Unrest in London has been headline news that past few days. We read from the news wire in London (CNN) –
Prime Minister David Cameron blames the riots that shook Britain over the past 10 days on a “slow-motion moral collapse … in parts of our country,” he said Monday, as police arrested a new suspect linked with one of the deadliest incidents in the violence.
Cameron listed problems including “Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences. Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control,” in a speech in his constituency in Oxfordshire.
And he promised that the government will “review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society” in the coming weeks.
Chuck Colson writes concerning London: As a result, he says they’re looking for fun, for something to make their lives interesting. As one female looter told the media, they wanted to show the rich and the police ‘we can do what we like.’ And what they like is stealing and destroying.
Colson then quotes British historian and journalist Max Hastings concerning the riots in London. “First, he says, these young people are utterly adrift. ‘Nobody,’ he writes, ‘has ever dared suggest to them that they need feel any allegiance to anything, least of all Britain or their community.’ And I would add their God or their fellow human beings. They are functional nihilists; people who believe in nothing except satisfying their urges.”
“Second, Hastings says, ‘The [liberal] social engineering industry unites to claim that the conventional template of family life is no longer valid.’ Single motherhood is encouraged, fathers are missing.
Finally, British schools are basket cases: teachers have lost control and are frequent victims of threats and curses.
Hastings concludes, these young hellions ‘are the product of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings.’”
Colson concludes with: “Folks, Hastings’s brilliant if bleak analysis is right on, and we are right behind the Brits. For more than 35 years in the prisons, I’ve seen the results of family breakdown, of young men turning to the gangs because they had no male role model. In our overflowing prisons, I’ve seen first-hand what Harvard professors James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein concluded: Crime, they said, is caused by a lack of moral training in the morally formative years.”
England over the years has moved away from the teachings of Christianity and more towards secularism; away from an objective standard of morality to relativism. Without God as a foundation for objective (universal) morality, then good and evil is decided by society or the individual. Terrorism is not bad in and of itself; it is only evil if society says so. This is called moral relativism. However, under relativism if the individual thinks it is acceptable to rob and burn buildings, then those actions are morally acceptable for him. Many scholars think we as a country are following the lead of England.
Based on the quotes from the young rioters they have adopted an individual moral relativistic view. They are acting upon their selfish needs which meet their moral standards. I believe a relativistic society is a dangerous one. I contend we already see the fruits of moral relativism in our society. We see living for self-interest it in our families, schools, and throughout our communities. We need to pay attention to what is happening in England. Without an objective moral standard, taught to our children while they are young, are we the next to experience widespread violence from our youth?