Monday, December 1, 2008

High percent of students cheating and stealing. Should we be surprised?

A study of 29,760 students finds that within the last year 30% of high school students stole from a store and 64% cheated on a test.

While we realize some kids will always steal or cheat, we instinctively know these numbers are a problem. A healthy society is based on trust and when a significantly portion of the society can't be trusted to not cheat or steal then trust is broken down and it costs a significant amount of resources to counter thievery and cheating.

Yet upon further reflection should we be surprised? Our public education system has no moral or ethical foundation for declaring what's right and wrong. Our exclusion of God and the Bible from our education system has made them moral free zones which meant it was only a matter of time before our moral and ethical deficits would begin showing up. (In the 1980s the US Supreme Court banned the posting of Ten Commandments in public schools because they were afraid students would read them and be influenced by them! Seriously, that's what the justices said.)

A secular system which excluded mention of God is not morally neutral but really an anti-religious system. The fact is most people derive their morality from religion. Will Durant, the historian, noted this in his review of the French Revolution where for a while they tried to exorcise religion from society. They soon saw the chaos and backed off. The same will happen in our society, hopefully sooner than later.

An interesting parallel is the problem which exists with sexual immorality. Rather than seeing sexual behaviors as right or wrong, we're told whatever the student desires is acceptable. If you want to be sexually active, fine, just make sure you use a condom. The problem is the underlying behavior hasn't changed; it's still morally right or wrong. And the consequences aren't eliminated either. STDs, abortions, emotional danger continue unabated despite the push for contraceptives.

I hope that eventually reality sinks in regarding right and wrong sexual activity. Unfortunately, unlike stealing and cheating, there are powerful interest groups with a vested interest in promoting and encouraging immoral sexual behavior.

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