The devolution of American society began when moral relativism supplanted biblical truth in education, government, and the family.
Beginning in the late 1940s with the Supreme Court’s Everson v. Board of Education ruling and onward, our government and educational system have turned their backs on absolute truth to embrace Marxism, which aims to remove Christianity from all spheres of society.
The moral erosion proves obvious in a recent Barna poll that found, “Millennials are significantly less likely to believe in the existence of absolute moral truth or that God is the basis of all truth.”
The study also noted that “Millennials have less respect for life, in general,” and that “they are less than half as likely as other adults to say that life is sacred. They are twice as likely to diminish the value of human life by describing human beings as either ‘material substance only’ or their very existence as ‘an illusion.’”
Millennials’ disregard for life or morality should not come as a surprise. The decreasing number of young Americans who attend church regularly hear from pastors who may not preach biblical truth. A study by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that only 51 percent of America’s evangelical church pastors hold a biblical worldview.
Armed with this data, I am thankful that recent shootings like those at The Covenant School in Nashville and the school shooting in Uvalde do not occur more frequently.
Gun-control advocates, the media, politicians, and my friends on social media urge increased gun restrictions as the solution to the problem, pointing to Europe and Australia as the golden standard for gun control. Yet, a 2018 New Zealand Herald article showed that despite tighter gun restrictions in these countries, shootings have occurred more frequently than Americans realize.
In 2022, for example, a gunman killed two and wounded seven people in Denmark, a country with some of the strictest gun laws in Europe, before authorities apprehended him and held him for psychological testing. The article, along with anti-firearm advocates, suggests increased psychological testing as the next solution now that radical gun-control policies have failed.
Not many in Western society honestly address the origin behind increased psychological problems. Western countries increasingly lean on modern mental health mantras rather than dealing with the heart of the matter.
For centuries, firearms have been a standard tool for hunting and home defense in America and Europe. So why the escalation of gun-related massacres throughout the United States and the West over recent decades? Again, I pose the heart of the issue: Moral relativism has replaced the truth of God’s Word.
As a college writing professor, I read and hear the anti-American and anti-Christian propaganda to which my students have been exposed their entire lives. Basic biblical truths such as “treat others how you wish to be treated” and “love your neighbor” have been replaced with mantras like “treat others with kindness unless they offend you” and “love yourself.”
How can a society that raises children devoid of the Christ-centered teachings of Christianity expect anything besides massacres at the hands of miserable, self-centered, and horribly confused individuals like the Uvalde and Highland Park shooters?
Gun Control to Mask Moral Decline
Seven years ago, I attended an active-shooter training hosted by the campus safety department at the community college where I taught in Portland, Oregon. I will never forget the cautionary advice shared by one of the presenters.
“In the event of an active shooter situation, don’t bother calling campus police. Instead, call 911,” he advised. “Campus police at this college are unarmed, so we won’t be able to ensure your safety. Although it will take the local police department much longer to respond to a campus shooting, they will eventually be able to take down a shooter if the need arises.”
Baffled, I asked why campus police are expected to perform their duties unarmed. He explained that several years prior, a college board member felt distressed about campus police carrying firearms. After a swift vote by the board, my safety as well as the safety of my students and colleagues would be jeopardized henceforth.
After the training, I stayed behind to ask the officer his opinion regarding faculty arming themselves on campus. He encouraged me — off the record, of course — to carry concealed for my own safety and for the safety of my students. That college, like most academic institutions across the country, proclaims itself to be a gun-free zone.
A 2019 CNN article documented 10 years of school shootings, and the majority occurred in gun-free zones. A 2019 study conducted by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that in schools across the U.S. that reportedly allow teachers to carry guns on campus, no deaths occurred as a result of shootings between 2000 and 2018.
Neither the problem nor the solution to school shootings has any correlation with guns or mental health problems that can be treated with medication and therapy, as many scholars and pundits contend. Rather, the problem stems from our nation’s replacement of biblical truth with moral relativism.
A Symptom, Not the Cause
As a writing instructor for 16 years, I examined thousands of essays, gaining an unusual window into the lives and experiences of my Millennial and Gen Z students. Like an airline passenger who shares intimate details with a stranger, knowing he will never see that passenger again, many of my students confide personal musings and revelations in their writing.
A surprising number of essays I read unwrap students’ deep suffering related to childhood sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Some of my students suffer the scars of drug- or alcohol-addicted, neglectful parents. Some students are only a few months clean and sober themselves. Several are homeless. And over the past decade, they write increasingly about gender confusion.
I have detected a common theme throughout their stories. Each of these unique souls is in search of something specific, a need inherent in every human. The agonizing part is that an ancient moral and religious tradition understands their needs, but they do not.
Instead of the moral relativism they have been fed from kindergarten through college, they need to hear truth. Not the “find your own truth” nonsense propagated by educators, Hollywood, and hosts on “The View,” but rather the age-old truth found solely in the Word of God.
The solution is clear: Churches must put away social justice-centered and seeker-friendly sermons and return to expository teaching. Parents must roll up their sleeves and remove the responsibility of parenting from educators and the media by doing the hard work themselves. And voters must stop expecting the government to fix a problem created by sinful humanity.
Instead, we must repent and ask God to point our nation to truth.