Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Downfall of Civilized Society

Along with many others, I was shocked and saddened to hear of the recent mass shooting in Arizona. How has something so horrendous become so much more commonplace in our society?

Today, while at Mass, something the priest was saying in his homily put it together for me.

For the last several years we have become an increasingly secular society. This is by design. We have worked hard to maintain an ever increasing separation between Church and State. Let God be in the churches, the synagogues, the mosques, the temples, etc, but not in the public arena. In our efforts to extricate ourselves from any notion of, or corresponding responsibility to, God, we have eliminated the only source of morality from our society. To replace it we have adopted the notion of moral relativism, which states that there is no absolute truth, no right and wrong, but only that which is perceived to be right or wrong according to the individual and circumstances.

Without a moral compass, our foundation has been knocked out from underneath us. Let me illustrate.

Suppose someone were to ask why stealing is wrong. Why is it wrong? It is because God has definitively stated, "You shall not steal." The foundation for the morality of not taking what does not belong to us is grounded in our faith in God and that God has said this is wrong. But if we remove God from the picture, there is no absolute reason to believe that stealing is wrong other than the fact that most people don't like having something taken from them. But even that is not compelling as various circumstances may justify theft over the comfort or preference of one who is victimized. Perhaps someone feels they have a right to someone else's things. Without an absolute moral foundation, there is no way to defintively state, "You shall not steal."

This brings me back to my opening thought. Why do people increasingly feel justified in murdering other people? Because we, as a society, have worked so hard to remove the moral foundation. Therefore, we can no longer state definitively, "You shall not kill." Relative morality will find a way to justify killing. People are doing it more and more. That is what we saw in Arizona. That is what we have seen in similar incidents in recent years. It's what we can expect to continually see as long as we are all going to go along with this notion that God must not be in the public arena.

Taken to its logical conclusion, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of civilized society. Because there is no foundation for society to stand upon other than moral absolutes. And there are no moral absolutes apart from God.

My plea is for the return of sanity and the rejection of this twisted experiment to redefine morality and to to remove God. Please, if you don't like reading these stories in the news, then become part of the solution by bringing God, and our responsibility to Him, back into the public arena.