HEADLINE: Daily Mail (United Kingdom), “Kentucky fans run riot, burn jerseys and hurl liquor bottles in the streets as they take NCAA final defeat badly (… and UCONN students smash up their OWN campus in celebration of victory).”
These troubling events took place shortly after the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team beat the University of Kentucky in the 2014 National Championship game.
The similarity between the two universities are obvious, whether you win or lose, drunkenness, starting fires, destruction of property, rioting, arrests and the like. Of course not every student took part in such behavior, but even onlookers who voiced approval of such behavior helped encourage those actively involved.
During the Women’s Basketball National Championship the following evening, one of the announcers said that during his day, they would storm the court or pull down the goal post after a big win, but never considered doing the sort of things students today do.
How is it that so many of the young adults of today feel that things like excessive drunkenness, drugs, foul mouthiness, laziness, being disrespectful and a host of other inappropriate traits is acceptable?
As with the demise of most things in life, things generally don’t simply go from good to bad overnight. More times than not, incremental stepping stones leading us from good to bad are involved.
The decline in standards among young adults has taken place over the course of many years and is complex in nature. What are some key factors that have contributed to the issue?
Media and Entertainment
With the advent of various forms of mass media such as print, radio, film, TV, records and the Internet, the dissemination of information has been shared with more people, in more locations, and in greater quantities.
Mass media tends to reflect the cultural norms and standards of a free society. In the early days of modern mass media, for the most part, conservative standards were the norm. As society has become more liberal in terms of ethical and moral standards, media content has diminished as well. Morally questionable content in turn has helped feed a greater sense of moral laxness amid society.
One should not overlook the role violent or sexually suggestive video games has played in the lowering of standards among young adults as well.
There was a day when senior adults were looked on as resources by the younger segment of society. They were esteemed as those who had earned their standing based on a wealth of knowledge, life experience, overcoming challenges, etc. In the late 1960s a role reversal began to take place. Rather than looking to seniors as resources, they slowly became relics of a by-gone era. They continued to be loved and respected, but their stature was diminished while their youthful counterparts were undeservedly exalted.
Things like the sexual revolution and increased drug use amount the young adults of the 60s played a role in the division between the young and the old. Such things likewise had an impact on eroding various foundational norms and moral standards as well.
Parental Authority Undermined
Over time, in the name of protecting children, through various teachings, laws and actions, federal and state services created a climate that undermined parental oversight.
To see how far things have digressed, one need only look at the removal of Justina Pelletier from her parents by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Service, merely because they agreed with the diagnoses and treatment provided by Tufts Medical Center, rather than accepting the diagnoses of the Boston Children’s Hospital.
There are many examples of parental oversight and authority being undermined by governmental services. At times, some children have picked up on such things and have challenged not only parents, but teachers and other adults in authority as well.
Departure from Biblical Principles
A simple review of the founding of the United States and the leaders of that movement, will help one understand the importance of biblical principles to our inception as a nation.
In the last ten to twenty years, there has been an increased effort on the part of some to move away from the biblical standards the nation was founded on and replace them with secular concepts. Things like the Bible and prayer were staples within the school room in times past. Today, more than ever we see various forces striving to rid all American institutions from the Christian base the country was built on.
Students Gone Wild
Each of these changes (and others as well) have worked to slowly strip young adults of their moral compass. With the lack of absolute truths and a deep respect to a God who holds them accountable for their actions, comes a wider range of “acceptable” behavior that is destructive.
Disrespect of parents, teachers, and authorities in general has slowly increased over time. Some people scratch their heads wondering how students at the University of Kentucky and Connecticut could act in a riotous manner over a sporting event, but the reason behind it is simple—a lack of moral restraint.
Children and young adults are much like a sail in the wind. They need some slack to function properly. While too taunt a line will not allow them to reach their full potential. Of course, if they are allowed too much line, they will flap aimlessly in the wind. Likewise, the danger of allowing a sail too much line is the difficulty of pulling it back in when confronted by strong winds.
As our nation’s sense of morality and ethics decline, and young adults embrace irresponsible life choices, at some point it will become impossible to reverse course. Rioting after the loss or win of a basketball game will surely become rioting for the sake of rioting. With this mentality comes the beginning of anarchy. With anarchy comes the total breakdown of society.
In Romans 1:22-25 it says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie.”
Many Americans inside and outside of the church have embraced the heart and the mind of the fool. One need only consider the clear teaching of God’s Word and hold it up to how we live our lives to validate this.
Be it the immodesty of dress, the entertainment we watch and listen to, the debt we amass to gain the riches we cannot otherwise possess, the words we speak, the lies we support, or the dishonorable actions we display, the evidence of moral decline abounds.
The secular liberal culture behind such changes believes they have a handle on things, but they don’t. When society falls apart, loss of freedom and liberty accompany it. With the loss of freedom and liberty come dictator-like governments similar to those seen in some parts of the world.
Rather than suppressing our biblical roots for the sake of secularists, those in authority ought to embrace this heritage. As a nation we ought to return as best as possible to the strong moral foundation that made our nation great. This is our true hope.
Let us examine our hearts and make certain our spiritual house is in order. Let us pray that the Lord revive the hearts of the people of this nation, turning once again to the Lord and drawing close to Him in spirit and truth.
John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”