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Why Young Americans Can't Think Morally
Jewish World Review ^ | Sept. 20, 2011 | Dennis Prager

Posted on 09/20/2011 9:08:44 PM PDT by ReformationFan

Last week, David Brooks of The New York Times wrote a column on an academic study concerning the nearly complete lack of a moral vocabulary among most American young people. Below are some excerpts from Brooks' summary of the study of Americans aged 18 to 23. (It was led by "the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith.")

"Smith and company asked about the young people's moral lives, and the results are depressing …

"When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn't answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all …

"Moral thinking didn't enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner …

"The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste …

"As one put it, 'I mean, I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it. But different people feel different ways, so I couldn't speak on behalf of anyone else as to what's right and wrong …

"Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it's thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart."

(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: culturaldecline; dennisprager; ethics; moralabsolutes; morality; prager; youngamericans
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1 posted on 09/20/2011 9:08:49 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

The percent of teens and young adults capable of moral thinking and being serious about the Bible and the Constitution zigs and zags like the stock market but the half-century trend is downward.


2 posted on 09/20/2011 9:15:20 PM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American that a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: ReformationFan

Our children have become pagans.

Without God, they become gods to themselves.

Feral behavior soon follows.


3 posted on 09/20/2011 9:16:16 PM PDT by keats5 (Not all of us are hypnotized.)
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To: ReformationFan

...and when these young people get into the position to decide the fate of the elderly in a few years, how do you think they’ll do?


4 posted on 09/20/2011 9:19:15 PM PDT by lurk
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To: ReformationFan
"...According to my opinion, and the opinions of many defectors of my caliber, only about 15% of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage as such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion, active measures, or psychological warfare.
 
What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.
 
It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages.
 
The first stage being "demoralization".... "
 
--KGB Defector Yuri Bezmenov
--Soviet Subversion of the Free Press (Ideological subversion, Destabilization, CRISIS - and the KGB)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2095202/posts

5 posted on 09/20/2011 9:19:53 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: keats5

Considering that almost all the TV watched by the young today involves sex between unwed adults, what can you expect? Seldom can you name a program that doesn’t.


6 posted on 09/20/2011 9:23:27 PM PDT by doc1019 (You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.)
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To: ReformationFan
Our government and media are dedicated to turning people into animals, who will then be treated as such.
7 posted on 09/20/2011 9:25:11 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (GunWalker: Arming "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as well funded")
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To: Monterrosa-24

I think part of the reason for confusion on morality is that our society has achieved many advancements and we’ve managed to minimize the consequences of bad behaviour.


8 posted on 09/20/2011 9:27:38 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Running On Empty

Marking


9 posted on 09/20/2011 9:27:50 PM PDT by Running On Empty (The three sorriest words: "It's too late")
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To: ReformationFan

People (and I won’t assign it just to young people) still express moral beliefs, it’s just that they are liberal morals—even when they don’t realize it. Ask almost anyone what they think of racial or multicultural issues, and they know the publicly acceptable answer to give. Ask them why, and they will almost invariably say because it is absolutely right or wrong, completely taking the individual interpretation out of it. Individual interpretation is saved for traditionally conservative moral positions. Even many conservatives will play the race card on fellow conservatives, if they are angry at them and want to embarrass them. What all of this shows is not so much a decline of morality as a domination of our culture by liberal mores.


10 posted on 09/20/2011 9:38:03 PM PDT by Chiltepe
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To: ReformationFan

Several of us on a music production related forum spent days arguing with one 20something about how piracy of music software was wrong legally and morally.

The hoops that guy jumped through were mindblowing in justifying his actions. It was all about him and if he wanted it, he would take it. No one was physically hurt or financially harmed he said. Even people who lost jobs programming the very software he pirated due to the companies going belly up over...piracy...could not convince him otherwise. He wanted it and that’s all the justification he needed.

Right and wrong no longer exist for many of the population. It’s that simple.


11 posted on 09/20/2011 9:38:23 PM PDT by Norm Lenhart (Chief Druid of Trollhenge: Cult of Palin)
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To: ReformationFan
Oh, like wow, dude! This is too hard to think about, like math and stuff.

