When Moses came down from Mount Sinai to deliver the Ten Commandments to the ancient Israelites, he encountered a people having a party and worshipping a golden calf. Clearly, the people were not interested in what God had to say to them.
Fast-forward several thousand years. Today, many people worship the "golden calf" of the Dow Jones Industrial Averages. In Dow we trust. Materialism has dulled our senses to anything that does not produce pleasure. And so we get "gay marriage," cloning, partial birth and every other kind of abortion, a high divorce rate, cohabitation, promiscuity, nudity, profanity, indecency - all part of what some have called the coarsening of culture.
Two twentysomething women were conversing in front of me at Reagan National Airport. Their language would have shocked my grandmother, who once admonished me for speaking words in her presence she deemed inappropriate. "Nice young men don't talk like that," she said. The offending words were "toilet paper." Nice young men? Who, or what, defines "nice" today?
Everywhere one looks, one sees a rejection of what previous generations called social norms, decency, virtue, values, propriety, modesty, integrity and standards that no longer exist outside of some individuals and families who have embraced them.
Various groups, "alliances," "majorities" and "coalitions" have tried to prevent or retard what they see as social decay through the political system. It should be obvious after repeated failures that this tactic does not and cannot work. That's because - like those ancient Israelites - too many prefer to worship things and are slaves to feelings, thus dulling their senses to the wisdom of the ages.
While the raw power demonstrated by four members of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court mandating same-sex "marriage" is a form of tyranny because it prevents citizens from deciding the matter, the courts are made up of men and women who increasingly reflect societal indifference to the higher and moral things. (Remember morals? Ask your grandparents.) Who has the political will and moral courage today to tell someone his or her behavior is wrong?
For the apparently declining numbers who care about such things, it should be obvious to all but the fund-raisers and self-appointed moral crusaders that trying to impose a moral code from above on a people who are having a party and living by other standards - or no standards - results in futility. If people were not tone-deaf to ancient truths, they would embrace wisdom instead of rejecting it. The bottom may not yet have been reached. "They invent ways of doing evil," said one ancient writer about the immoral times in which he lived and the future he foresaw.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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