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  • Writer's picturesonnyholmes

Oh no! The morality police, again.

Evidently, even Imperial Galactic Stormtroopers knew that morality is an inner grace that can be tuned up or down through exterior influences. Or, at least, that's how I've chosen to interpret the above picture, which I'm sure was staged. It's possible the photographer envisioned an alien culture that had standards of decency too. So, they portrayed the dangers of seeing, hearing, and speaking evil, and the sign language that would communicate that threat to others. Just as clearly, at least to me, is a subliminal message: you better be wearing the military armor of galactic soldiers if you're going to talk about defining evil or speaking to what is decent or indecent or morally right and wrong in our culture these days. Who wants to be accused of being the morality police in our sensitive, snowflake world?

So, the standards line seems to be trending downward. I'll admit living in a Baptist bubble for a few years and being on the back edge of riotous living, the retired Baptist geezer. With that said there's still the sub-education of growing into adulthood at The Citadel and hanging around in life with Charlie, Randy, Don, Steve, Ron, Meadors, and Roger. Which means, I've not been living the monastic life cloistered away from worldly influences. Still, over the last couple of months I've noticed a crossing of public decency lines that have me flinching. Just a few that have been witnessed frequently---

[] vile, destructive language and threats used by Hollywood personalities

[] the frequency with which the "f bomb" is used in public forums

[] graphic vagina costumes in the recent media of the women's march

[] attacks in the media of politicians children and family members

[] angry vilification of elected and appointed government officials

[] portrayal of law enforcement personnel in grossly negative language

[] public glorification of lifestyles and actions that defy our history

Not to mention incidents of road rage; rudeness in shopping lines; lack of respect for the elderly or those with physical handicaps; failure to observe directional signs, marked parking spaces, or other posted requests; explosive tirades at the customer service counter of any department store; tongue lashings from the other drivers when you won't run a red light; or the death stare when you purchase the last of just about anything. They're not life shattering offenses or actions for which I'd call the police. But, these, and so many others slights are picture a corporate loss of civility. We're just not nice anymore

There's an old ax that I really appreciate. It has been attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840), written after the Frenchman's visit to our country in 1831. The truth is that de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont had toured our nation studying our prison system, society in general, and the economic, religious, and political factors that influenced American life up to that time. The quote can't actually be traced to de Tocqueville or Democracy in America, though many politicians and operatives have used it and footnoted it to his work. It may have been in some personal correspondence or letters he wrote. But, of a truth, it is questionable. Still, it resonates with me and my personal worldview anyway, regardless of who said it. It is, "America is great because she is good. When America stops being good, she will stop being great". My fear is that any loss of decency, civility, and moral uprightness will diminish our standing among nations. I pray for a recovery of the standards that have characterized our epoch.

Of course, my Christian worldview and evangelical faith prays that every American would become a fully-functioning disciple of Christ, including a lot of church people out there. That would be a standard of truth I could celebrate. Our national standards include many freedoms, religion and expression among them. Each of us will have to decide the basis of our own personal values and morals. But, as a nation, we have a collective responsibility to insure public standards that influence honorable behavior and treatment of every citizen. So, I cannot press my religious beliefs or standards on everyone else.

But, I can pray for our nation, our government officials, and our population. What is that prayer. it is a prayer that King David offered for Israel. It is simply, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as his heritage" (Psalm 33:12, ESV). Yes, i know we're not Israel. But, we can be a nation with high standards and a sense of decency that blesses everyone in our population. And, I can be the salt and light that Jesus said would influence my little part of it and the people in my personal circle.

Yes, I will be the morality police over me and pray for a spirit in our people that will be decent, civil, and respectful of every other person.

Rant over.

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