Thursday, November 16, 2006

A New Values Revolution

I was talking yesterday with an acquaintance who is experiencing some difficulty with the father of her child with child support payments. Her quest to avoid the legal system for an amicable (and seeming more than reasonable) settlement has met with little besides resistance from the father. Add in the fact that the father has not visited his son once in 15 months, including for a period when they were within a 3-hour drive of each other, and let's just say that the gentleman in question isn't likely to win 'Father of the Year' any time soon.

That got me thinking about all the talk of values in this nation of ours. Social conservatives seem to think gay marriage, abortion and school prayer define the values debate, while liberals have tried to twist the issue into one of throwing money into social programs, success be damned. But there is a large swatch of societal morality that has nothing to do with sex or poverty that is left out.

There is an epidemic of deadbeat dads in this nation. In historic times, men fought and sometimes risked their lives to protect their kin. Thankfully, modern times have made the life of the father or husband somewhat simpler. And yet, among us live men (and yes, women) who abandon their responsibility to the children - a responsibility that should be upheld even with one's own life!

We love to talk about gay marriage, be us for or against it, but what about that institution of marriage that groups chose either to protect or diversify. With record divorce rates, it's worth pondering over whether we as a society have protected this institution at all. Without prejudging individuals, it is certainly a damning indictment on our society's ability to implant a spirit of compromise on its constituents.

I could go on, but it's obvious that we have clearly failed to address the values that truly matter. Because there's no point clinging to Jesus when you forsake the principles he stood for, and it's shallow to be croning about minimum wages when you fail to show that compassion for those around you.

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