I’m Perturbed

Fair warning—this is a rant. The thing is, I’m bothered by so much, I’m not sure where to start. It’s what we’re doing in this culture that is getting to me.

For instance, last year’s winner of Celebrity Apprentice did some promotional clips in which he says, Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing. Then you turn to the news and there is Bernie Madhoff being hauled into court and vilified. I’m thinking, Wait a minute. Wasn’t he just trying to win?

So we teach a whole generation of people—everyone who first heard Oakland Raider owner Al Davis say, Just win, baby, and believed it—that nice guys finish last and that it’s not personal, just business. And we laugh at lines from the upcoming movie that says a business lie isn’t the same as a life lie, then wonder how those AIG execs could take million dollar bonuses.

Excuse me? They could because we taught them that winning is the only thing that matters. Who cares who you fleece?

And that’s just where the philosophy is at its most obvious. Look a little further into our consumer culture and you’ll see how doctors, who used to be held up as selfless and sacrificial, are now part of why our health care is in such deep trouble. Teachers who once were all about the needs of children are now ready to man the picket line and fight for their share of the pie. Attorneys who once were the advocates of the defenseless are now manipulators of the system. And politicians who once were servants of the people are now petty, bickering, self-serving megalomaniacs.

All the while, the majority of people are looking for little beyond comfort and ease and a little pleasure. Like getting drunk on St. Patrick’s Day or drugged out during Spring break. (Curse those drug lords for making Mexico so unsafe. How could they!)

One recent email forward (I hardly ever read them—please don’t add me to your list!) had it right. The Bible prophesies against those who call good evil and evil good, yet that’s exactly what we do:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!

Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine And valiant men in mixing strong drink,

Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

– Isa 5:20-23

Lo and behold, our culture is right there. We call abortion, choice. We call pornography, free speech. We call homosexual sin, gay rights.

And now there’s a movement afoot here in California to legalize drugs so they can be taxed (solve our budget problem and stop all the gang activity, the theory goes). That must have gotten the pols thinking, because they also want to add a tax on patrons of strip joints.

Let’s see, the idea isn’t to dissuade men from patronizing the places. It’s to make money off them. So, how many zoning laws will change if local governments realize there is money to make in hosting such places?

We are in a financial crisis in America, but instead of getting down on our knees and begging God to forgive us for turning our faces from Him, we’re packing our bags, ready to head off to Egypt.

And it’s not just non-Christians. Believers aren’t far behind. But I’ll rant about that another day.

Published in: on March 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm  Comments (17)  
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17 Comments

  1. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

    1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)

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  2. Oh, nice rant. Though I’m for the legalization of drugs, I think. I can’t see that paying to have all the druggies in prison and encouraging them to kill one another because drugs are worth more than gold, is doing society much good. I’m not for legalizing drugs so we can tax then as much as I’m for legalizing them because I think it save lives.

    Other than that one point, I agree with you. Rant on.

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  3. Sally, I mean no disrespect, but have you ever taken or “done” drugs?

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  4. I have, Nicole. I started when I was eleven with alcohol, moved on to pot, speed, acid and coke. I was a daily coke user and dealer for seven years. I quit when God saved me at the age of 24. Several of my friends died along the way.

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  5. What I don’t understand is, most of our kids nowadays are taught that “everybody wins”, “you earn a trophy for coming in last”, telling kids the sing great, for instance, when they are actually tone deaf, just so they feel good about themselves. I guess, in a way, that also helps feed the culture where every body thinks they deserve to win.

    As for teachers joining picket lines, wanting their piece of the pie, I’d have to disagree with that. All the teachers I know (including my husband) don’t do what they do for the “pie”. Nowadays, I think you have to have a very strong desire to help kids to be willing to set foot anywhere near a classroom. Not to mention, they get paid peas and carrots for doing it.

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  6. Well then, Sally, my opinion won’t matter much. If the illegality of using deters even a few people, it seems worth it to me since many people like us never make it out. That’s all. Thank you for your candid response.

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  7. Sally, thanks for the feedback. Here’s what I’m thinking about all these laws. In I Tim. 2:1-2 we are told to pray for our leaders “so that we may lead tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” In a democracy, I think prayer should extend to our representatives, our state government officials, and even our voters, keeping in mind this principle.

    I could be wrong in thinking that fewer people doing drugs would help us lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. But that’s how I see it. I don’t think I should pray for one thing, then vote for another either, so I can’t see supporting legislation or propositions that would legalize homosexual marriage, prostitution, child pornography, or drugs. We already have people overdosing on the prescription kind, and teens abusing their parent’s stash of same. Would that trend lessen if drugs are legalized and governments start getting rich off the taxes?

    Sadly, the “drug war” could be as effectively waged as the tobacco war if the media wanted to get serious about the issue, but they don’t, and more and more people fall into addiction.

    BTW, something I realized about addiction. It seems only vices are addicting. Who ever says, He’s addicted to generosity. Or to monogamy. Or to honesty. Or to courage. Or to friendship.

    Not sure what it means. I just found it interesting.

    Becky

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  8. Jessica, I know there are many, many hard working teachers. I was one for 30 plus years. Many of my friends still are. My parents both were. My sister still is.

