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Author Topic: Morality in North America ... On Life Support?  (Read 6735 times) Average Rating: 0
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sinjinsmythe
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« on: August 01, 2003, 06:00:04 PM »

Morality in North America ... On Life Support?
 
By James L. Lambert
 

(AgapePress) - Morality in North America is in crisis. It has become very clear that many North Americans have little concern for morality in their own personal lives and in the personal lives of those in the public eye. The evidence supporting this is overwhelming.

For months we have heard of increasing abuses within the business community -- betrayals from corporate executives that have seriously affected their employees, stockholders, and the public confidence at large. Many of these high-profile cases have resulted in indictments, convictions, and even prison time for the perpetrators.

In sports, we continue to hear of disregard for contractual agreements, disrespect of time-honored rules, and indulgences in the drug culture. Players won't abide by contracts they have signed, and owners fleece cities with threats of leaving unless their cities build them a new sports facility.

Within the church, we hear about sexual abuse of children and, with few exceptions, complete failure to stand up for biblical standards and mores.

The list goes on. The entertainment industry continues pump out filth that incrementally "pushes the envelope" a little further. "Reality TV" has introduced many new shows that reinforce a message that young girls can only be successful if they give themselves sexually to win their date. We have been desensitized by Hollywood to believe that homosexuality should be fully accepted, witchcraft is fun, and people of faith are stupid and uneducated.

The Internet is a wonderful tool of communication. Unfortunately most people do not understand its dangers, especially for children. The Internet can be a cesspool of material if you happen upon the innumerable filthy websites that often try to induce viewers with many annoying pop-up messages. There are literally thousands of websites that promote incest, bestiality, urination, questionable drug distribution, sexual slavery, pedophilia, merchandising of baby body parts, suicide and political anarchy. [As an aside, I seriously question a parent's concern for their child if they do not have an Internet filter on their computer.]

The political arena has been a particularly noticeable area where moral guidance is very much needed. Political corruption has always been a problem in government, particularly in Mexico. However, never has it reached so many levels where politicians cannot relate to the time-honored responsibility that they are supposed to behave as "public servants." Bureaucrats and elected officials cannot understand that tax revenue is not their money, but ours -- the taxpayers.

Elected officials also need to study history. History shows that a society is only as strong as its family structure. By sanctioning sodomy (as the U.S. Supreme Court has just done) and by allowing and introducing homosexual marriage (as Canada has done and Massachusetts is preparing to do) or "civil unions" (as Vermont has done and California is considering), our leaders are undermining the very moral fabric of our society. What's next? Polygamy? Lowering the age of consent? Legalization of incest?

There are other serious lapses of morality in North America. Illegal narcotics is related to over 60% of crime in America. That represents not only a lot of hardship and despair, but also renders a tremendous financial cost (in billions of dollars) in personal property, law enforcement, and loss of life. Yet many in our society have completely given themselves over to drugs and the drug culture. In Canada recently, politicians basically decriminalized marijuana on the personal level, giving drug cartels there the green light to increase exporting their goods to the U.S.

Further, many elected public administrators in America still fail to make their schools "drug free zones." Whatever happened to the high school sting operations that we used to hear so much about ten years ago? Those actions sent the message to on-campus drug dealers that drugs are not tolerated in our public schools.

America, Canada, and Mexico have lost their moral compass. More than ever, North America is need of a spiritual awakening. America itself has experienced at least three great moves of God during its history. We saw one in the 1820s and the early 1830s. Then we saw another around 1907. The most recent, the "Jesus People" movement, occurred in the early 1970s.

In order to bring morality back to North America, Christians need to earnestly pray for spiritual renewal in their lands. We are in desperate need of moral clarity, which only God can bring.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

James L. Lambert, who resides in San Diego, California, is a frequent contributor to AgapePress. He is the host of Night Lights, a weekly conservative talk cable television show in San Diego; the author of Porn in America (Huntington House); and a real estate loan sales agent. He can be reached via his website: JamesLLambert.com.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2003, 06:01:30 PM by sinjinsmythe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2003, 07:12:45 PM »

My only beefs with this article are the points of the "Drug Free Zone" and regarding Marijuana.

