If you go to the Grand Canyon, you may be surprised to find that it’s split between a more regulated, safer “government” side with guardrails and an “Indian” side, where you can walk right up to the edge with no impediments. If you’re a tourist, I’d say the Indian side is more fun. It’s also more dangerous. People are closer to falling off. I had a friend there who just casually stepped over a small crevasse that went down hundreds of feet. In fact, three people have fallen to their deaths there within a month’s time this year. Now, if that number were “500” instead of three, the public would demand that guardrails be put up. Yet, our culture impacts all of us and has a direct impact on whether we succeed or fail as a nation and simply put, the public seems indifferent to the fact that we’ve ripped down so many guardrails that have protected us in the past.
It’s no secret that marriage is in decline and that out-of-wedlock births have risen, but the majority of women under 30 that give birth now do so outside of marriage. Given that the children statistically do worse in almost every way imaginable, this is not a small issue. Of course, one of the many reasons for the growth of out-of-wedlock marriage is the decline of the Christian church in America. Just since 1999 church membership has declined 20% and unquestionably, the church today has far less influence on the culture and its members than it did decades ago.
The media has certainly changed quite a bit as well. Most people have seen the old Lone Ranger TV series from the forties where the main character literally shot the gun out of the hands of bad guys instead of trying to put them down. In the fifties, TV networks were so sensitive to avoiding talk of sex that they didn’t allow the word “pregnant” to be used on the air and the sixties were the first time a MARRIED COUPLE was allowed to be shown sleeping in the same bed outside of an obscure reality show called “Mary Kay and Johnny.” In the early seventies, the FCC warned radio stations about playing songs that promoted drug use. Today, hardcore pornography is readily available to children, many of whom start using it before they even hit puberty. Extremely graphic songs about sex, violence, and drug use are common and the videos that go along with them often feature women dressed like strippers twerking and simulating sex.
The Internet has also allowed people with every weird and deviant belief ever created to get together in groups where they can tell each other that what they’re doing is right. Are you a pedophile? Do you hate women? Men? Blacks? Whites? Do you think your mental illness is a superpower? Do you idolize school shooters? Do you want to see the whole human race go extinct? Well, there are groups of people online you can associate with that will tell you that’s good and it’s everyone else who’s wrong.
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By the time a child reaches adulthood in the United States, he’s probably seen thousands of murders on TV, killed tens of thousands in gory video games, heard thousands of songs glorifying drug use and watched hardcore pornography for years. Meanwhile, whether he has a dad at home is probably a coin flip, he probably doesn’t go to church and whatever aberrant beliefs he has have probably been encouraged in the toxic environment online. Yet, we expect that child to be a good, upstanding citizen who obeys the law, works hard, pays his taxes and does the right thing? The amazing thing, at least for the moment, is that many of them are just that. Our country depends on a river of young Americans like this. Yet, at every turn, we’re throwing toxic waste, garbage, and hog slop into the river – yet, we still expect it to be just as pure, clean, and pristine as it always was. Then we scratch our heads at rising drug use, out-of-wedlock births, school shooters, and every other form of bad behavior. It’s not a mystery, it’s the no guardrails culture we created for our kids.