Maybe after a few tokes, get back to me?

12 posted on 09/20/2011 9:42:50 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: doc1019
Considering that almost all the TV watched by the young today involves sex between unwed adults, what can you expect? Seldom can you name a program that doesn’t.

*************************

I've wondered about all this homosexual ruckus all around, teaching in school, parades, singers, celebration for the military--you get the idea. It seems that could be confusing, too. I just read an extremely sad story and it has me pondering...

I know they say they are doing good, but I'm thinking it is doing more harm than anything that could be construed as good.

'What do I have to do so people will listen to me?' Boy, 14, kills himself after being bullied and thanks Lady Gaga in last post

"She said that her son had been questioning his sexuality over the last year and that his fellow students picked up on it and used it to taunt and bully him."

13 posted on 09/20/2011 9:43:28 PM PDT by Irenic
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To: Monterrosa-24

Every Generation away from those that went to Church and read the bible, become less moral than the one before. Without Religion there is no evil one man will not do against another. Religion is the link to the past that help s us keep our morality. This is a result of over 60 years of the attack on Christianity.


14 posted on 09/20/2011 9:50:36 PM PDT by Exton1
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To: Exton1

My wife asked our 16 year old son if he thought that going to church and being involved with his youth group two days out of the week had an impact on who he was.

He looked at her like she had two heads. “Well, yeah!”

I thought it was a dumb question too - but I know what she meant. And glad he could see the reason why he behaves the way he does.


15 posted on 09/20/2011 9:55:52 PM PDT by 21twelve (Obama Recreating the New Deal: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts)
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To: ReformationFan

Placemark.


16 posted on 09/20/2011 10:01:28 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell.)
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To: Irenic

Taunting and bullying are the refuges of the weak minded, those who give in to the passions of the crowd, even if a laudable goal, ostensibly in line with traditional morality, appears to be the end.


17 posted on 09/20/2011 10:09:06 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: ReformationFan

I may be prima facia: not a “religious” Christian, but learned how to live a moral life in Sunday school and church. I do know right and wrong.

What’s happening today is wrong in much (not all) of this country.

Ever think you’d like to live forever? I couldn’t bear it, seeing the decay as it is. Things can and do change, for better or worse, so I’ll keep hope alive as jj says


18 posted on 09/20/2011 10:12:49 PM PDT by chiller ( EVERY Democrat on EVERY level must go)
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To: Exton1

>>Without Religion there is no evil

Au contraire mon FRere.



"I KNOW BUT ONE CODE OF MORALITY FOR MEN WHETHER ACTING SINGLY OR COLLECTIVELY"

Jefferson was not talking about Religion - which he loathed, and for good reason.

Seems to me Jefferson was talking about self-evident Truth rendered by the relationship manifested between the Individual and their Creator -- in minds which Almighty God hath created FREE.

Likewise...

...who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time;...

---The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom

... he evidently observed that religion, historically, is most usually a product of the coercive State.   Typically manifesting itself in a tyrannical state of affairs that is referred to in the Old Testament as Ba'al.  

Ba'al being the subjugated worship of the State by religious mandate -- against which Jefferson declared:

"I HAVE SWORN UPON THE ALTAR OF GOD ETERNAL HOSTILITY

TO EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN"

19 posted on 09/20/2011 10:25:01 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: ReformationFan

Failure of parenting.


20 posted on 09/20/2011 10:29:45 PM PDT by karnage
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To: ReformationFan
Ten Commandments

Civility is now subjective. And all Democrats rejoice.

21 posted on 09/20/2011 10:44:08 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: keats5; Monterrosa-24; BenKenobi
Ben and I are in the early 30s bunch and speaking humbly we buck the trend. The reasons for this paganism are clear:

  1. the spread of television, where TV is the new church/god
  2. the degeneration of tv shows -- even ones like Friends (which I like) still show a degenerate lifestyle as ok, forget about big brother etc
  3. the spread of mall culture where the aim is aimlessness
  4. the spread of the idea that marriage is for trial -- the "easy divorce"
  5. the concept that not only is sleeping before marriage ok, but you SHOULD do it, you SHOULD stay with someone before marriage to "test" otherwise something is wrong with you -- this and the previous point degenerate marriage
  6. The lack of clear, hard rules since the 60s --> kids like rules, they like to push them, but they like them. Without rules they are unhappy themselves

The downward trend has been in place since the 60s and the 60s gen really started it, now they wonder what happened.

