The emerald green and turquoise waters, the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore, the gentle breeze blowing through the hot summer afternoon - all these remind me of a simpler time when I used to vacation as a child on this quiet Florida beach. Seemingly untouched by our culture, this truly is an island paradise. On this trip, I have brought my three children and three of their friends. Because the only access to the beach is by boat, I feel we're safe here - safe from a culture that's gone stark raving mad.
Or are we? Is there any place in America where families are truly safe? Where children can grow up in innocence? Where moms and dads can know that it is their influence over their children's lives that will shape their values, choices, and futures? There was a time in America when parents raised their children with high morals, when adults instinctively created a protected space in childhood, free from exposure to "adult" issues. I fear that America is all but gone. Even here, on this beautiful, isolated island, the culture creeps. It creeps insidiously with the goal of invading the hearts and minds of our children and our families. One need only dial up on the Internet or turn on one of the hundreds of televisions connected to the satellite dishes that now adorn the roofs of virtually all of the beach houses to see the depths of depravity to which many Americans have become addicted over recent years - depravity that is robbing our children of their innocence and their future.
In my twenty years of marriage and seventeen years of being a mother, I've lived in glass and steel high-rises in the hustle and bustle of the city, on the outskirts of large metropolitan areas, and in the quiet cul-de-sac neighborhoods of suburban America. And in every single neighborhood, regardless of its proximity to a big city or its location relative to the country, still the culture creeps.