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Monday, May 02, 2005

The War on Terror and America's Moral Decline

On the radio this week I heard someone familiar with Muslims explaining how clueless Americans are about our international image and the reasons being used to provoke violence against us. He stated that the most powerful weapon being used against us is not bullets or explosives, but America's own satellite broadcasts of depraved entertainment. Muslim clerics are able to use things like the Howard Stern Show to depict America as the Great Satan. The Muslim people, who are raised with high standards of sexual morality, are outraged by what they see or hear about the "American lifestyle" that flows across the world from the cesspools of Hollywood and New York. (I, too, am outraged.) The speaker said that he could understand why so many Muslims would want to pick up a rifle and join the fight.

His concerns make sense. Even though many Americas are moral people with a moral Judeo-Christian heritage, the moral depravity fed to the world by the entertainment industry (and financially supported by far too many Americans) has done much to jeopardize this nation. It's one more way that immorality hurts people, and one more reason why morality matters.

With that in mind, I am pained to learn that our own First Lady, Laura Bush, gained the praise and laughter of Hollywood types last weekend in a public display that featured dirty jokes and off-color insults about her husband. She even joked that she, as a "desperate housewife," went to see the Chippendales. The First Lady joking about going to male strip clubs?? Great. Now Muslim newspapers can carry direct quotes from the First Lady to prove that America and its leaders are immoral and debauched. And this while patriotic young men and women are being killed by those who believe they are fighting invaders who want to bring American immorality into their land and tear down the moral pillars of their faith.

It was painful enough when I heard President Bush praise Ozzy Osbourne a couple years ago. To have the First Lady telling dirty jokes about George Bush and about her going to a strip club just sickens me. I know many of you will say that this is just a clever political move to throw the liberals off guard, but that's silly. How I yearn for the days of leaders like George Washington, who could always be counted on to represent the land of liberty with the highest of integrity and morality.

Morality matters. It matters in our leaders. It matters in our private lives. We can settle for nothing less. May we one day find leaders to represent us and out nation without shame.

13 comments:

NFlanders said...

Thomas Jefferson was a great leader in the days of George Washington, but he doesn't quite fit your argument. I don't think we are any more depraved than the founding generation of America was.

Shaolin-Trader said...

I didn't hear the entire Laura Bush stand-up routine, but what I did hear didn't offend me because the context was so far-fetched. C'mon, the reason a gag routine about Laura Bush and Lynn Cheney being desperate housewives and going to Chippendale's was so hilarious to the audience is because it's so utterly preposterous. No one in that audience believed for a second that it was true. Its why the gag worked. Sounds like other parts of the routine crossed the line of good taste, but holy cow, wouldn't the world be nicer if we all just were able, as a society, to mind our own business a little more? The river of filth that flows from Hollywood under the guise of entertainment is repulsive. But the national pastime of making a man or woman "an offender for a word" is an endemic evil that is also repugnant.

Brian Duffin said...

NFlanders:

Sadly, one of us is a bit naive about the present state of depravity...and I don't think it's me.

I could provide a rather lengthy and descriptive illustration of the depravity which pervades today's society, but I'm sure you watch the news.

NFlanders said...

Mr. Duffin--
One could say one of us is naive about the past, but I don't want to get into a whole thread-jack with you. Let's just agree to disagree.

Brian Duffin said...

NFlanders:

Then we shall agree to disagree.

-Brian

cayblood said...

Mr. Duffin, while we may be getting worse, Satan has been reigning with blood and horror on this earth for quite some time now.

Brian Duffin said...

There is no denying that Satan and his minions have been advancing the cause of evil throughout every generation of time. I would argue, however, that the evil has intensified and gotten worse.

I spent three years working in law enforcement and some of the stuff I saw would make anyone cringe.

Also, I have no doubt that NFlanders is correct about the evil of Jefferson's day. I just think it's worse today.

Mme. Amy said...

It's not that it's worse today, it's just more widespread and acceptable. It used to be if someone of class was living an immoral lifestyle and it was made public, the person would be disgraced and ashamed. Now it's flaunted proudly!! Females used to be very careful about keeping their reputations clean, and now they are proud to tramp around like whores, bragging about how many guys they've slept with.

Mormanity said...