22 posted on 09/21/2011 12:07:13 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: doc1019

there is a solution — toss out the tv.


23 posted on 09/21/2011 12:08:26 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: Jonty30
our society has achieved many advancements and we’ve managed to minimize the consequences of bad behaviour.

I agree with the latter but not the former -- why should increasing advancements lead to moral decay?

24 posted on 09/21/2011 12:09:19 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: Norm Lenhart
No one was physically hurt or financially harmed he said

it's due to the rise of big governments and corporations. you don't hit a person when you steal -- unlike say if you steal from the neighborhood shop, you steal from Mr. Jones, but when you steal from a corp, or don't pay taxes, you steal from some formless entity. It becomes "ok"

25 posted on 09/21/2011 12:11:30 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: Exton1; Quix
Without Religion there is no evil one man will not do against another. Religion is the link to the past that help s us keep our morality. This is a result of over 60 years of the attack on Christianity.

And yet there are those who say Religion or as they call it "Churchianity" is the problem.

26 posted on 09/21/2011 12:16:42 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: Cronos

In times past, consequences for terrible behavious could be swift, unrelenting, and unmerciful. When past societies thought it was a good idea to be married and faithful, it was because if you got syphillis, everybody got syphillis and it could mean certain death for the entire community. So yeah, your community was very much invested in trying to ensure that people practiced behavious that didn’t have serious consequences.

Now, for example, when AIDS first revealed itself, if you got it, you’d die a horrible death with 3 years. So there was a lot of pressure within the gay and drug communities to change their behaviours to minimize the chances of catching it and spreading it.

However, now that we’ve developed treatments that allows somebody to live 25 years with it, many gays and druggies have resumed former dangerous behaviours without a care in the world.


27 posted on 09/21/2011 12:22:46 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Jonty30
good point. I thought you were talking about other technological advancements

The AIDS treatment was put into high-gear. Imagine if we had spent as much money on trying to prevent cholera or malaria or typhoid which kills millions more...

28 posted on 09/21/2011 12:59:01 AM PDT by Cronos (www.forfiter.com)
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To: keats5

Yet God knew exactly how they would think and believe, before He even created them!


29 posted on 09/21/2011 2:08:45 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: LomanBill

What happens when people have differing self-evidential Truths?


30 posted on 09/21/2011 2:11:53 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: lurk

The elderly are the ones who raised them. There are consequences for their choices.


31 posted on 09/21/2011 2:21:49 AM PDT by DB
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To: ReformationFan

Bad Parenting...even worse Teaching......No GOD or Jesus in their lives.....truly we are witnessing the end.


32 posted on 09/21/2011 2:54:55 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Cronos
The downward trend has been in place since the 60s and the 60s gen really started it, now they wonder what happened.

Actually,the "pill" started it by removing all sense of responsibility from men. If it failed (as it often did) then she was reviled for "entrapping" the man. The so-called "women's movement" followed which preached that the female was entitled to everything men had -- free (irresponsible) sex, any job they wanted, disloyalty to partner and employer, etc., etc.

Living together before marriage became expected. Don't all couples fight from time to time? How does a family survice those fights if it is just a trial? What happens to the children when the parents decide the trial is over? They certainly haven't learned the concept of loyalty from the grand experiment.

33 posted on 09/21/2011 3:21:29 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Cronos

Actually, I see those as just more symptoms of what has really gone wrong.

The removal of God from societal and cultural conversation and His replacement with the false god of government telling us what is politically correct.


