Over the years and decades, a lot has been written with regard to the "moral decay" of society in the United States, and even other countries around the world. In fact, for thousands of years people have written about their concern over the moral decay of their societies.
I say the present is just like it was in Jesus' time! The real moral decay was pushed on average people by their leaders, various bullies, and out-and-out greed. So let's take a deep and new look at an overlooked reason for moral decay, you may find it surprising.
Jesus was primarily incensed by the religious leaders forcing their perverted version of The Law — or just plain ignoring it — on the citizens of his country. (Sound familiar?) In the Biblical Quotes section of CAP you can find more than a few of his angry lectures, pointed parables, and accusations against the leaders.
Today, in addition to the moral decay being forced on us by various religious leaders, joining them are various political, industrial, and economic leaders — we do live in a secular society.
But before we get into modern-day specifics, let's first take a look at some of the Bible and various episodes throughout history.
Sodom and Gomorrah
Many people point to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the book of Genesis as an example of God's hatred of GLBTQs (gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer). But that is a misreading of the story. God's angels did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because they were GLBTQ! Surely every culture and city on the face of the earth had GLBTQs in them. The Bible clearly indicates those cities were destroyed because those people forced their personal choices on others!
For those of you not familiar with this story, you can find it in Genesis 18:20 to 19:29. For a long time people have claimed that God destroyed the cities because those people were GLBTQs. But we can tell this isn't the case because God clearly promises Abraham he will not destroy those cities if enough righteous people are in them. It's written there is a bit of an argument between Abraham and God about what that number should be.
First Abraham suggests that fifty righteous people should be enough to prevent God's angels from destroying the city, and God agrees to the number fifty, saying, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Then Abraham rethinks his first suggestion of fifty, and asks, "what if there are five less than fifty? Will it be destroyed because of of that?" Again, God says he won't destroy it if there are forty-five righteous people there.
Abraham humbly continues his strong concern, talking with God, and after much going back forth, with the number under consideration becoming less and less, they agree to ten people. If ten righteous people can be found, God promises not to destroy the city.
Notice how they are not arguing about how many GLBTQs there are, or what percentage of the population they make up. Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because they held GLBTQs, I'm sure every city on the face of the planet had them*, those cities were destroyed because the citizens forced their lifestyles on others. That was their moral decay; forcing their will on others.
In my own experience I have met many GLBTQs. Only a minuscule percentage of them tried to talk me into acting out their sexual desires, and an "I'm not into that," was all I had to say to stop further invitations; none of them tried to force themselves on me.
* Only the current President of Iran thinks there are no GLBTQs in his country, which elicited a hearty laugh from the audience to which he spoke. [ABC News, CNN]
Let's look at another example of serious moral decay: burning people at the stake to "save their souls," and/or to maintain power.
This period of history is seriously gruesome. It seems the worst atrocities took place in Spain, but the Inquisition was a church sponsored activity, the Roman Catholic Church, that is. This is before Martin Luther's protestations, which caused a large splinter group to form, which ended up being called the Protestants. However, this is not a rant against the Roman Catholic religion, they've publicly apologized and not too many years ago allowed some archivists and historians in to their archives to study some of the documents recorded by those who participated in the Inquisition.
In fact, this recent research lead to a great PBS show called The Secret Files of the Inquisition, which used transcripts from numerous Inquisition trials to recreate the visuals and follow various characters' lives (and horrific endings).
What was the Inquisition? In a nutshell it was a period when leaders were worried about loyalty. Loyalty to them and to the church. Loyalty to church doctrine. Loyalty to dogma.
Since there were so many people involved, it definitely not was about just one thing, some people were concerned about their political power, some concerned about their economic power, some concerned about religious power, some concerned about "eternal salvation," etc…
What does this have to do with "Moral Decay?" I'm glad you asked. :-) It is just like our current situation of Drug War and Drug Prohibition. Some of the people in power have decided they know more than God (funny video), they go 100% counter to what God taught us through Jesus, and terrorize citizens, brainwash citizens, imprison citizens, and torture citizens. All that to to prevent "moral decay."
That is what happened during what is often referred to as the Spanish Inquisition.
Allowing unbaptized Jews to live among Christians or imagined heresies being told by commoners was not moral decay; the real moral decay was when the leaders forced their lusts on others. The real moral decay was torturing others, imprisoning them, even burning them alive, all because there were some people who were afraid of "moral decay" or because they feared loosing power: political, religious, or economic (or all three). Exactly like Drug War and Drug Prohibition.
Torturing and terrorizing the citizens DOES NOT create a fear of God — only individuals themselves can adopt that mindset — torturing and terrorizing the citizens creates fear and hatred of humans, specifically those in power. It is also important to note it's written the Messiah would "delight in the fear of the LORD." Now ask yourself this, "how did he do that? Did he smash through doors? Did he advocate imprisoning people? When he did lay his hands on people, what happened next?" Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that after Jesus laid his hands on people, they were cured. He didn't lay hands on them then slap on handcuffs.
History contains many examples of sociopaths rising to power on the wings of claims to restore homeland security, to purify the homeland, to encourage ‘clean’ thinking and behaviors. Then what did they do? They intimidated, terrorized, imprisoned and even murdered lots of people. They subjected people to endless loyalty tests. They set up traps for others to test them, and as part of those tests, in order to make them seem real, the sociopaths must lie, cheat, and do all the things they claimed to hate so much, the things they claimed to be interested in protecting us from! Outrageous hypocrisy!
In short, they forced their beliefs on others. They worked to force their personal likes, dislikes, and lifestyles on others. They forced their wills on others. God DOES NOT do that. They are not acting on behalf of God, they act on behalf of evil. Thus we have the Drug War and Drug Prohibition. The worst example moral decay in the 20th and 21st centuries. The vain and wanton destruction of societies around the globe and the planet itself! Heartless sociopaths calling for harsher penalties, although nearly a century of doing that has only made society worse off. Heartless sociopaths calling for more shame to be spread on others. Heartless sociopaths causing and action out the very moral decay they claim to despise so much!
Drug Prohibition exacerbates every ill the prohibitionists decry!
We love religion, but not forcing it on others!
Drug Prohibition and Drug War are an Evil Religion being forced on us. They work hard to terrorize society with their overwhelming force, as though might makes right. They hold perverted interpretations of scripture and imply that whatever leaders legislate, citizens must bow down to.
Paul wrote Timothy this would happen: 1 Timothy 4:1-6, see a video too!
The Drug War Tree and its Fruit will be thrown in the fire, along with all who worship it and cling to it. The time to repent is now.
If you're a Christian, those sick minds need serious prayer!