May 20, 2009

Bad Things Getting Normal

2009 1514 page7 cap CAN’T REMEMBER THE FUGITIVE’S NAME; AND THE DATE (2001) WAS too far back for the America’s Most Wanted (AMW) Web site to be of help. But I remember the incident. The fugitive in question had been placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list for pedophilia. And the AMW broadcast for March 17, 2001, reporting on the international search for him, made a shocking revelation. An outfit in Sweden called “the Swedish Association of Pedophiles,” getting wind of the search for the culprit, was encouraging its members to launch a campaign of disinformation by flooding the AMW switchboard with false reports of sightings.
Wow! It made me imagine the nightmare of a pedophilia lobby becoming, in time, so politically savvy and economically powerful that it’s able to push or buy its way to cultural tolerance, even normalcy.
I hope, of course, that such a scenario is completely far-fetched and unrealistic. Yet I’ve seen too many unsavory developments over the past 25 years to wholly discount the possibility. With political correctness run amuck, we’ve all seen erstwhile illicit or immoral activities achieve acceptability. In many places today, gambling enjoys the blessing (and tacit sponsorship) of government. Common law shack-ups no longer pose the societal stigma they once did—just watch Judge Judy and see how commonplace the practice has become; or consider the lives of some of our most prominent celebrities. The increasing acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle is another example. And yet another is the rise of verbal obscenities in public discourse—whether used outright or by way of bleeps and abbreviations that leave no doubt what’s being said.
These examples do not have equal weight, of course. But each one signals an important cultural shift. And Adventists, of all people, should be paying attention.
Roy Adams an associate editor of the Adventist Review.