• Ethics •
July 1, 2004
The greatest moral question hanging over America’s increasingly secular culture is this: Can we be good without God? That vital question–though almost always unasked–is the backdrop for most of the issues aflame in the media, the schools, and the courts.
June 23, 2004
A culture, like an individual, reaps what it sows. The seed of honor produces a harvest of honorable acts. The seed of anger eventually yields violence. The law of the harvest is part of the divine design for human society, and it allows no exceptions. A society which sows reverence for life will reap a culture of kindness and a legacy of respect. A people shorn of this seed will eventually produce a harvest of unspeakable horror, anguish, and inhumanity.
May 13, 2004
The photographs depicting the abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners of war spread throughout the world like a virus of documented human evil. Within days, outcry over the treatment of inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq threatened to undermine the American effort in Iraq, even as it called into question the very character of the nation that set itself to be Iraq’s liberator.
April 19, 2004
The words of Jesus are unambiguous: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” [Matt. 5:9] These familiar words from the Sermon on the Mount form the basis of any Christian understanding of war and its morality. For the Christian, the standard is already set and the goal is absolutely clear–we are to seek the peace.
April 13, 2004
No discussion of our national ills is complete without some mention of slippery “values” in the public square. Indeed, though talk of moral absolutes is portrayed as outdated and simplistic, the debate concerning national values has never been more heated.
March 9, 2004
The spectacular rise and calamitous fall of Martha Stewart will go down as one of the great moral parables of our age. In an age of celebrity, Ms. Stewart built a cult of personality around an ideal of cultural sophistication and style, offering mass America a sense of elevated taste and the good life. Her fall marks the end of an experiment in cultural aspiration that took her from working class New Jersey to the towers of Wall Street–and will almost certainly end in a federal prison cell.
March 8, 2004
Are there things we should not know? This question runs against the grain of our highly technological society and offends those who worship knowledge at the expense of truth. In the final analysis, that may turn out to be one of the most significant questions raised by the twentieth century–and one of the most pressing issues we will face in the century to come.
March 1, 2004
The modern world is in a headlong rush to bury the remnants of the Christian conscience. The post-Christian character of contemporary western culture is most clearly evident in the rejection of biblical ethics in favor of moral relativism. Most persons believe that morality is simply up for grabs.
February 16, 2004
Scientists in South Korea claim that they have created cloned human embryos and have successfully extracted embryonic stem cells, thus opening the door for the eventual use of such cells in advanced treatments for intractable diseases. The announcement sent shock waves through the scientific community, with many researchers celebrating the report out of Korea as a significant advance. At the same time, others warn that any step toward human cloning opens a Pandora’s box of frightening consequences.
February 3, 2004
Fans tuning in for Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast may have been looking for an all-American sports spectacle. What they got–at least in the halftime show–went far beyond anything related to athletics. Instead, America’s families were subjected to a burlesque of pornographic images, erotic music, and Janet Jackson’s exposed flesh.
January 28, 2004
Peggy Noonan is right. At some point, in some moment, all of us must admit that something remarkable has happened to American culture. Mrs. Noonan, a former presidential speechwriter, recalls that this moment came for her during a high school graduation in the early 1970s. A young girl walked across the stage to receive her diploma. The girl was obviously pregnant. Noonan recalls that her first impulse was admiration for the girl’s grit and determination against social disapproval. “But,” recognized Noonan, “society wasn’t disapproving. It was applauding.” As she reflected, “Applause is a right and generous response for a young girl with grit and heart. And yet, in the sound of that applause I heard a wall falling, a thousand-year wall, a wall of sanctions that said: We as a society do not approve of teenaged unwed motherhood because it is not good for the child, not good for the mother, not good for us.”
January 23, 2004
Dr. Panos Zavos is in the headlines again–this time claiming to have successfully implanted a cloned human embryo into a woman’s womb. Once again, Zavos has made this claim without providing even a shred of evidence, but at least some respectable scientists believe his claim may be credible.