Morality determines America’s sophistication

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 There are those who think the standards that governed past generations are too outdated to govern ours.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.

Founding fathers were right

Studying U.S. history I was surprised to learn that our founding fathers weren’t big on democracy. In fact, they feared it. They thought that the majority of people would be easily swayed by emotional arguments, and they would make un-informed decisions.

That seems to be the case now. Polls indicate that the majority of Americans don’t care about the conduct of our president, they don’t want anything done about it, and they would like the matter to be dropped as soon as possible.

Somewhere in all of the political fights we have lost the point of the impeachment proceedings. The question is not about sex. The question is, did the president perjure himself, and is that an impeachable offense?

According to many, including our perjurer in chief, lying about sex is not a big deal in today’s culture. That may be true, but laws are put in place to set a standard regardless of the morality of the people they govern.

There are people in jail right now for committing perjury, some for lying about sex. What are we to tell those people? Is the president above the law? Are we to give him more lee-way than the average citizen?

Even though many of don’t want to hear any more about Monica Lewinsky, we have to ask what will be the consequences of our apathy? Lying about sex may not seem like a big deal, but what future presidential liars are we going to tolerate?

Some may say that even the average citizen should not be prosecuted for lying under oath about sex. But where do we draw the line? Shall we add an addendum to the oath, “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth — unless I’m talking about sex?” What else can we excuse?

It is apparent that the president perjured himself, and he has been successful in convincing the American people that it is not a big deal. Our founding fathers were right, again.

Wasting student money

Last week the Associated Student Government traveled to Tampa, Florida for a conference of a national student association. Our eight representatives went on this trip courtesy of you and me — it was paid for with student representation fee money.

We pay for the flight there, for the hotel rooms and for their food. Now, I have no problem with the ASG using the student representation fee to represent us, but this was not the case.

The conference began on Friday afternoon, but the ASG left for Tampa on Wednesday evening. They had all day Thursday off to be tourists. In fact, they went to the mall and to Orlando.

Remember that we pay for that extra day. They could have very easily left early Friday morning, or even Thursday night, as ASG’s of the past have done. But they failed to follow the precedent.

This prompts the asking of some questions. Why is my money being spent on someone else’s tourist activity? Why do my representatives feel they can free boat in Florida on student money? Why do I even pay the student representation fee?

I used to pay the fee because I thought it was going to be used for representation — as the fee’s description states. But it appears that this ASG thinks otherwise. I have even been told by an ASG officer that it is their money, not the students’. What kind of thinking is that?

Students do not have to pay the student representation fee. When our registration bill comes in the mail we can simply opt not to pay the $1 fee.

Not paying the fee is something we must seriously take into consideration. Is the student representation fee the ASG’s money or is it the students’ money? I believe it is the students’ money, and should be used for the purpose stated in the name — representing students.

Next semester I am not paying the student representation fee, I would encourage everyone else to do the same. When you receive your registration form, remember what the money is really being for. Consider not paying the fee because it is wasted by our representatives. Perhaps when the ASG doesn’t have enough funds to spend extra days in Florida they will start to take using student money more seriously.

Some Christians don’t get it

As I watched the news coverage during the past few weeks about Matthew Shephard and the shooting of an abortion doctor, I was angered. I wasn’t necessarily angered by the fact that Shephard was killed because he was gay, or even by the horrifying death he suffered. And I wasn’t necessarily angered by the fact that the abortion doctor died. I was angered by the actions of so-called Christians in both these situations.

At Shephard’s funeral they gathered and protested with signs reading, “God hates fags.” They yelled at people in attendance, saying on TV that Shephard deserved his death because of his sin.

This week they said that killing abortion doctors only saves many more lives.

Being a Christian myself, I am appalled by these people who claim identity with Christ. If they supposedly believe what the Bible says, why aren’t they practicing it? Not once does the Bible say that homosexuals are hated by God. Actually, the only harsh words Jesus spoke were against the religious hypocrites of his time.

These hypocritical attitudes are expressed by some Christians on our own campus. Student preachers walking around yelling Bible verses at people, telling them they are going to hell, etc. You’ve probably run into them. Of course, they are justified because they are “spreading the gospel.” What they lack is literacy. The same verse that tells Christians to have an answer for their faith also says to do so with “meekness and fear.”

That does not mean picketing a funeral and yelling at people on college campuses. It means respecting people. It means practicing what you preach. It means that if you are a pro-life Christian, you don’t shoot an abortion doctor.

Pat Robertson says the acceptance of homosexuality is the last step to the decline of our civilization. I disagree. What will lead to the decline of our civilization is religious hypocrites who don’t practice what they preach. Hopefully we all, especially Christians, can learn something from this. If not, God help us.