By lex, on October 28th, 2009
The story of the 15-year old Richmond High School raped and assaulted for two and a half hours behind her school gym – at homecoming! – by multiple assailants while dozens more looked on and did nothing causes the mind to reel in shock and dismay.
Who could do such a thing? How could this happen?
Is our slide into “if it feels good, do it” moral relativism complete?
From their early adolescence they are exposed to violent video games, pervasive sexuality in movies, television, music. The sense that everyone really is doing it. Their early guardians are parents who sigh and forgo making the difficult decisions to rebuke, punish, deny. Because we’re all just too busy what with the two jobs and Judge Judy comes on at five.
By the time they are in their formative years, the guardians have given way to the inmates: Teens these days have multiple means of inter-communication that parents cannot easily penetrate, monitor or disable. This allows them secret havens of race-you-to-the-bottom voyeurism and exhibitionism. Social media sites, cell phones, IMS chat, SMS text – these are social channels existing entirely outside any mature moral framework, many of them lack any sense of appropriate boundaries. It is a kind of co-educational “lord of the flies” environment existing not on some remote island but beneath our very noses, and just beyond our grasp.
The boomer generation passed on to their successors the material ease their depression-era deprived parents strove for without really working at it themselves, without bothering to transmit the moral foundation they imparted upon us. The truth that good things come not of right nor entitlement but from hard, useful work. We are increasingly unable to distinguish right from wrong ourselves and so decline to judge it in others. By refusing to judge, we have lost the power to shame. In refusing to shame we have permitted, even celebrated everything that was once shameful. We have killed god and put nothing in his place.
I fear that having substituted the the state for the family and Hollywood for the church we have raised a generation so detached from what used to be known as our collective moral bearings that they no longer feel compassion, revulsion, empathy. A generation that can stand around and take pictures as a 15-year old child is brutally assaulted.
I secretly fear that, out of the goodness of our hearts, we have bred a nest of vipers who wait only to nurse at our bosoms.