And I'll 'fess up to being overly harsh, perhaps, on the First Lady. She was playing a worldly audience for laughs, and she prevailed.

There is a sense of seclusion from the crisis we face with the Muslim world when we can hand such material to the propaganda machines of our enemies.

When one is in a position of respect and authority, one must be careful about the kind of jokes one tells. When I was serving as a bishop, I had a couple painful lessons about that. And people in positions of respect, religious or not, simply should not tell dirty jokes in public. I don't care how funny it seems.

Anonymous said...

I have heard the terrorists be compared to the lamanites, or even the Gadianton Robbers. Maybe, if they are the 'Lamanites' of the modern day (not actually of course, just in comparison, assuming that Nephite history is a prototype of modern history), we should convert them!

Okay, that's a little silly, but the Muslim world is opening up. With more freedom comes more immorality. Shouldn't we then combine forces with reasonable Muslims who only want a morally clean socity, in America and the Middle East, and stand together against wickedness?

An American/Middle Eastern morality forum would be great. Hey, its not the whoremongers toppling Saddam, they liked him!
We want you to be free, and lets work together to have a just freedom. Haha!

It's all happened before, in Nephite times.

Anonymous said...

"Like Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin and even Abraham Lincoln, Washington enjoyed dirty jokes and often told obscene anecdotes. While he and Martha destroyed most of his letters, a few did survive. In the late 1920s, multi-millionaire J. P. Morgan bought some, but he burned them saying they were "smutty.""
http://www.ferncanyonpress.com/weird/sample.shtml

"Abraham Lincoln (Republican, 1861-1865) Most people know I am not the greatest fan of Mr. Lincoln, but even I have to admit the man did do a lot during his time as president. He governed a nation plunged into a civil war. He attempted to use diplomacy where he could, but knew that force was going to be needed to keep the country together. I must also say, there is something rather fascinating about a man who died on Good Friday after suffering pain unlike any other person in the world, as if God said you have done all that is needed and you have to come back to me. Finally, you got to love a man who is willing to tell dirty jokes at a party in front of women all the time."

aw,apparently, even george washington, the person we could rely on for moral interigdy liked dirty jokes.

Mormanity said...

We're supposed to take J.P. Morgan's word that President Washington wrote smutty letters? And no other historian or other witness got to see and discuss these letters, of which there is now no trace? (Meanwhile, people who can accept such rumors instantly reject the Book of Mormon and its witnesses because they can't see the gold plates with your own eyes.)

This silly rumor from the son of J.P. Morgan probably says more about his gullibility than it does about George Washington. Here is an explanation from the New York Times, Nov. 6, 1988, in Michael Kammen's review of the book "George Washington Slept Here" by Karal Ann Marling:

"One of the most persistent problems the author traces, and which she must deal with as a transformational phenomenon in American lore, is that for so long George Washington seemed too good to be true. That explains why, eventually, iconoclasts would find it irresistible either to sensationalize or else trivialize him. In 1857 an Episcopalian bishop affirmed the legend of Washington holding a lonely prayer vigil: 'When in crowded lodgings at Valley Forge, where every thing was unfavorable to private devotions, his frequent visits to a neighboring wood were for this purpose [ prayer ].' Contrast that with H. L. Mencken's sniggering query three generations later: If Washington were now alive, 'where would he go on idle nights?' Presumably in search of Sally Fairfax, the wife of his best friend. In 1925, Ms. Marling writes, the son of J. P. Morgan 'bought up a number of autograph Washington letters of a "smutty" nature in order to suppress them forever. "Could we afford to pay the price and destroy our investment? We could and did," said the millionaire's private librarian, who had probably burned some of the many forgeries in circulation in a period that craved sensational keepsakes a more innocent age would have recognized for fakes.'"

Kullervo said...

"The speaker said that he could understand why so many Muslims would want to pick up a rifle and join the fight."

Are you kidding?

In other words, violence and killing is an understandable reaction to smutty television?

Terrorist murders are justified, since "we had it coming?"

This makes me think of the crap that Dinesh D'Souza is constantly spewing, and it amounts to the old "it's har own fault she got raped; she was dressed like that!" It's blame the victim rhetoric.

Maybe if we didn't listen to provocative lyrics, they wouldn't want to fly planes into our buildings?

Come on.