1)  Drug Free Zone - while well intentioned, it is in reality an empty political gesture.  No dealers of drugs are going to bother themselves with any so called increased penalties if they get caught in a Drug Free Zone or not.  Besides, they probably wouldn't bother to pay attention to any of the signs as well.

2) Marijuana - to paraphrase my dad, I say legalize it and then tax the hell out of it.  I don't believe this "gateway drug" crap.
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2003, 10:50:14 AM »

I have no real problem with what Mr. Lambert said in his article, except for his comments about the "three great moves of God" in the 1820s and '30s, around 1907, and in the 1970s. The 1820s and 1830s witnessed a proliferation of heretical sects. 1907 (I believe) marked the birth of the whole Pentecostal/Charismatic movement in Kansas City and on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. The "Jesus People" of the 1970s had little impact on society. I don't think any of those things qualify as "great moves of God."

I believe an increase in evil is one of the signs of the end of the world. But is what we are witnessing in North America worse than what has occurred in the past? I do not know.

And if Mr. Lambert thinks Canada, the U.S., and Mexico have moral problems, has he been to Europe lately?

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« Last Edit: August 02, 2003, 04:56:43 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2003, 01:37:47 AM »

"America, Canada, and Mexico have lost their moral compass"

The article assumes that they had one at some point in time. Looking at the US's History, I would say that we have never been a "moral" country.
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2003, 09:30:28 PM »

Quote
The article assumes that they had one at some point in time. Looking at the US's History, I would say that we have never been a "moral" country.

I think that's a little harsh.  Are you confusing holiness with morality?  If so, I'd be more inclined to agree...there's never been a "holy America" in the way that there's been a "holy Russia" or "holy Byzantium", etc.

Seraphim

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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2003, 01:55:19 AM »

No, I'm talking about basic morality. Remember this country started out as one of the biggest slave nations and was one of the last in the Western world to end the horrific practice. Not to mention that it was a full hundred years later before minorities were finally granted equal protection under the law. In the 19th century, prostitution and drug usage was just as rapant as it is now as well. Just because basic etiquette was enforced up until the 1960s is meaningless considering that most of the country didn't consider Black Americans(or Southeastern Europeans(Catholics and Orthodox), Asians, Hispanics for that matter) as equal human beings.
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2003, 01:26:56 PM »

2) Marijuana - to paraphrase my dad, I say legalize it and then tax the hell out of it.  I don't believe this "gateway drug" crap.  

Taxing it defeats the purpose of decriminalizing or legalizing it in the first place.  The reason cannabis is legalized in the countries that it is, is so that the market for hard drugs and soft drugs is separated (which results in less experimentation with harder drugs).  By taxing it, you'd only force people to go back to buying from street dealers as it would be cheaper to do so.
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2003, 01:32:35 PM »

Not necessarily, Plutonas...use a bit of free market theory.  Imagine if your average casual user was faced with the option of either:
1. Spending $40 on an ounce of whatever the street dealer has while staying abrest of law enforcement.
2. Spending $20 on a pack of Marlboro Green cannabis cigs that are grown on a farm in the us(boost to economy), where with even double the taxes of tobacco cigarettes, the farmers would be making money and the users getting a cheaper, higher quality product.  

David,
Not a drug user(other than caffeine and the occasional pipe of Balkan Sobranie 759), but knew too many of them in high school.
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2003, 03:46:30 PM »

I would tend to agree with MartinIntlStud here. I think that America is an experiment that has failed from the beginning (in fact, I think it failed before it even began, if we're going to say that it began in 1776).
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2003, 04:02:58 PM »

Tell me what country or form of government formed by humans has not failed?

