An American sports legend, Magic Johnson, reveals that he has AIDS. Rumors begin to fly that he is bi-sexual. He is confronted on national television about the rumors. Instead of simply denying them, he begins to boast about how macho he is, claiming to have been to bed with as many as six women at one time! Is America outraged? No. President Bush appoints him to serve on a national AIDS commission.1
The actress, Suzanne Somers, appears on the TV program, Good Morning, America. She is trying to jump-start her flagging career. The appearance is prompted by her agreement to pose nude for Playboy magazine. The interviewer asks, “Why would you pose nude for Playboy now, when you sued them several years ago for publishing nude photos of you?”
Ms. Somers explains that the previous photos were taken by an amateur photographer and were published without her consent. “I decided that since there were bad nude photos of me that had already been published, I might as well get some good ones published.”
She proceeds to explain that she laid down two conditions for the new photo spread in Playboy. “First, they had to let me select the photographer. And second, they had to let me select the photos to be used.” She then makes the announcement that she decided to get her son (who was 19 at the time) involved in the project. “I spread out the photos on the floor and let him select the ones to be used in the magazine.”
“Oh, that was so thoughtful of you,” replies the interviewer.2
The Rapid Decay of Our Nation
What’s the point? A nation that once honored God has plunged into a moral abyss. And the decay has reached the point where, in the words of the prophet Jeremiah, the nation “does not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15).
The descent has been swift. When I was born in 1938 —
- Abortionists were considered the scum of the earth and were sent to prison.
- Homosexuals were still in the closet and were thought of as queer.
- Pregnancy out of wedlock was thought of as scandalous, and “living together” was unthinkable.
- Drugs were something you bought at a pharmacy (or “drug store”).
- Alcoholism was considered a sin, not a disease.
- Popular music was free of demonic beats and words.
- Movies were devoid of nudity, passionate love scenes, mindless violence, and filthy language.
- Eastern religion was still in the East.
- The corrupting influence of television was non-existent.
- Pornography was something that circulated underground.
- Public school students prayed in their classes and read the Bible, and creation could still be taught as an alternative to evolution.
- High school graduates could read their diplomas.
- The Ten Commandments were still legal.
- AIDS was a gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:28 refers to the gift of aids or helps, depending on the translation).
- Our governments — local, state and national — still promoted Judeo-Christian values rather than lotteries, horse racing, and casino gambling.
- Christian teaching focused on sacrificing for Christ rather than confessing materialistic success.
- Governmental authority was respected. Police were held in high esteem.
- Houses and cars were never locked.
- Social security was a job. Living on welfare was considered a disgrace.
- Language was civil. Manners still prevailed. Women were treated with dignity and respect.
Reaping What We Have Sown
Looking back over the last 60 years, the old Virginia Slims cigarette ad seems to sum it up best: “We’ve come a long way, baby!” Yes, we have, and it has been in the wrong direction.
- Today, we are murdering 4,000 babies a day in the name of “freedom of choice” for women.
- We spend more on gambling each year than we do on food.
- We are assaulted by a glut of pornography in books and movies and on the Internet.
- We are consuming 55% of all the illegal drugs in the world, even though we constitute only 5% of the world’s population.
- Our families are being destroyed by an epidemic of spousal violence, child abuse, and divorce.
- Our prisons are overflowing because of a breakdown of law and order.
- Our cities are jungles of violence where people dare not venture out at night.
- Our homes are fortresses with bars on the windows, guns in the cabinets, and electronic security systems monitoring the doors and windows.
- Our schools are filled with drugs, rebellion and violence.
- Our governing bodies are shot full of corruption.
- Our churches are apathetic and compromised by worldliness.
- Our entertainment industry has become a purveyor of violence and immorality, and as we export its products abroad, we serve as the moral polluter of planet earth.
In the next segment of this series on the decay of society, we’ll look at how the moral decay has affected our children and schools.
1) Interview of Magic Johnson by Roger Mudd on the program, 20/20, produced by ABC Television, 1992. Exact date of the broadcast is unknown. The interview was witnessed by the author.
2) Interview of Suzanne Somers on the program, Good Morning America, produced by ABC Television, 1984. Exact date of the broadcast is unknown. The interview was witnessed by the author. The Playboy spread of her photos was published in the December 1984 issue.