Throughout the impeachment and trial of President Clinton much has been said about the morals of our society. There are those who think the standards that governed past generations are too outdated to govern ours. One local commentator said, “We are too sophisticated to be ruled by extraneous morals.” Is that the case? Are we “too sophisticated” to bother with the rules our grandparents followed?
That depends on your definition of sophistication. We are sophisticated in technology and our use of America’s natural resources. But we are not so sophisticated that morals are no longer needed.
When a child is killed in a public restroom while his aunt waits outside, we are not sophisticated. When a gay man is beaten, tied to a fence and left to die, we are not sophisticated. When a teenager gives birth at her prom and leaves the baby in a toilet while she goes back to the dance, we are not sophisticated.
True, these things are of the most horrible acts in our society. But you don’t have to look for the extreme to see how unsophisticated we are. One of our most popular boxers is a convicted rapist. A ex-football star can get away with murder. And the president of the United States breaks the law, then says it’s not a big deal.
How can someone say that are morals are extraneous? Telling the truth is no longer relevant? Valuing another person’s life is not important? People who say morals aren’t needed are either ignorant of the facts of life, or rationalizing their own immorality.
Morality has kept America from destroying itself. With so many different cultures, religions and viewpoints it’s surprising we’ve lasted this long. If we toss morals out the window, we are asking for chaos. Our laws will not work and cannot be enforced without morals because they are found on morals. When one read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution it is clear that American ideals and values are based in morality. Are we about to change the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to self indulgence, anger and brutality? Shall we answer “no” to Abraham Lincoln when he asked if this republic can long endure?
The “extraneous morals” that so many people would like to get rid of, are the things that make us sophisticated. Generations past recognized this fact. How sad that we would rather selfishly squander the legacy they left us, than continue it.