by Rev. Raymond Petrucci
I have an elderly friend who sends me all sorts of newspaper clippings and other items that she thinks might be of interest to me. As our nation's educational system begins another school year, I offer for your consideration the following item included with the last batch of "goodies" mailed to me. You may agree with all of it, some of it, or none of it, but it ought to make you think.
Whoa! With all the gangs and the increasing violence in our schools, what in the world is happening with our kids today?
Let's see...I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare complained that she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said okay.
Then someone said you had better not read the Bible in school - the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said okay.
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said, an expert should know what he is talking about so we won't spank them anymore.
Then someone said that teachers and principles better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. And we accepted their reasoning.
Then someone said let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said that's a grand idea.
Then some wise school board member said since boys will be boys and they're going to "do it" anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want so they can have all the "fun" they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them in school. And we said that's another great idea.
And then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them we said it doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.
And then someone said let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said we have no problem with that.
And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then stepped further still and made them available on the internet. And we said they're entitled to their free speech.
And the entertainment industry said, let's make television shows and movies that promote profanity, violence and elicit sex. And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.
Therefore, now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with..."we reap what we so."
It has been said that the success or failure of our children heavily depends on the family and peer environments. As people of faith, I believe that we must pay very close attention to the lessons our culture teaches and our stands in regard to them.
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