34 posted on 09/21/2011 3:29:22 AM PDT by EBH (God Humbles Nations, Leaders, and Peoples before He uses them for His Purpose)
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To: keats5

Yep. And if our children have become pagans we have allowed it. The fault rests at the feet of parents who lost their own morals and then abdicated their responsibility and parental authority to day care workers, the K through college school system, celebrities, and government.


35 posted on 09/21/2011 3:58:46 AM PDT by carmody
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To: ReformationFan

There was a comedian on the Comedy channel over the weekend telling jokes about abortion. I didn’t know which to be more appalled at - her jokes or the audience laughing. The progressive socialists have successfully dehumanized a generation of Americans. To them abortion is funny. They want to save the polar bear but joke about killing humans.


36 posted on 09/21/2011 4:20:02 AM PDT by carmody
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To: Monterrosa-24

It’s this kind of stupidity that lead to the Casey Anthony verdict. These people simply cannot think.


37 posted on 09/21/2011 4:20:24 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: doc1019

Even commercials are described as “sexy”...toothpaste, shampoo, cars, etc. The world is upside down! Bring back the fire & brimstone!!


38 posted on 09/21/2011 4:26:04 AM PDT by FES0844
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To: ReformationFan
So all this has dawned on David Brooks? Where's he been? The clear-thinking recognized it for what it is back in the 1960s.

If he is just coming to this realization now, David has a very dim bulb to work with.

The basic moral flaw is mendacity--contempt for truth. This emerged as a force in the 1960s, fundamental to the counter-culture movement, which was the overt emergence of American decadence. The foundation of the counter-culture movement was self-indulgence, and it found mendacity and moral sloppiness convenient. Today, American decadence is a predominant influence in the U.S.A., and the results are obvious; look around. For a quick look at what mendacity and moral sloppiness are, turn on the TV set to any mainstream news channel.

39 posted on 09/21/2011 4:35:16 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Big Brother is not a person. Big Brother is the Federal Government.)
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To: lurk
"...and when these young people get into the position to decide the fate of the elderly in a few years, how do you think they’ll do?"

About like the counter-culture hippies did when they got into the position to control the Democrat Party and run the U.S.A.

40 posted on 09/21/2011 4:38:29 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Big Brother is not a person. Big Brother is the Federal Government.)
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To: karnage

“Failure of parenting..:

I agree. I understand that our society not only tempts young people with immorality but also persuades them not to “judge” an act as wrong. The media, music, television, schools... all have a part in it. That being said, it is up to the parents to instill and enforce morality. It starts very young... it is “wrong” to hit your sibling, it is wrong to steal, it is wrong to lie (yes.. even over a simple thing like eating a cookie). I have taught my children if presented with a moral question (and we’re not right there or someone who can truly help them) to remember the Ten Commandments. The answer is in them or with prayer.


41 posted on 09/21/2011 4:40:30 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: momtothree
That being said, it is up to the parents to instill and enforce morality.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So?....Just exactly when it this going to happen? With high taxes and both parents working just exactly when is this quality time? When is it going to happen even if one parent can be at home?

Children need 10 to 12 hours sleep. Even teenagers need a solid 9 to 10 hours.

There is the 1, 2, or 3 hours waiting for and riding the school bus.

Next, comes 6 to 7 hours in GODLESS and socialist schools where they **must** think and reason godlessly just to cooperate with the GODLESS and socialist indoctrination.

There is the after school activity spent in the company of other children who attend godless schools.

Then there is 1 to 3 hours of GODLESS homework.

The child does need some time to play outside and often it is in the company of children who have also been indoctrinated in the GODLESS schools.

If parents would enjoy an hour or two on the computer and social networks and/or watch a TV program, why wouldn't we expect that children wouldn't want the same? Ah! The problem though is that one to two hours is again spent with other children who also attend GODLESS indoctrination camps, and the TV programing is designed by GODLESS Marxists who aim is to destroy that child's family values.

Overcoming this tsunami of godless and socialist indoctrination is a daunting task even for a stay at home parent and likely impossible for family with two working parents. And....The Barna Foundation research shows that this is indeed the case. Fewer than 10% of children ( from highly active and deeply believing Christian homes) who are sent into the government indoctrination camps are active in their religion 2 years after graduating from the GODLESS and socialist indoctrination camps. ( Do a Google search.)

