A CULTURE IN CRISIS
By Betty Freauf
Over the past few years, we’ve seen an attempt to restore civility to our nation since all the civil unrest of the sixties but it’s really run amok. Besides the latest never-ending stories about the Gulf oil catastrophe, which some quietly wonder if terrorism wasn’t involved, it seems every day on the news some event hits the headlines or is on YouTube. One of latest was the story on FOX about young 13-year old Isaiah Reagins being slapped around by a 40-year old female teacher. Both Isaiah and the teacher, Sherry Lynn Davis, are black so the ACLU can’t yell discrimination. However, white Houston attorneys Brant Stogner and Randy Sorrels were at Isaiah’s side during the FOX interview. The teacher has been fired.
I understand the school in which the lad was enrolled was a Charter School for troubled youth but as I saw the female teacher physically attacking him, am I the only one who would dare question whether the female teacher would have disciplined the young lad in that way had she been wearing a dress, nylons, and dress shoes instead of hip-hugging jeans being held up by a decorative costume-jeweled belt and in tennis shoes? Would she have demanded more respect in a dress or would such a school only have hired male teachers?
Later I saw Florida teachers at the Bloomingdale High School in Valrico making videos titled “We aren’t going to take it any more.” Again, female schoolteachers parading in jeans and shirts – some with bare midriffs acting like tough teenagers. I’m uncertain what the message was or to whom they were sending it. Later we saw on television a male teacher from another area beating on another male student. Is that what the Valrico teachers were suggesting when they said they weren’t going to take it any more? So much for all those anger management classes!
In the same approximate time frame as the events above, we saw on TV two State of Washington teenage girls wrestling on the ground with mothers in the background encouraging them. Again – all women and girls were in jeans. The mothers initially lied and claimed nothing happened until the picture turned up on YouTube. The mothers were arrested for contributing to the delinquency of minors. The one report I heard said something about a boyfriend of one of the mothers also was involved.
I’ve noticed most women today go to church in beautiful pants suits – a compromise between a dress and men’s clothing and definitely a step or two above hip-hugging jeans. Pantsuits are all our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wears. When Sarah Palin was selected to run as McCain’s Vice-President, she was always in a dress and to this day she still dresses appropriately. Is that why she’s so popular? The only time I saw her in coveralls is when she’s on the fishing boat with her husband or maybe shooting a moose.
My mind raced back to when parents didn’t have washers and dryers. In many instances mothers in rural areas did the wash on a gas engine wringer machine on Mondays and hung the clothes undercover on inclement days or snow on the ground. Because these homes did not have electricity, on Tuesday it was ironing day using hot irons heated on the wood stove and their daughters went off to school in starched, freshly ironed cotton dresses and we rarely saw women wearing pants except for special occasions as noted above about Sarah Palin. Today’s materials don’t even need ironing when they come out of the dryer.
The parents of the kids today have washers and dryers either in their homes or they have access to a laundromat and yet they go to school looking like bums. When a young person dresses poorly are they more likely to act poorly? Does a young lady in jeans have to worry how she sits? Can the same thing happen to schoolteachers when they get to the point they just aren’t going to take it any more? Why is this happening?
Well, too many parents have succumbed to the current culture and have become friends to their kids rather than authoritarian figures and too many children have lost respect for their parents and their teachers. Young folks do not want friends, they want adults who set good examples, love and care for them enough to correct and protect them. It was rare years ago when our society was still civil and when men were school administrators with the job of disciplining children, we didn’t experience what we see happening in the schools today. Is Civility A Lost Cause?
I am from an era when young people still respected their parents and their teachers. If the kid got in trouble in school, the school could trust the parents to support them in the discipline. Today too many sixty-something parents quickly hire an attorney so they can sue the teacher and the school. Woodsheds used to cure juvenile delinquency. In some instances, they would be sent to a state correctional facility for even a small infraction like habitual truancy and when they got older and they were still rebellious, dad would drive them to the nearest military recruiting office.
And apparently father still knows best. A caller to the Laura Ingraham radio show in April 2010 said his son had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). His dad cured him when he made a paddle and hung it near the kid’s door. After the riots in the mid-sixties, Robert Gardner, Judge of the Juvenile Court in Santa Ana, California asked, “Why Good Parents Often Rear Bad Children?” He said the good traits each of us has were learned at – and sometimes across – our mother’s knee. A good spanking for an antisocial act results in more than a rosy posterior; it creates character. He said, “Too often, in my juvenile court, I administered, by court action, figurative spankings that doting parents failed to administer years before. The tragedy is that the youngsters wouldn’t be in my court if his parents had done it themselves sometime in the past.” Of course, he made that statement before the 1979 United Nations International Year of the Rights of the Child. In the 80s, an epidemic of child abuse reporting may have caused parents to become more permissive fearing they may be falsely charged.
