Flip on the TV, peruse the Internet, or page through the average magazine on the newsstand today, and it is difficult to ignore the obvious: America’s moral values seem to be slipping to new lows every year. Images that would have rated swift condemnation from our nation’s religious leaders (and likely a fine from the FCC) just a few short years ago are now standard fare on today’s television screens. Profanity that few sailors would have been caught uttering in mixed company in previous generations now falls freely from the lips of teens and young adults. And behaviors that once would have been unthinkable in civilized society are now embraced by whole communities as basic rights.
It’s getting so you can’t trust anything marketed as family-friendly entertainment these days. Disney, a holdout against the coarsening of popular culture for more than a decade after its founder’s death, long ago gave up the battle. G-rated movies today feature flatulence jokes and other questionable references that would have relegated (elevated?) them to PG status 20 years ago. Even cartoons cannot be relied on to offer good, clean fun.
Today is the National Day of Prayer, a day set aside for silent reflection and prayer in a variety of forms. However, this spiritual day has been clouded by the presence of various controversies, from a Wisconsin judge’s ruling that it’s unconstitutional to disinviting Reverend Billy Graham’s evangelical son, Franklin Graham.
The Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal of a Circuit Court decision in February of last year to strike down a California statute that bans the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The California law specifically bans the sale or rental of video games deemed “excessively violent.” California State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco warned that allowing minors access to very violent video games could affect the brain development of the child.
“Hard questions” are being asked this week in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the wake of the April 15 discovery that middle-school and high-school girls had transmitted lewd photos and video clips of themselves via cellphone and the Internet to their classmates. Many of the recipients, mostly boys, then turned around and either rented or sold the photos to other students.