APRIL 1993 – When I was 18 years of age and prepared to leave home to go to college, I had never lived in a house that had a lock on a door or window. A lock simply wasn’t needed. That is not to say that people did not steal in those days. It is to say that the commonly accepted, widely practiced underlying belief was that stealing was wrong.
That moral was taught in our homes, in our churches, and in our schools. Society as a whole viewed moral behavior as being an important element in life. The combined pressure from society’s institutions managed to keep the publicly accepted morality based on Judeo-Christian values. Back in those days, our streets were safer, our homes and families more solid, our crime less violent, and our moral standards higher. Sure, there were wrongs. But there was also a norm that could be used to address those wrongs.
Then came television and, unfortunately, a change in the attitude and values of those in the entertainment media. The old prohibitions were removed. The Playboy philosophy came to be the norm in Hollywood and at network headquarters in New York. The old attitudes based on 20 centuries of practice were scorned.
Before long, those who held contempt for the old values gathered new friends. They were small in number, but they were in very influential places. They held important positions in education, the media, the legal system, and other areas of influence.
For nearly 30 years now, our entertainment media and their friends have scorned, ridiculed, belittled, and bashed those old values. And now our society is beginning to reap what they have sown. New values of freedom without responsibility, immediate gratification, materialism, and sexual freedom have brought us an ever increasing amount of crime, drug use, family breakdown, AIDS, etc. The list goes on and on.
Actions have consequences. For every action, there is a reaction. We do indeed reap what we sow. We are at a very critical point in our history. Will we totally abandon the values that have made our nation strong for 200 years? Will we continue to pursue our current path and follow the Playboy philosophy until we reach our ruin?
The answer to that question depends on what those of us who still believe in the old values do – or fail to do. We can draw back when criticized. We can remain in our shell and refuse to get involved.
Or we can do what those who went before us did: We can work to implant and maintain those old time-proven values as the norm. The decision is ours. And resting on that decision is the future of our nation.
Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. Thirty-one of his best columns are now available in a recently published collection titled Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon. These columns represent his timeless wisdom and insight and are now being published weekly on The Stand in celebration of AFA’s 40 years of ministry.
Click here or call 877-927-4917 to order your own copy of Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon.