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More Americans seeing need to put a stop to moral decay in U.S.
    Some exit polls have indicated that Americans now worry more about moral decay than about the economy. If this is the case, we regard this as great news. Why? Because the first step to reversing a grave trend is to recognize that it in fact does exist.
The second step is to begin doing something about it.
    A Gallup poll taken in early February and reported last week in USA Today asked people what concerns them more the nation's economic problems or the nation's moral problems. You may be surprised to learn that 58 percent said moral problems concerned them more and only 38 percent said they were more worried about the country's economic woes. Four percent said neither, or else had no opinion.
    Similarly, those polled were told: "Many say the country's moral and cultural values have changed a great deal since the 1960s." Then they were asked, "On the whole, do you think these changes have been: "Good, because the country has become more tolerant,"  32 percent, or "Bad, because the country has become too permissive," 64 percent. That is twice as many. Only 4 percent had no opinion.
Thoughtful people across the nation are asking, "What has happened to us? Who is responsible?"
    There is certainly no mystery from where we stand. For 30 years we have permitted the systematic, step-by-step dismantlement of a structure of morals and standards carefully put in place "to protect us from the primeval forces of our Dark Side, according to a Baptist publication based in Texas.
    "No-fault living has become the order of the day in America," the article said. "'Sin' is an archaic idea. Right and wrong as moral concepts have been abolished. Moral discernment has been deemed judgmental and discriminatory. God is scorned -but tolerated, if He stays in His place."
    Perhaps we have heard of "ethical relativism," in which there are no universally valid, moral rules, but instead moral principles are determined either by the culture or the individual. In other words, morality is what society has said is moral.
We do not pretend to be ministers in the pulpit, but only wish to point out a distinct possibility: that educators and the media have brainwashed society to believe there is no such thing as absolute or universal right and wrong.
    Can anybody in good conscience say that the trend toward more and more permissiveness has created a wholesome approach to the kinds of values upon which this great country was based? We don't think so.
    Author Duane Motley, in his essay, "Christians and Biblical Values Under "Christians pointed out that even pastors and members of mainline churches attack biblical morality. The Rev. Paul Sherry, president of the United Church of Christ, was cited as just one example, after having disregarded all biblical teachings on sexual morality and having offered more permissive theology in the name of "tolerance."
    Courts throughout the land have upheld the whining of the American Civil Liberties Union in its appeals against such events as a national Bible week. Also, judges have overturned an attempt by Virginia schools to place internet filters on school-owned computers to prevent children from accessing pornographic websites. The judges have ruled that the filters would impede the ability of adults to sometimes use the computers to access pornography.
    In our view, the inactivity of Christians and other God-fearing people is the reason for this court activism and the rejection by society of biblical values. If these people had taken a public stand for righteous and biblical moral values back in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, we believe we would not be facing these attacks on Christian values - nor the current political and moral crisis.
    But we are heartened by word that even a microcosm of our society (if not society as a whole) has recognized the need to put a stop to the moral decay that has all but destroyed our existence as it was intended by God to be. We can only urge others to recognize it as well.

Robert F. Stealey
Telegram Editorial Board chairman



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Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999