When Honor Disappears: Five Consequences of a Society without Shame
I love my country. I am grateful that I have the privilege of living in a country where I can worship as I please without fearing condemnation or persecution. I am thankful for the generous nature of most Americans who eagerly provide aid to those in need in a time of crisis. I grew up emulating leaders who lived their lives with dignity, men and women who cared about honor and justice.
As a child I watched television shows that consistently encouraged purity and reminded us of the tragic consequences of wrong choices. While they didn’t always reflect what was happening in society, they did provide a positive guide for what most Americans felt should be our goal. Explicit language was reserved for bars, nightclubs, and the like. It was never considered appropriate in the presence of women or children, and if you heard a profane word on television you could be sure that someone had failed to do their job.
America has changed!
In today’s America, men sin with impunity. They do so eagerly, aggressively, and arrogantly. There is no shame in what they do because their reasoning has been twisted by the corrupt nature of their hearts. There is no fear in what they do because they are convinced that they are an authority unto themselves. There is no hesitation in what they do because they are unaccountable. Their conscience does not condemn them, the law no longer forbids their activities, and they make choices based solely on their appetites rather than standards of righteousness.
In short, American society has lost its shame, starting at the top.
Government officials (at least the majority) bear great responsibility for having encouraged our degradation. They show little respect for decency, promoting lifestyles that are base and deviant, while generally ignoring their constitutional obligation to uphold basic standards of virtue. Not only do they embrace, promote, and defend the open practice of immorality, they vilify those who actively seek to guard and encourage respect for righteousness. In essence, they embrace evil, and attack good, while insisting that they are protecting our freedom.
“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:” (Jer. 6:15)
Americans have lost their ability to blush. Disgrace no longer exists because nothing is disgraceful. Every man simply does that which is “right in his own eyes” (Jud. 17:6) because “there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:18). “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not” (Isa 3:9).
When shame disappears certain things happen:
- Evil activities become common and acceptable.
- Human boldness for the practice of evil increases.
- Normally accepted boundaries limiting the open practice of evil disappear.
- Man’s imagination becomes the sole authority for acceptable behavior.
- Respect for Divine authority evaporates.
America has collectively abandoned the moral guidelines that protect us from self-destruction. We have a government that encourages children to rebel against their parents; legalizes the murder of the most innocent of all humans, for (in most cases) purely selfish reasons; actively steals from its citizens (in the form of non- essential taxation) to pay for programs and activities that violate the conscience of many taxpayers; seeks to enact laws forbidding citizens to publicly support and encourage morality; and repeatedly justifies their actions by lying about their methods, motives, and mission.
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
George W. Bush said during his inaugural speech in 2003: “Freedom is not America’s gift to the world. It is God’s gift to mankind.” The source of our freedom is our Creator, rather than our government. But our society has chosen to reject the very foundation of righteousness upon which our constitution was established.
Because America has rejected the source of truth, they have forfeited the right to freedom.
That’s a high price to pay for ditching our shame.