|Over the last two or three generations, there have been dramatic shifts in what people think of as acceptable behavior. Today’s deteriorating culture merely reflects society’s shifting worldview. I saw an example of the shift last Wednesday. An advocacy group had gathered in and around the State Capitol to demonstrate against the Medicaid reform bill (HB 1566). A group gathered outside my window, and even though I am on the fourth floor, I could clearly hear their chants.
They would repeat one phrase several times, then another, and then combine the two. The first chant was “what do we want?” Then would come “when do we want it?” The group was concerned about the proposed change in Medicaid welfare making funding optional rather than obligatory. In other words, future commitments of your tax dollars will depend on whether tax revenues are available. The change gives the legislature some flexibility in setting budget priorities. The demonstrators were feeling threatened that government might be less involved in their lives.
Not many generations ago, people just wanted government to leave them alone. Now, some want government to be fully responsible for them, regardless of the impact on others. Instead of asking, “how can I help my neighbors?” – the question is “what do we want!?” “When do we want it?” It reflects the entitlement mentality of our day.
Society has moved from independence to dependence and from security to anxiety. Government has failed to provide true security. Security does not come from government programs but from building my life around absolutes that cannot be taken away. Security comes from absolutes such as character, a good name, or a sovereign God.
I saw another example of shifting worldviews recently while watching a mock legislative session held in the Capitol by college interns. One bill the interns debated would have banned abortion unless the mother’s life was endangered. The interns voted the bill down 25 to 16. I was surprised and disappointed. 62% of the Republicans and 6 % of the Democrats voted to ban abortion. I had hoped for more Republicans, but the real surprise was that only 45% of the young ladies voted against abortion. Eleven of twenty future mothers voted against banning abortion. What worldview about the family and motherhood does that reveal?
Many in the House of Representatives are determined to protect life, marriage, and family against the attacks of a liberal worldview that rejects absolutes. Their problem is that absolutes demand standards. If there are no absolutes, then there is no absolute truth and no basis for standards. There are just opinions. Opinion has taken society on the path of least resistance, which is self-indulgence and perversion, with no regard for consequences. Actions and attitudes really do have consequences. History proves it, and society suffers it. Our prayers, our examples, and our laws must be designed to lead us in the direction that attracts God’s blessing, not God’s curse. The blessing gives security and avoids anxiety.