What do they Mean by Traditional Values?
recent years weve begun to hear a lot of talk about something called traditional values. It seems to surface frequently as a subject of debate
and controversy by the news media.
In reality, traditional values refers to the standards and values
which were embraced by most Americans from its earliest beginnings and throughout
the majority of its history. It is believed by many, including myself, that these values
were a great part of what made America a great and free nation the absence of
which, will likely result in the further decline of our country.
Traditional, historical American values have in the past, included a
faith in God, prayer and the Bible, which has for a large part, been the foundation of
other national traditions. These included such things as honor and respect for the family, diligent work
ethics, absolute values of right and wrong, honesty in business practices, wholesomeness
in leadership, respect toward authority, moderation rather than excess, marriage as a
prerequisite before having sex or bearing children, a family which consists of both a
father and mother, taking responsibility to provide for our own such as ones
spouse, family and children, and so forth.
Such values were the ethics of our Judeo-Christian heritage, largely based on the Bible and the ten commandments, which
civilized our population and instilled character and maturity. People learned how to
behave, to have manners, good morals, to be honest, unselfish, generous and considerate of
others. They were taught the benefits of discipline, hard work, and responsibility. They
were given good role models of how to be loving and kind to their spouse, encouraging and
supportive to their children. This was the sort of thing which caused marriages to last,
families to succeed, and which made our nation strong and free.
Perhaps like myself, you or your parents can remember the days when ideals from the Bible were taught in the public schools. It was in my third grade class that I received my first pocket New Testament, distrubuted by the Gideons... and we often recited the Lord's prayer in unison. I can also remember seeing the Ten Commandments displayed each day on the wall in our school room, as listed here:
II. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
III. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
IV. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.
V. Honor thy father and thy mother.
VI. Thou shalt not kill.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods.
And during these years, what do you suppose were the biggest violations commited by students in my school? Skipping class, chewing gum, pushing or shoving, talking in class, running in the halls, were the only vile crimes I ever remember reported. Compare that with the type of things that became common in the public schools "after" God, the Bible and "discipline" were kicked out in the mid-1960's: Drug abuse, rape, assault, robbery, pregnancy, suicide, venereal disease, prostitution, murder, etc.
Of course, the downward spiral of morality and values in the schools, was just a reflection of the depravity that continued to corrupt our nation over the subsequent years, the product of a society with declining values... and specifically without the values that originally came
from a life-style of faith in God. The U.S. government has nearly gone bankrupt trying to fix the ills of society, resulting from the absence of traditional values... rampent crime, drug and alcohol addiction, unwed mothers, deadbeat dads, abortion, abandoned children, abused or abandoned elderly, the spread of AIDS and other venereal
diseases, litigation abuse, welfare abuse, lack of education, lack of discipline in the
It has been said that America is following the same historical path
that led to the collapse of the Roman empire. In the famous history, The Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire, written by Edward Gibbon, the author gave the following
reason for Romes fall:
Excessive spending by the central government.
Sadly, these are many of the same symptoms our own society. So will
America continue to follow the same path? It is said, They which fail to learn from
history, are destined to repeat it.