The US is not perfect, but recall the quote of Churchill pertaining to democracy to put things in perspective:

"Democracy is the worst form of government. Except all the others"

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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2003, 04:22:16 PM »

"[Fr. Seraphim] was especially intolerant of what he for some reason called 'Lucies'--people of the shallow 'herd' mentality who have nothing to say and yet are always talking... 'Democracy, [Fr. Seraphim] said, 'is government according to the opinions of Lucies.'" - Not of This World, p. 88

"The first stage [of the nihilist mentality] Eugene [ie. Fr. Seraphim] described was Liberalism, a passive rather than an overt Nihilism, a neutral breeding-ground of the more advanced stages... The liberal view of government is also weak, arising from an attempt at compromise between two irrconcilable ideas: government as Divinely established, with soveriegnty invested in a monarch, and government with the 'people' as sovereign. ...'today the cheif representatives of the Liberal idea are the 'republics' and 'democracies' of Western Europe and America.'" - Not of This World, p. 135

"Communism, it seems clear, is nearing a transformation itself, a 'humanizing,' a 'spiritualizing'... The 'democracies,' by a different path, are approaching the same goal..." - Not of This World, p. 234

I chose the above book simply because it was convenient (it had "democracy" listed in the index): however, one could find similar quotes from many contemporary saints.  I'm not anti-America, but I do think Christians morality would be more easily practiced in a less greedy (capitalistic), less mob-rulish (democratic/republican) society.
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2003, 04:42:30 PM »

Yeah our country failed.  That's why you had the freedom to join the Orthodox Church here, right?

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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2003, 05:01:08 PM »

Religious freedom to join the Orthodox Church means that America is good, and that I'm wrong about it having failed. Ok, can't argue with that logic, you've bested me!
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2003, 05:24:23 PM »

"I think, then, that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything that ever before existed in the world; our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I seek in vain for an expression that will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it; the old words despotism and tyranny are inappropriate: the thing itself is new, and since I cannot name, I must attempt to define it.

"I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country.

"Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?" --Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. Vol. II. p.318
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2003, 08:57:57 PM »

Religious freedom to join the Orthodox Church means that America is good, and that I'm wrong about it having failed. Ok, can't argue with that logic, you've bested me!

I know, and I am glad you have realized the truth.  Wink

Seriously though, religious liberty is just one of many positive things we have going for us.  Have you ever been outside the country, Justin?

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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2003, 05:40:18 PM »

Don't get me wrong here. I think America is NOT a failed country. I just don't think it, on the whole has ever been necessarily a moral country. I do think that we are closer on the whole, in terms of laws and legal rights than we ever have been. Of course, with these legal rights and freedom, people will basically do whatever they want. What this allows is for those who try to uphold morality to convince others in a peaceful and free way to be moral. I think we've made great strides in the last 50 years to make this country a more moral place, of course there are a lot of setbacks(Roe v Wade being a major one, though not an unsurmountable one)
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2003, 02:02:04 PM »

No, I'm talking about basic morality. Remember this country started out as one of the biggest slave nations and was one of the last in the Western world to end the horrific practice. Not to mention that it was a full hundred years later before minorities were finally granted equal protection under the law. In the 19th century, prostitution and drug usage was just as rapant as it is now as well. Just because basic etiquette was enforced up until the 1960s is meaningless considering that most of the country didn't consider Black Americans(or Southeastern Europeans(Catholics and Orthodox), Asians, Hispanics for that matter) as equal human beings.

Actually, the U.S. was never "one of the biggest slave nations," not even when what is now the eastern U.S. was owned by the British, the Dutch, the Swedes, and the French.

The Portuguese and the Spanish were the big players in the slave trade, and far far more black African slaves were transported to the West Indies and South America than were ever brought to North America.

The importation of slaves from Africa was outlawed quite early, so that most of the slave population of North America resulted from natural native increase, not from rounding up more slaves in Africa.

Yes, it is a shame that America ever had the practice of slavery. I'm not trying to justify it, but it should be kept in perspective.
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2003, 03:04:08 PM »

I should also clarify... I don't think people at the grassroots in America are failures. I don't think trying to give freedoms is a bad thing. I just think that we are a bit too freedom-happy, and not quite willing enough to give up a bit of freedom to have a more moral society. I realise that not everyone is as "freedom happy" as the ACLU, but democracy and capitalism has had some rather unfortunate consequences.
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2003, 03:14:31 PM »

Justin,

I can agree with your last comment.

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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2003, 02:13:31 AM »

"Actually, the U.S. was never "one of the biggest slave nations," not even when what is now the eastern U.S. was owned by the British, the Dutch, the Swedes, and the French."

that's relativism. just because we weren't "as bad" as the others doesn't make us "better"
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2003, 12:50:24 PM »

Morality is on life support everywhere: the life support of Jesus.
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