Tolerance Gone Wild
“Of course I dislike the Nazis. But who is to say they’re morally wrong?” The shocking statement was made by a college student in New York, as documented by author Kerby Anderson in a much-needed book, “Christian Ethics in Plain Language”. The professor of the class, Anderson reports, “….said that he has never met a student who denied the Holocaust happened. But he also reported that 10 to 20 percent of his students cannot bring themselves to say that killing millions of people is wrong.”
This is certainly an indictment of how modern society has made a false religion out of “tolerance” and how we adults have failed to teach that there are, indeed, moral absolutes. What evidence more strongly proves the dangerous folly of moral relativism than young people who can’t distinguish between learning to “tolerate” what they merely “dislike” and recognizing what is, on its face, evil? We’re in real trouble when even the most egregious evils can’t be named as such.
Recent surveys that reveal a growing number of youth believe that lying and adultery are acceptable behaviors indicate that we are headed for serious trouble as a society. We’ve become so obsessed with what is “politically correct” and the need not to “offend” that we are failing to teach the principles that every civil society must uphold in order to survive. If basic relational concepts such as fidelity and honesty cannot be recognized as bedrock principles then how on earth do we expect the next generation to defend the principles of freedom and justice?
Some truths are supposed to be self-evident. Yet even our Founding Fathers saw the need to clearly state them as such. Dr. Jeff Myers, a recognized expert in leadership development who has trained some two million people in mentoring and world view understanding warns, “We live in what may be one of the first generations in Western Civilization that is not intentionally preparing to pass its values to the next generation.”
One great resource to help you train the next generation are the materials from Dr. Myers’ organization, Passing the Baton. At www.passingthebaton.org you can order a complete kit that will enable you to mentor and equip young people with the ability to develop a strong moral compass. As their website states, “The mission of Passing the Baton is to move leader development to the forefront of the cultural agenda by identifying and mobilizing one million adults to personally equip the next generation of culture-shaping leaders."You may also wish to explore other materials by Dr. Myers including his coaching curriculum, "Understanding the Times”, which is used in many private schools around the nation.
Kerby Anderson’s, “Christian Ethics in Plain Language,” is also a terrific resource that provides the Judeo-Christian foundations on a variety of ethical issues.
The book is ideal for our time-pressed world. Take the chapter on abortion: In only 14 pages, Anderson gives us a history of this abhorrent practice, a brief description of the various abortion methods, and an array of arguments against the killing – biblical, philosophical and medical. Readers also get a section titled “Answers to Pro-Abortion Rhetoric” to help them discern when someone is trying to deceive through the use of clever words.
Parents will find the chapter on sexual ethics particularly helpful. It includes information on teen sexuality, school based clinics, and sex education.
Anderson, the national director of Probe Ministries International, is well equipped to help develop the critical thinking skills that our young people desperately need. An accomplished writer and co-host of the popular radio show, “Point of View”, Anderson knows how to communicate effectively and offers many resources at www.probe.org.
It takes but one generation for a nation to implode from believing lies and practicing moral relativism. Our children need us to deliberately guide and teach them the truth that will keep them free.