While listening to a national radio talk show today, the host spoke about integrity. His comment dealt with the presidential candidates but it did get me to thinking about our country, our current state of affairs but more about our personal lives. Integrity, it seems, is something we seem to have diluted to the point of almost non-existence.
There are several definitions of integrity depending on which dictionary you use but the definition I found most interesting was “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. Take a moment and read the definition again only a little slower letting the words sink in. Having done numerous bible studies, I have found it to be helpful sometimes when reading the bible to break down a verse by keywords. Here is a time I think this would be good. The key words in this definition are; honest, moral principles and moral uprightness.
• Honest: good and truthful; not lying, stealing or cheating, not hiding the truth about something.
• Moral Principles: the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group. (remember social group later)
• Moral Uprightness: the quality of being honest, responsible, and moral.
As a child, I received several whippings for not being truthful when caught in a lie. I believe feeling the pain of a spanking along with my mom or dad explaining why I was getting a spanking and that being I lied, is still remembered today and is probably one of the reasons I hold truth to such a high standard. I also remember how I felt when I discovered someone had lied to me; the feeling of betrayal was not a good feeling. As I have grown older I’ve had the opportunity to see people demonstrate both truthfulness and deceit. Once a person uses lies it becomes easier each time they resort to lying, and lies change with time. The truth remains the same.
Our society once held honesty to a very high standard but now honesty is not important and lying has become the norm. What changes brought us to this point. Being a Christian and doing time line studies of the last One Hundred Years of social behavior I found the most dramatic change occurred during the sixties and early seventy’s. It was during this time that society went through several changes; prayer was taken out of our public schools, we had the hippie generation, the drug, and sexual revolution, we became more self-focused instead of family focused always wanting to have more than our neighbor, entertainment took on a different view of what was acceptable on television and in our movies etc. Society lost its moral compass, there is no identification of absolute right or wrong, the lines have become blurred by confusion, uncertainties and a general feeling of being lost.
Up until the 60’s our lives had been rooted, we had a solid foundation to rest on. We had family that supported us; we had a spiritual foundation that always provided an internal knowledge of right and wrong. Honesty still prevailed in our lives. Our schools taught us on the Christian foundation this country was founded on. Our houses of worship preached hell fire and brimstone (they preached the truth as the Bible teaches) instead of what we have now, preachers being afraid to preach on sins as demonstrated in the Bible for fear of not being “politically correct,” Church’s and Sunday schools are becoming more of an entertainment center instead of teaching the moral responsibility of being a Christian, we’re not singing songs that effect out internal need of God but instead we are signing songs that make “us” happy. Preachers do not want to pressure anyone so they don’t give alter calls and some don’t even read from scripture but they don’t mind asking for your tithe. This list could go on and on.
Our schools have let our children down from primary through college. There is no discipline in our schools (a problem also brought on by a lack of good parenting), lying and cheating have become the accepted norm. Our educational system no longer teaches true American history, portions of America’s history are intentionally left out of both the American history books and in world history books. Liberalism and socialism have become the standard of teaching in today’s class. We are witnessing American history being rewritten (the truth being omitted) right before our eyes and we are doing nothing about it. Our children are being lied to and we see nothing wrong with that. Revisionists are rewriting America’s history. Revisionism is the common method employed by those seeking to subvert American culture and society. The dictionary defines revisionism as an “advocacy of the revision of an accepted, usually long-standing view, theory, or doctrine: especially a revision of historical events and movements. Revisionism attempts to alter the way a people views its history and traditions in order to cause that people to accept a change in public policy.
The willingness of the American citizen to accept lie’s, deceit, and cheating, along with criminal acts from the very people who should be setting the example amazes me. A question one of the national news channels polls indicated a real problem in America, one of the questions asked was; should honesty play a role in deciding on whether a politician should be elected or not. The answer was 30%. Only thirty percent expects their elected politician to exhibit honesty. Seventy percent believes it is okay to be deceitful or lie to the people. What does that say about the integrity of the American citizen? The saying of “tell me what I want to hear instead of the truth” rings true. People would rather be lied to than be told the truth even though the truth will eventually come out. Right after that bit of information was given we are told about Robert Battle, a Councilman in East Chicago, who was sworn into office while in jail and in handcuffs on murder charges along with several other federal charges. This is not Mr. Battles first term in office. My question regarding Mr. Battle is how did he ever get elected to his first term in office? It appears he has several arrests records dating back to 2000 all for drug-related charges. One reason is the location of where he was elected, Chicago, a Democrat majority city, seems to be blind when looking at the integrity of elected politicians. Is this just a Chicago problem or is this blindness toward Democrat and Republican politician’s a national problem? Is this blindness toward politicians lying becoming the new normal in our political lives?
When looking at our political arena, we have two parties, Democrat, and Republican. Both parties have had their struggles throughout our history and neither party is what they started out being. Some would say, myself included, that we now have only one party, the Politicians Party. Both parties, I believe, at one point in history supported America and American values. I believe both Democrats and Republicans stood and fought side by side in wars defending our way of life not casting doubt, blame or hate toward the beliefs of the other. Both proudly defending the rights of Americans, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and any other number of documents making America the great country she was. Both parties believed America was the greatest country in the world. Both parties had a basic fundamental belief in God and the importance of Christian beliefs in the forming of the Unites States of America. Both parties knew that for America to continue in her greatness certain inalienable rights needed to remain in the forefront of America’s freedoms and that being the First and Second Amendment. Both parties knew that God and only God was responsible for this piece of land we call the United States of America becoming the great country it is. Both parties knew the coming together of 56 signers of the Constitution wasn’t merely by happenchance. It was not happenchance we became the greatest country in the world.
The question we are faced with now is, what are we going to do regarding the integrity of America, our politicians and ourselves along with the integrity of our children. I have told my children that when a person dies, he doesn’t die he lives on in the action of our children and grandchildren. This integrity and character that is displayed in our children are the mirrored reflection of our integrity and character. How will your children’s integrity and character be seen?
For Liberty and Freedom