What do they Mean by Traditional Values?
Dale A. Robbins
recent years weve begun to hear a lot of talk about something called traditional
values. It seems to surface in every political campaign and has been the 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, such 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 national heritage, 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.
Many of todays political leaders are looking to a restoration
of such traditional values, not especially because of such a want for faith in God. But
they see that the values which were generally held by believers in the past are the cure
for the sickness that plagues our nation.
And on the more cynical, capitalistic side of things, politicians
have come to see it as a remedy for the numerous costly government social programs. Our
government has nearly gone bankrupt trying to fix the ills of society which have been
produced by the absence of traditional values: Drug abuse, deadbeat dads, unwed mothers,
abortion, abandoned children, abandoned elderly, the spread of AIDS and other venereal
diseases, litigation abuse, welfare abuse, failure of education, lack of discipline in the
schools, rampant crime, and etc.
All of these woes, and much more, are basically a product of a
society without values and specifically, without the values which originally came
from a life-style of faith in God. Realizing this, more and more politicians are beginning
to sound like preachers in their appeal for a return to moral values.
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. One fact is clear: Unless there is a revival of moral values in our nation, like Rome, it will corrupt from within and will die as a nation. Hopefully our nation will heed the warning from the Bible. It says, The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalms 9:17)
This article (VL-603) is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1990, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA 95949. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple permission form. This writing is also available as an attractive tri-fold pamphlet, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us.