However, all one has to do is follow the money. After the American Psychiatric Association (APA) invented ADD, private hospitalizations have increased. Patients are hospitalized for periods consistent with their insurance coverage. Under psychiatry’s invented criteria, there isn’t a single normal childhood behavior that doesn’t fall within the broad “symptoms” which comprise so-called “mental illness.” Is psychiatry making drug addicts out of America’s school children and enhancing the bottom line for the pharmaceuticals?
I remember in the 80s I begin to see bumper stickers on cars that said, “Challenge Authority” and self esteem and values clarification were being taught in the public schools causing many to have an inflated sense of self worth and children began to question the values of previous generations. Church weddings used to be religious ceremonies. Now they are nothing more than high-visibility social events. We see it today in the reality TV programs. They all want to be in movies.
This self-esteem and the human potential movement gurus have caused narcissism, self-centeredness in the “Me Generation”. It’s not only happening among the unchurched but the churched as well. One Christian psychologist told a person to get up every morning, look in the mirror and say, “I love you!” The June 7, 1996 Dallas Morning News wrote about a study published in the Psychological Review about the dark side of self esteem having an unrealistically high opinion of one’s self may be a primary cause of violent aggression in crimes such as rape, armed robbery, gang fights and hate crimes. However, I rather like former Portland, Oregon Mayor Frank Ivancie’s 1982 “April Fools” suggestion for stocks in the public square for first time offenders that may very well take care of their “self-esteem” and stop them from becoming second-time offenders which means we’d need fewer prisons.
We are living in the Laodicean period today and the church is failing to witness to the saving grace of God. The Apostle Paul says that we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. In the 2005 book One Nation Under Therapy by Christinia
Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel, M.D., they say bullies and sociopaths often score very high on self-esteem tests and claim they are very happy.
Well, welcome to our culture in crisis. Civility began to decline with the sixties when civil disobedience followed Saul Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals patterned after labor unions negotiating with management – the same rules now being played out in the White House.
We have this trickle down affect. The Marxist liberal women’s movement told their peers they needed to get a college education. They needed to break that glass ceiling. So now the women have high blood pressure, heart attacks and stress just like the men in high-power positions. These jobs keep them from their families more and the stress becomes overwhelming often resulting in divorce and alienated angry children who often look to gangs who become their family.
Arts, music, language and apparel define how society is “evolving” and it is frightening.
With regard to art, the 1963 Congressional record mentioned Number 22 of the 45 Communist goals was to discredit American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings and to substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.” Number 23 was to control art critics and directors of art museums. The plan was to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.
Goal number 24 was to eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press. Nowhere in the Constitution is the government granted the authority to support the contemporary arts. Newsweek took a poll in 1990 whether taxpayer’s funds should be used to encourage and support art in general. Fifty (50%) percent of Americans said, “No,” 42% said “Yes,” and eight percent were undecided and the art is much worse today then it was 20 years ago.
The State of Oregon used to give tax credits on the Oregon Income Tax for the Arts but it drew few donations. In 1992, 85,000 people gave an average of $4.42 totaling $44,535. The east coast is more affluent and has a greater focus on the arts so maybe Oregon is “artistically challenged” but if artists don’t want to support the art even with unconstitutional tax credits, then why should the rest of the Oregonians?
America survived its first centuries without any art dole from the federal government but then unconstitutional National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) was created and we found the process of allowing “artists” to sit on the peer panels and approve each other’s art. Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1989 chose Republican John Frohnmayer, brother of former Oregon Republican Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer and later Oregon State University President, to head the NEA and he said he wasn’t about to become a “decency Czar.” And soon the NEA was using tax dollars to fund pro-homosexual pornography and anti-Christian bigotry.
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The evidence of the civil society’s degradation cannot be ignored. Ravi Zacharias in his book DELIVER US FROM EVIL writes about restoring the soul in a disintegrating culture. He says on the part of some, art itself has become just a euphemism for deviance and discord, creating alternate realities in its path and perverting the popular imagination as it runs roughshod over every virtue. We are seeing the results today in our “uncivil” society.
� 2010 Betty Freauf - All Rights Reserved