    But I think something changed when teachers’ unions took hold. For many, not all, teaching stopped being a profession and became a job. Interestingly, all the strikes and picket lines haven’t done much as far as advancing teachers’ pay when stacked up against doctors or lawyers—the other “pillars of society.”

    I brought up teachers because there is quite a stir here in California right now, with some teachers trotting out their signs and disrupting meetings because there might be job cuts because our state finances are in such a mess.

    I think it’s horrible (the job cuts) because I know kids don’t learn as well when class sizes climb. I know how hard it is to discipline, how difficult it is to stay on top of paper grading when you have additional students. I know education is top heavy, and I think no teacher or teacher’s aid job should be cut until the administration expenditures have been trimmed, trimmed, trimmed.

    Nevertheless, teachers should not act out in an effort to get their way, and that’s what’s happening here. It’s a disgrace, in my opinion—the threatened cuts AND the response to those.

    Becky

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  9. Nicole, thanks for joining in the conversation. I surmise from your comment to Sally that you agree with me about rejecting this move toward legalizing drugs. Unfortunately, I think it’s probably just a matter of time.

    Same with the homosexual marriage thing. Even though Californians voted in the last election to amend our constitution to define marriage as it has traditionally been defined, there is also talk of putting the issue on another ballot. I don’t know. It seems like there has been a seismic shift toward liberal policies even though I doubt this is the direction the majority of our citizens wish to go.

    That also perturbs me!

    Becky

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  10. I cannot find a single reason to make any of the things you mentioned legal. I definitely see Sally’s point about jailing all the druggies which becomes pointless in many cases. I was never addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I took my limited share and sampling. No needles. The fear of addiction kept me from the hardcore drugs of that day.
    The solution isn’t simple, but neither is making something bad/dangerous legal out of convenience, political pressure, or just because of a weariness to combat it. JMO

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  11. Wow, what an excellent, thought (and prayer) provoking site!
    And while on the subject of provocation. How do you see the All Just, all wise, all knowing, forever righteous Father Son and Holy Spirit taking the state of things? As some have so rightly pointed out from His Living Word, He told us over 2000 years ago what the state of things would be in these days. WOE IS US!
    I am ranting right there with you Becky.
    Praying for His MERCY and FORGIVENESS and our
    REPENTANCE
    Sister Sue

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  12. Rebecca, I’m not a huge fan of unions, although they did help save my dad’s job when he was just inches away from retirement. So I do see your point, but at the same time, I have to be honest about the fact that my family has benefitted greatly from a union. Perhaps part of the problem is, the feds and the state are running the schools? I dunno. It is definitely a growing problem.

    I’m going to pipe in on the drug legalization issue. A major part of the problem is we are priming our kids to be addicts by feeding them copious amounts of white sugar and white flour, as early as age -9 months. Until society at large embraces new discoveries on the treatment of addiction, including the fact that refined sugar is a gateway drug, our problem in this area is only going to compound. Addiction is so rampant, it is somewhat frightening to admit the full scope of it, as well as the damage is has done and is doing. Legal or not, addicts will find their drugs.

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  13. “BTW, something I realized about addiction. It seems only vices are addicting. Who ever says, He’s addicted to generosity. Or to monogamy. Or to honesty. Or to courage. Or to friendship.”

    Because these traits usually represent the hard choice, and not the easy way out.

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  14. Sue, Nicole, Jessica, Mark, thanks for continuing the discussion. I did too—in my post today. 😉

    Becky

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  15. “A major part of the problem is we are priming our kids to be addicts by feeding them copious amounts of white sugar and white flour”

    Jessica, it’s the corn syrup. Apparently American food is stuffed full of it. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fattest of us all?

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  16. Ken, I think that misses the point. We aren’t talking about health problems here. We’re talking about a society that wants to pander to our sins and if possible make a buck by doing so. If it starts young, all the better.

    It’s interesting to me that smoking has been all but eliminated in California. Big tobacco was vilified for advertisements that made smoking appealing to the young. But somehow that same commitment to changing the views of society hasn’t taken hold when it comes to drugs and alcohol. I suspect it has more to do with power and money than it has to do with health and well-being.

    None of that matters though. It’s simply a heart indicator.

    Becky

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  17. Becky,

    The corn syrup point was a side comment. I thought Jessica had identified the wrong culprit. Stuffng food full of corn syrup is certainly pandering. It makes the food cheaper and tastier. That leads to overconsumption and health problems (which are not owned by those who profit).

    We are seeing interesting howls of pain from business with the current crisis. A recent newspaper report had a quote from the owner of a chain of department stores. “People are only buying what they need!” he wailed bitterly. What an outrage! How dare they act like that. Don’t they realise that their responsibility is to keep running like gerbils on a treadmill to keep his profits up?

    We are seeing an exodus of kids from high fee private school back to the state system. Not too many people are upset by this.

    On the legal drugs issue: Australia has an approach called harm minimisation. That means there are safe injecting room and methadone clinics. In places round the world were this is tried it becomes apparent that there is a group of people who are addicated not to the drugs, but to the drug lifestyle. They seek out the illegaility, the sneaking around, the special contacts that only they know. Get them cleaned up and let them back into the same environment and they end up using substances again almost as a byproduct of the way of life. It becomes a question of whether the problems of misusing illegal drugs is worse than the problems of misusing legal drugs.

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