And...By the way would should hold any teacher or government school worker in contempt and distain. They are eating the souls of our nation's children in exchange for a paycheck and pension. If they really loved children they would be doing everything possible to see that these children could escape the government camps.

Yeah! I am shouting. I am exasperated.

42 posted on 09/21/2011 4:55:23 AM PDT by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: Savage Beast
This emerged as a force in the 1960s, ......The foundation of the counter-culture movement was self-indulgence..
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The inflammation started with the progressives and Marxists of the 19th century. It merely bloomed into a full blown abscess in the 1960s.

Please remember that Bill Ayers and his wife were promoted to positions of power by powerful people of my father ( born 1913) and my grandmother's ( born 1894) generations. These two evil people had plenty of help getting to where they are today as so-called “distinguished” professors and that help didn't come from hippies.

43 posted on 09/21/2011 5:01:54 AM PDT by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: wintertime

“Just exactly when is this going to happen?”

I understand your frustration completely. It does seem with public schools, working parents, other tasks to do... that time spent with our children is limited. However, evenings and weekends do provide some time if the parent(s) are willing to seize it. An hour at mass or church sets the stage for conversation. Turn off the radio in the car and talk about right/wrong, good/bad. For younger children, there are wonderful books out there that a parent can read to them that deal with morality (in a children’s world with childlike characters). The idea is not to surrender but swim against the tide and MAKE the time. If that involves NOT social networking or doing much for the parent’s pleasure/leisure time then that is what it takes. The alternative is devastating IMHO.


44 posted on 09/21/2011 5:11:51 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Cronos
The downward trend has been in place since the 60s and the 60s gen really started it, now they wonder what happened.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Again.....Let's look at Bill Ayers and his wife. They are in positions of power as “distinguished” professors and community organizers because MARXIST progressives of my father and grandmother's generation put them there!

The godless, socialist, progressive, Marxist rot has been eating away at the foundations of American society since **before** John Dewey in the 1800s. The 1960 was merely an inflammation that had been festering for a long time blooming into a full=blown abscess.

Please remember that all modern government schooling has been socialist from the beginning ( mid-1800s to early 1900s). It has been godlessly secular since my grandmother's day ( born 1894), and utter atheistic in its worldview since the 1960s. Why are we surprised that our nation is in a crises and our citizens can no longer reason rationally?

45 posted on 09/21/2011 5:12:11 AM PDT by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: lurk
...and when these young people get into the position to decide the fate of the elderly in a few years, how do you think they’ll do?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Very insightful!

Fellow Freepers, please read that above statement.

46 posted on 09/21/2011 5:14:30 AM PDT by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: Cronos

Speak for yourself but I’m 29 :p

Thanks for the compliment Cronos. :) You’re not so shabby yourself.


47 posted on 09/21/2011 5:19:12 AM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! “10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government")
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To: Chiltepe
People (and I won’t assign it just to young people) still express moral beliefs, it’s just that they are liberal morals—even when they don’t realize it.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Can I rephrase this somewhat?

People still express **religious** beliefs, its just that they are the religious beliefs of the atheist secularists who dominate in the K-12 schools and the godlessly Marxist controlled culture.

Our country is is desperate need of spiritual revival....and....we must shut down the godless government schools, raze them to the ground, dig up the foundations, crush the concrete into dust, and salt the earth.

48 posted on 09/21/2011 5:25:42 AM PDT by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: lurk
...and when these young people get into the position to decide the fate of the elderly in a few years, how do you think they’ll do?

Regrettably they will follow the example of far too many of their elders regarding the unborn.

49 posted on 09/21/2011 5:28:22 AM PDT by Marathoner (Government schools = Marxist indoctrination centers)
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To: Monterrosa-24
The percent of teens and young adults capable of moral thinking and being serious about the Bible and the Constitution

Christ said render unto God what is God's, and unto Caesar what is Caesar's, not mix them all up together.

50 posted on 09/21/2011 5:34:49 AM PDT by tacticalogic
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