It is becoming increasingly common to claim that morality is not important. What is worse, some claim that religion is not important to the maintenance of morality. This view is at best a risky proposition, and at worst a recipe for disaster. Amorality is taunting our society more and more as time goes by.
Yesterday my son called his mother and said he was feeling sick and needed to come home from school early. It turns out that a classmate had been hitting him in the stomach. I told my wife, "I'm glad that our son is a good kid and didn't strike back. But find out who his father is, and I will visit with his father, and tell him 'if it happens again, I'm coming after you!'
My wife said, no one knows who the father is. The school child is a former drug baby, who is being raised by his grandparents.
That makes 6 sets of grandparents that I know that either are or have recently been raising their grandchildren. This is why morality is critical. Because our immorality can hardly affect only ourselves. It has a dramatic effect on our children.
In his recent book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins opined that religion is unnecessary to a civilized society--that people will choose to be moral without religion to remind them. George Washington was of a different mind. He said:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness...
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
I cast my lot with George Washington. Amorality and immorality are at the core of most of the problems we have in this world.
Why is drug use immoral? Because it creates fatherless classroom bullies.
Why is illegal immigration immoral? Because it contributes to an overall sense that respect for the law is not needed.
Why is homosexual fornication immoral? Because it creates a sense of self-centeredness that contributes to societal breakdown. Why are heterosexual fornication and adultery immoral? For the same reason--AND because they create either a child who is not wanted or a child who, because he or she is not wanted, is put to an untimely death by his or her parents.
I am surprised sometimes that far more lawless acts don't occur in America, as they do in some other countries. What's the difference? Morality engendered by religion is a far greater part of American than many other cultures. Do murderers go to church on Sunday? Not usually. How about adulterers? Some of them do, but not most. How about drug pushers? No. A good indicator of a nation's people's respect for each other is their level of religious worship.
Mr. Washington, you are right. Mr. Dawkins, you are wrong. American society functions well because most people are religious, because religion encourages them to act morally toward their fellow men, from not killing them to taking their turn at the stop sign or the traffic light.
In a nutshell, everyone has a right to demand that everyone else be moral, because we should be tired of their mistakes either being killed because they are unwanted, or hitting our kids in the stomach and having to be baby-tended by their grandparents. Let's start standing up for a part of society that is critical, and demand of everyone, including ourselves, that we be moral.