Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
March 30, 2011

Teen moms and airplane bullets

Have you heard about the “Teen Mom” series? The MTV reality show follows four teenage girls coping with motherhood. According to ABC News, the network has been widely criticized for glorifying teenage pregnancy, amid allegations that other girls have gotten pregnant in hopes of getting on the show. Some young parents are paid as much as $60,000 per season for their stories.

Meanwhile, a US Airways jet was grounded in Charlotte, North Carolina after a pilot discovered a bullet hole in the passenger cabin. Authorities are seeking to determine the source and reason for the shooting. In other news, a paramedic has pled guilty to posting pictures of a dead woman’s corpse on his Facebook page. Her parents are suing the social networking site to prevent the image from being further disseminated.

We’ve been asking this week about America’s moral direction. Consider the good and bad news in Time’s current story, “One city takes on a plague of prostitution.” Vallejo, California declared bankruptcy in May of 2008 and was forced to cut its police force by 40%. One result has been an epidemic of prostitution.

The good news is that neighborhood watch groups have increased from 10 a few years ago to more than 200 today. They walk the streets at night, discouraging prostitution and other crime. One resident says, “Some good has actually come of this. I now know almost every neighbor for three blocks around. That’s great.”

What do these stories say about our nation’s moral health?

I readily concede that we cannot measure a culture by its newspapers. “If it bleeds it leads” is an old media saying. Good news is seldom reported. I also believe that God redeems all he allows. It’s no surprise that the crime spree in Vallejo would spur greater community unity and initiative.

Here’s my question: does it seem to you that we’re dealing with moral issues we’ve not faced before? If the current trajectory continues, where will we be in a few years? Our postmodern culture rejects the notion of absolute truth, insisting that “you have no right to force your morals on me.” How’s that working for us?

What is the key to a moral rebirth for our culture? “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Don’t attempt the second until you’ve done the first. This is the warning, and the invitation, of God.

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