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HOW DID OUR MORAL VALUES CHANGE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 5, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Was there an epoch event that caused us to change? Actually, Yes, I believe so.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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Following the publication of my book, “Stand Up for MORALITY,” I was asked by a reader why there is a disparity between the moral values of yesteryear and today. Was there an event that caused it? I can only offer a theory as to the cause, but first let’s consider some fundamental differences between then and now:

* Many years ago, declaring bankruptcy was considered a disgrace, now it is commonplace and a convenient way to avoid paying your bills. Over the last 100 years, bankruptcy in the United States has slowly climbed. It began to accelerate in 1980, when there were less than 500K filings, and skyrocketed to its height of +2M in 2005. True, bankruptcy will affect your credit and future ability to use money, but it has become the escape hatch of choice for people inundated with loans or bills. Declaring bankruptcy may get you out of the hole, but it certainly will not help your creditors.

* Divorce was considered scandalous for many years. Attitudes change though and the 1970’s marked the decade where the divorce rate began to skyrocket.

* Pregnancies out of wedlock were also considered a family disgrace. Since the 1960’s though, it has steadily increased. For example, in 1980 18.4% of all births in the United States were to unmarried women; in 2007 the rate was nearly 40%.

* Premarital sex, which was long considered a taboo, accelerated dramatically in the 1960’s, from 22% to 74% in 1991.

* Being unemployed was considered a black mark against a person, particularly if you were fired. Not so anymore, primarily due to the financial instability of our economy.

* It used to be, the very idea of accepting charity from anyone was considered an embarrassment. Not so anymore. Today, over 100 million people accept federally funded welfare.

* Female-headed households has grown considerably since 1960 at about 8% of households to 23% by 2000.

* Whereas attending church was considered a natural part of life years ago, attendance has steadily declined since the 1960’s.

So, what caused these changes? My theory is it was the cultural revolution of the 1960’s where attitudes and values began to change. This is the decade where young Americans protested the Viet Nam war as opposed to supporting the military as their parents did in World War II. It was also the decade of civil rights, of protesting how we were treating the environment, of burning and looting downtowns, and where Yippie power turned the 1968 Democratic convention upside-down. Places like Chicago, Watts, Newark, and Selma became icons of disturbance in our country. And it was a decade marred by political assassinations triggered by social change.

The 1960’s was also a decade where a counterculture of drugs emerged; where people like Timothy Leary encouraged young people to “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and people like Dr. Benjamin Spock encouraged parents to give their children more freedom and independence as opposed to discipline and teamwork. It was a decade where our music changed, and the words accompanying it reflected the mood of the young people, of protest and change. Thanks to the space race of the 1960’s, our technology changed in leaps and bounds, and the electronic media became a dominating influence in our society. And it was a decade where lawyers dismantled old customs in our culture, such as the classroom, and people began to question if God really existed.

Because of the 1960’s, all of the attitudes and values of our parents were challenged and a new libertine era of permissiveness was born. We lost respect for our government, our institutions such as schools and churches, and the concept of conformity. It was an era where we tried to “beat the system” and reinvent America. We revolted with youthful exuberance, but interestingly, most of us didn’t know it at the time.

I can think of no other reason for such dramatic changes in moral values than the 1960’s. It was fascinating to live through, but we had no idea of the sweeping changes it would have on the personality of the country.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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8 Responses to “HOW DID OUR MORAL VALUES CHANGE?”

  1. shak4u said

    Good morning, Tim. Great article as usual. However, you might disagree with my premise, but I really do believe that the beginning of the degradation of our moral values began with Madelyn Murray O’Hair. As I mentioned once before, she was a neighbor of mine (about 2 blocks away) and I remember many, many people picketing her home about this lawsuit to eliminate any Bible reading and mention of God in school. She won in 1963 and as you mentioned, it was the 60s that morality really began to take a down turn. I believe God is about ready to totally give up on America and being the gentleman He is, he will leave totally and that is when all hell will break loose. What we are seeing now is just the beginning .What we see now is people picketing to get God out and to keep Him out of everything and it seems as if the entire country is becoming corrupt, one of the worst being POTUS. Just maybe, this fiasco going on in Washington now will encourage people to look back and think about what the writers of the constitution based all our laws and statues on. Judeo Christian tenants. Let’s hope and pray this will happened. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O'Hair Warm regards, Walt There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.” C. S. Lewis

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  2. Tim Bryce said

    A C.P. of Las Vegas, Nevada wrote…

    “We find the root of almost all problems of today and decline in the 60’s. As a Catholic I have to say though that I believe that the church has failed and miscommunicated her message after Vatican Council II in the mid 60’s. Moral values cannot be separated from God, from our creator. He is the standard above man’s own standards. He is the truth. To reject the truth, vote against it, hide it, overturn it with lies won’t change it though. Mainstream society lives in their own deception. They are victims of their own deception. As they say: Only dead fish floats on the surface of main stream. “

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  3. Tim Bryce said

    A K.O. of Washington, DC wrote…

    “I agree, Tim. The 1960s was the key era. We all know that Theodore Roosevelt helped plant the seeds with the Progressive Era, and FDR set the train running down the track with his New Deal and SS Act, BUT it was the cultural revolution of sorts of the 1960s Hippie/anti-war movement, coupled with the LBJ’s war on poverty that really started changing the attitude of the masses. What eased this transformation that started in earnest in the 1960s was the Marxist take over of teacher unions in the 1950s.”

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  4. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “This is excellent, Tim, and spot on. Looking back, I can see that the laws needed to change regarding civil rights and some protests were valid and an exercise of freedom. Where we went wrong was in what we did after those events.”

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    A P.B. of San Diego, California wrote…

    “Certainly the changes in the 60s provided the impetus for the change in our moral values, but the epoch event that changed our values was Watergate.

    Prior to Watergate, we believed that, in spite of human frailty – the occasional vicuna coat, Kennedy’s dalliances, Johnson’s power trips – our government operated with integrity and respect for the Constitution. Watergate exposed the lack of integrity in our government and our leadership, and it took our innocence. Good Bye Ozzie and Harriet, hello chaos.”

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