The Conejo Jewish Academy invited Dennis Prager to speak on the topic, “In Search of America’s Moral Compass.” Prager pointed to the overwhelming evidence that American’s moral compass has been broken. He confessed that he was pessimistic about the future of America. Prager admitted that America can be turned around, but he is not hopeful. To be hopeful allows citizens to rest in that hope; to be pessimistic requires every American to redouble their own efforts to do what they can to reclaim the values and centering faith that has made America an exceptional country.
Our moral compass is broken when the Palestinian police state that embraces the destruction of Israel and condones terrorist attacks on innocent civilians is openly defended. When the reported “disproportional” response of Israel to the unprovoked attacks by Islamic extremists who bomb, stab and attack their citizens are equated and described merely as a somehow equivalent “cycle of violence,” America’s moral compass has lost its true North.
Our moral compass is broken when our national leaders tell us that an unverifiable agreement to prevent the development of nuclear weapons by a country like Iran that is publicly committed to the destruction of the United States and our ally Israel is good.
Our moral compass is broken when it is more important for our leaders to fight global warming by limiting carbon emissions than it is to defeat Islamic extremists like ISIS who are murdering innocents around the world.
Our moral compass is broken when Hillary Clinton can be applauded for her masterful congressional testimony regarding the Benghazi attack, when anyone listening to her testimony would know that she repeatedly lied to Americans about a demonstration fueled by a racist video while privately telling the truth about a planned terrorist attack to her family and key world leaders. The end—avoiding an embarrassing attack weeks before a close presidential election—justified the means—lying to the public about what was clearly a planned attack. Is it no wonder that so few Americans trust her and that she is being investigated by the FBI for her deleted emails on her private server while serving as Secretary of State!
Our moral compass is broken when Donald Trump can ride high in GOP polls and hog free media coverage by making grandiose claims and providing daily provocative, personal attacks on other candidates. Candidates without integrity may rise early at the expense of others in a culture without a moral compass. After all, in such cultures, winning is all that matters! In moral cultures, when such lack of character is revealed, support evaporates.
The Prophet Isaiah warned, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil….” We would do wise to heed that advice and once again value integrity and character over fame, witty press releases and questionable popularity polls.
Martin Luther King, Jr. from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial dreamed of a future where a man would be judged more by the content of his character than the color of his skin. But today too many seem preoccupied by race and blind to the importance of character.
There was a time we dreamed of living in a colorblind world--where race wouldn’t matter. But today, we live in a world where demonstrators try to control events by shouting “Black Lives Matter!” No, all lives matter in a moral, character-driven culture. The decent of every race should be applauded and honored while the indecent of every race should be held accountable and be shamed. Good and evil come in all colors, all ages, and all political parties.
Heaven help America if the choice we are given in November of 2016 is Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It is true that integrity alone will not make you a great president, but without it, you will never be a true leader. May we demand more of ourselves, our country and those who will lead us.