Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Deteriorating Moral Foundation

I just saw a story on the news that can only make you say, "What on earth is going on in this world?" The story was about an armed robbery at a Chinese take-out restaurant. Two men with bandannas over their faces came into the restaurant. They held a customer at gun point, robbed him, then shot him in the knee. Believe it or not, that isn't even the most appalling part.

You see, all of this was caught by the security camera. In the background, leaning against a wall, were two teenage girls. This crime was happening right in front of their eyes, no more than 7 or 8 feet away. I know what you're thinking. This must have been terrifying for them. What did they do? Were they screaming? Crying? Perhaps just paralyzed with fear? Maybe they ran out of the store to get help. Perhaps they even exhibited extraordinary bravery and tried to help the victim. Any one of these would have been an expectable reaction. If I were to tell you that any of these happened on that surveillance video, none of you would probably be surprised.

I am sorry to say, however, that I just made all of those potential reactions up. So how did these two teenage girls really react to the violence before them? What did they do?

They laughed.

That's right. They laughed. While this man had two firearms in his face, likely with his life flashing before his eyes, these two girls thought this was one of the most hilarious scenes they've ever witnessed. Not until he was shot in the knee did they finally leave the room.

What is wrong with the youth of our world when two teenage girls can become so desensitized to violence that they react as if they are watching the latest stand-up routine? We should properly have a sense of disgust when we see such images. Even when we see them on the television or movie screens, these acts should inspire emotions in us that (at a minimum) make us uncomfortable.

But today violence is depicted graphically and realistically in the media, all under the umbrella of purported entertainment. As a society, we add fuel to the fire by patronizing this type of programming, giving it a larger and larger audience. The result is that we reap what we sow. When Bing Crosby becomes Quentin Tarantino and tap shoes become hand guns, why are we surprised that revulsion turns to laughter?

Christianity teaches us that the human heart is fundamentally depraved. Modern society lives in denial of this truth. What is the result of our failure to acknowledge our degenerate cravings and continuing to feed our corrupt desires?

They laughed.

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