No. 379

When it comes to the future of our country, especially as it relates to our children and grandchildren, there is a haunting question that keeps coming to my mind. Over the past ten to fifteen years I have witnessed the steady decline of decency, morality and virtue as portrayed in most segments of the media. To be perfectly honest, I am terribly dismayed each time I attempt to watch television and try to find something fit to watch and all I see and hear is crude language, vulgar behavior and immoral sexual conduct. When you also add violence to this mix, the quality is, to say it bluntly, deplorable. Whats even worse, when I am lucky enough to find a decent program, they promo a filthy program right in the middle of it. To be sure, these people are cunning and this is not by accident. The people who produce commercials for some of Americas largest corporations have also gotten in on the act.
The haunting question that keeps coming to my mind, and if you have children and grandchildren you may feel the same way, is simply this, If we dont turn this situation around, what kind of nation are we going to leave to those we love the most? As you ponder what I am saying, dont think for a moment that I dont believe in the rights of these people to produce and peddle the kind of programs they want to produce. While I would be willing to die to defend these rights, this does not mean that I have to agree with them and that I cannot speak out against what they are doing, if I feel it is irresponsible and will ultimately lead to the demise of our nation. Just check your history books if you want to learn what happened to other civilizations that fell into rampant sexual immorality.
From the mail I have received from thousands of readers over the past several months, I know I am not alone in wanting to do something about what we see happening to our culture. A few weeks ago I received a letter from Louis & Mary Willett who live in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Quoting now, While we agree with you Mr. Davidson, about the plethora of vulgar and objectionable programming of TV (Trashy Vision?), we believe we would be short sighted if we limited our observations and evaluation of the media to TV. We believe the problem is much larger. Movies, magazines, radio, music and video games all have long since departed from any acceptable standards of morality or even standards of decency. (I took note that the community newspaper was not listed among the offenders.)
There was a time a few generations ago, when respect for others was rampant and when standards of morality were inculcated in children by law abiding and respectable parents and elders. Unfortunately, in time many people felt liberated from any standards; indeed, many people seemingly embarked on a mission of putting God and values in the closet. Without God, obviously there is no need for values. Many of these same people who had closeted God and values became significant in the media and in other industries that exercised leadership in our country.
If you care about what is happening in this important area of our society, you may want to join me and millions of other people who want to do something about it. The answer is not to get mad and spout off, but rather to adopt a strong resolve that, over a long period of time, we can begin to turn it around. There are four basic things that I hope you will do. No. 1, When you begin to watch a television program and realize that it is crude and vulgar, switch channels. No. 2, When you cant find a clean, decent program to watch, just turn it off and do something else with your valuable time. No. 3, When you see a commercial by any company that flaunts sex to sell its products, write or call them and tell them its unacceptable and if they persist, buy from another company.
No. 4, My last recommendation may have more potential than anything else. If we are going to change the culture in our nation and leave a place for our children and grandchildren to thrive and succeed, free from predators, we must be organized and focus on these important goals. We can do this by e-mail. Write all the people you know who share our values and give them the gist of what I am saying along with the three things mentioned earlier. Then ask them to write their friends and repeat it until it spreads all across the nation. One word of caution, do not send any message as a forward as most people just delete those. It must be a sincere message from your heart to people who respect you and care about what is happening to our country. The thought I want to leave with you is simply this. What kind of nation are we going to leave our children and grandchildren, if we dont do something about the trash, vulgar language and violence in the media? Its time to pull the plug. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)