, our selfish needs are way bigger than that mommy and daddy thing.
Our political leaders always had their hands tied behind their back. They were, for the most part, expected to tell the truth. No wonder so many of them never got elected. We had an honour system 60 years ago, and even sooner, that was based on our morality. We swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us God. We swore the oath, and upheld it. Without the foundation that it is precipitated upon, the oath is meaningless, as are the words that follow. No longer are men compelled to be truthful. It is now expected for men to say whatever furthers their agenda. Even when found out, society finds nothing wrong with our leaders being proved liars or dishonest. Take for example the latest political polls.
We espouse derision these days. When I was a child in school, we had names like teacher’s pet, brownnoser, and my favourite, ‘snitch.’ We have changed that to ‘rat’ these days, and it isn’t only the kids who use it. I see it on the news and even hear it from adults. “I’m no rat.” It seems that doing the right thing these days is frowned upon. So much so that we have to pass laws for people to do the right thing, such as hospitals reporting gunshot wounds, teachers reporting child abuse. It used to be that adults just did these things. The blame for punishment being received has now been shifted to the ‘rat’ and off of the person who did the wrong in the first place.
Our moral foundation dealt with justice, a concept that has been washed away with our concept of right and wrong. Very seldom do people get punished for the evil they do in our land. When they are punished, we take into account everything which may allow us to feel good about lessening the punishment, but we fail to take into account the pain, devastation, and loss that the victims and their families have to endure. We are protecting the wrong side.
We used to be a beacon for the world’s downtrodden. We were so intent on being hospitable, that we lost ourselves in the balance. We became what they fled from. We discarded our compass and lost our way. We were, of course, helped along by men and women who despised our morality because it convicted them. They were ashamed because of the deeds of their hearts. There is a stark difference to our country compared to even two generations ago. We used to know immediately if something was right or wrong. Then the men and women who despised morality began to ask our children questions. “Is there really a right and wrong?”, and “Why do I have to listen to these people?”, “Why do we have to follow this way?”
The results are astounding. Our children grew up and asked their own parents why they had to listen to them. Our parents, taught by these ‘higher’ thinkers simply answered, “I really don’t know, Johnny.” If you have ever used a compass, you will know that it is useless the moment the needle falls off.
I am often asked by those of different political and moral persuasions, (liberals), what gives me the right to force my morality on others. My answer is never simple, nor can it be, but let me ask you this. Just what is wrong with teaching our children right and wrong, truth, honour, wisdom, respect, and love? Can you top that? Their answer, without fail, is always the same. It is always in the form of another question. The reason for this is simple. They are so busy hating truth that they will accept anything else. They are so intent on hating God or any that believe in the same, that they don’t care about the end result. They preach for the children, but help to destroy them. They claim to uphold the rights of children, but create a world that doesn’t value them.
There is a simple law that governs the entire universe. There is something everywhere. When you get rid of one thing, something takes its place. There is no such thing as a moral vacuum. Right now we worship man, and his wonderful achievements. Even now, at what we think is our greatest moment, the headlines scream about nuclear proliferation, terror, natural disasters, and plagues yet to come, but apparently already on our doorstep.
Last week, a US federal judge ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because of the words “under God.” This in the same week that Texas’s governor asked the nation to pray for Texas, and two weeks after President Bush asked Americans to pray for those in Hurricane Katrina’s path. The ACLU is constantly in court trying to end moments of silence. Boy, I can see why those are such a threat.
I guess the whole point of this article is that we need to regain a moral compass. Whether it is what I believe, or simply what works, we need to do something. A ship that isn’t steered is soon wrecked upon the rocks. A car that isn’t driven crashes into something. This is what is happening to our country. As John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” The reasons were simple. Our laws required a just and honorable people to abide by them. When one gets to the point that law breaks down, such as what is happening in North America, then the government proceeds to remove the freedoms that its citizens enjoy and covet. You can’t have one without the other. We are on our way down a very unfriendly road.