Has America Lost Its "Moral Mind"?

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Has America Lost Its "Moral Mind"?

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NBC ran the program on its cable outlet and was surprised by the audience it drew. So, NBC executives decided to air a re-run on their regular network stations, which is backwards from the way this usually works. The response again surprised them, so they aired yet another re-run.

This is one of many family-hour television shows whose programming catapults over the barrier of what used to be thought of as taboo only a few years ago. Gay themes were featured prominently in summer programming on cable and reality channels. In addition to the above, the following series were gay or had overtly gay themes: Boy Meets Boy, The Amazing Race, Chained and Big Brother.

I think of the summer of 2003 as the time when America lost its moral mind.

It was the summer of "the kiss." Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were performing at the annual MTV (Music Television) awards. Madonna turned to Britney and they exchanged an open-mouthed kiss, after which Madonna turned to Christina and they did likewise.

I did not watch the awards program, but was listening to a cable news show the next morning while preparing breakfast. When the reporter said, "Things got a little out of hand at the MTV awards last night," I reflexively looked at the screen. I was sorry I did.

Network news, cable news and entertainment news shows repeated the scene countless times in the following days—as if the deed was newsworthy, important and fit for viewing.

Cable launched a new channel in the late summer, "Spike TV." Read what media consultant John Motavalli wrote about it in "Spike TV: Pushing the Limit":

"Pushing aside prohibitions on bad taste, sex, naughty language and general prurience, Spike TV plans to test the limits of what is acceptable on basic advertiser-supported cable TV in a big way . . .

"This kind of programming—a mix of violence, sex and sophomoric stunts—is bursting out all over basic cable, which is not regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and is therefore, theoretically, reined in only by concerns of cable operators and advertisers" (Television Week, September 1, online edition).

What has happened to this country, a nation built on Judeo-Christian values? Subjects that were once taboo and considered inappropriate for public discussion are now regularly portrayed as normal, healthy behavior.

I have a theory. I believe that some in our society have invented an imitation morality—and that many people have blindly accepted it.

What do I mean? It boils down to this: A generation of people has grown up being taught, whether in so many words or by example, that the highest value of all is tolerance—never condemning anyone for anything.

Make no mistake; tolerance is a godly value—depending on what is being tolerated. But it doesn't supercede or cancel out all other values God gives mankind. Tolerance of evil is a serious side-effect of the current mood of Western civilization.

I realize that many people have a great issue with calling any action "evil" or "sin"—more evidence they are infected with the idea that tolerance trumps all other standards.

Sadly, many people who would describe themselves as believers of God have accepted the theological mush served to them by today's religious leaders and consequently, they, too, believe there is something wrong with thinking in terms of moral law—that is, God's law governing human behavior.

I am intrigued by people who cite Jesus Christ as their authority for never judging any action as a sin or any person as a sinner. "He did not judge or condemn anyone," they assert. But they are wrong. For example, Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery, "Go and sin no more."

He did not say or intimate: "Oh, adultery is no big deal; everyone is doing that sort of thing these days. I mean, it's not like you killed someone or anything as serious as that."

Nor did He attempt to parse wrong behavior with, "Well, it depends on what your definition of 'adultery' is." Nor did He make a case based on "consenting adults." And He didn't announce that He was basing His judgment on community standards.

By speaking of adultery as sin, Jesus acknowledged the existence of a divine law that has authority over human behavior.

What about you? Where do you stand? Do you have a "moral mind?" Is your authority Hollywood's standard, community opinion, your own ideas—or the supreme, beautiful, wise and merciful law of God?

We hope you'll request or download our free booklet The Ten Commandments to discover how God's law pertains not just to Christians, but to everyone in all aspects of everyday life. You may be surprised to learn how relevant every one of these laws is today.

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