Somehow, throughout the modern era, good Christian people have stood quietly by and allowed the whole fabric of our society to be undermined by people holding a worldview hostile to Christianity. We have allowed those hostile to religion to dictate to us how we may or must act in the name of “love,” and we have tragically acquiesced. We have allowed ourselves as a culture to adopt a quietism or passivity that has spread as a sort of moral anesthesia even among Christians.
Our entertainments – movies, radio, television – have injected new situations and attitudes into the culture. New norms of morality have been introduced and effected a major cultural paradigm shift, by sheer dent of audience numbers.
And this has happened because good Christian people have been lulled to sleep by an obscene, pagan idea: I have my truth, you have your truth, and it is incumbent upon you to be “nice” to me and let me have my way. You, Christian people, have to be “nice,” and let me do what I want, without criticism. And so evil has again come to dominate the world and our culture, causing us to have more in common with the pagan world than with the predominately Christian culture of even fifty years ago.
I can by no means provide an exhaustive list of the indicators and consequences of the change in our cultural paradigm, but I do offer for your consideration the following:
• The development of multiple means of artificial birth control and the overwhelming cultural acceptance of those means, which have combined to remove sex from the realm of marriage and procreation and to place it in the exploitive arena of depersonalized recreation.
• Legalized abortion, on demand and unrestricted throughout the duration of a pregnancy.
• Euthanasia, presented as a “compassionate choice” to end suffering of the terminally ill or seriously injured. (This is also known as “terminal medication.”)
• Overall lack of respect for the aged and infirm and a tendency to get them “out of the way” through institutionalized “homes.” This is also leading to an increased acceptance and practice of euthanasia.
• The simultaneous masculinization and cultural objectification of women through the misguided manipulations of radical feminism and the mass marketing of pornography.
• A glorification of homosexuality, to the point of “legalization” of gay marriage and adoption and the establishment of gay student organizations, even on high school campuses.
• A love of violence as entertainment. Our movies, television shows, and much of our popular music (rock and hiphop, especially) thrive on the portrayal and prescription of violence as a solution to conflict and personal dissatisfaction..
• A growing verbal violence through the acceptance of profanity in our entertainments and, consequently, in our public conversations.
• A love of the sensational – for example, the celebrity cult. For years, actors and actresses had to adhere to strict “morality clauses” in their contracts; now, the tabloids are filled with the irresponsible exploits of celebrities. Once characters who sinned eventually faced the consequences of their wrong-doing (think of Greta Garbo’s Camille); now all manner of sin and aberration is touted as glamorous and desirable, a normal part of culture and of a “healthy” and glamorous life.
• The vilifying of religion and religious. Formerly, Hollywood treated religion with respect (think of Boys Town, I Confess, and other movies strongly featuring religious characters and themes); now the religious are often the villains, or at least maladjusted foils in the movies in which they appear.
• A cultural ridiculing of traditional moral values. It is not enough that “alternatives” are presented to the nonbeliever; now Christian people must be ridiculed and insulted for holding fast to traditional moral values such as chastity, celibacy, sobriety, and simplicity.
• The promotion of worldly acquisitiveness and valuation and the elevation of the material over the spiritual.
• The dramatic decline of academic standards in our schools and the resulting decline in young people’s ability to engage in rational thought and make responsible, informed, considered decisions. We are raising generations of children that will blindly follow where the “experts” tell them they should go.
• The increased love of the banal and mediocre. Look again at our entertainments and see where there is any genuine talent, ability, or artistry to be found in them. Sarcasm increasingly passes as humor (thank you, Roseanne) and sentimentality passes for wisdom (thank you, Oprah).
• Instant gratification is expected as our native birthright.
• The growing contempt for menial labor and for those who perform it.
• The forced removal of prayer from our public schools.
• The revision of American history to whitewash over the influence of the pursuit of religious freedom in the population and founding of our nation. A growing number of high school graduates do not know that our celebration of Thanksgiving has anything whatsoever to do with God or the pursuit of religious freedom.
• The denial of the influence of the Ten Commandments on law and social policy, manifested by the forced removal of the Ten Commandments from the public venue, such as our area courthouses.
• The forced removal of Nativity scenes from community and public buildings, in the name of “freedom from religion.”