Is Rude and Crude Becoming the American Way?

21 January 2005

            When I was a young man people knew enough to remove their hats when entering a building. They did not sit down to eat with their hats on. They opened doors for women, even the ones that were not ladylike. Pushing and shoving was considered uncouth. There was a thing called manners and people who did not have at least a modicum of courtesy were expelled from polite society. Today it is not so. We see bad examples of how people should behave occurring at the most public levels today.

            After the rude and crude episodes of behavior we were exposed to during the Presidential campaign, I suppose the behaviors seen on inauguration day should not have been too surprising. Uncouth and unethical behavior was displayed not only by the media but also demonstrated on the part of the Democratic candidates and activists throughout the campaign. So, I suppose it is not too surprising that their favorite son, John Kerry, would position himself in proximity to the platform before the ceremonies and use the occasion to grandstand and wave to the crowds as though the event was about him. This is the way of spoiled children who must always be at the center of attention.

            The party of Hollywood has its children, and their acts were a credit to their leaders. Along the way, people turned their backs on the Presidential procession, an act that is the height of rudeness. The turning of the back is an act of rejection reserved for the most outrageous of behaviors. For instance I would turn my back in insult to a person who performed a blasphemous act and called it Christian, but I would not turn my back on a man that I opposed simply because he was elected by the majority of citizens. Such behavior is like that of a child who lies on the floor and kicks its feet when it does not get its way.

            Perhaps Hollywood has destroyed our notion of manners. When I was being raised my parents taught me about good manners, and when I entered service the military emphasized what was appropriate behavior in public right along with how to use my rifle. So what happened to this generation? Is it all Hollywood’s fault? I don’t think so.

            Neither is it all the media’s fault, though ABC, apparently jealous of CBS’ notoriety advertised on their website for a family that would be burying a soldier killed in the Iraq war on inauguration day. They did not want a soldier who had died in Afghanistan or one who died aiding tsunami victims in Indonesia or Sri Lanka, or in a training exercise. They wanted to make political capital out of the death of someone’s husband, son, brother, or friend because of their hatred for George Bush. They have no shame and that is what is being communicated to the American people. Are they also teaching some Americans to go and do likewise?

            Much of Christendom is no better than the Hollywood types or media. In fact they seem to have a lot in common with politicians. For instance already this year we have seen a man who is supposed to be a leader in the conservative movement of his denomination praising one of the men who had done much to bring that same denomination, Southern Baptist, into the camp of the liberal, Scripture denying, crowd. Some would argue he was not trying to speak ill of the dead, but you do not have to praise them either. A dead apostate is still an apostate. It is wickedness to praise a worker of evil whether he be alive or dead. And it is unethical behavior.

            The Episcopalians are trying to seize the church buildings of the congregations that will not condone homosexual heresy, and the Roman Catholics, apparently not having been embarrassed enough by their pedophilic escapades, which cost one diocese alone a hundred million dollars, have now named the study space in the library at Villanova University for a woman who slashed her six month old daughter’s throat with a 12” butcher knife and later killed herself. So much for Catholic doctrine, but then there is not one denomination that can be named today that does not have something to be embarrassed about. In such an environment how can anything be communicated to the great unredeemed about God’s grace, assuming they know anything about it?

            It seems almost anticlimactic to mention the role of public education in the decline of good manners after such as I have already covered here. So, I pause only to note the debate on textbook stickers. If children are taught they are animals and survival of the fittest rules, then they are free to act like what they consider themselves to be. Rude rutting animals, which do not have to have good manners.                             Michael L. Ford, Th.D.

            Jonsquill Ministries

P. O. Box 752

Buchanan, Georgia 30113