Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An Unrealistic Moral Alternative

Ann B. Davis as Alice Wilson on The Brady Bunch 
Jewish Press columnist Elliot Resnick has written a thoughtful article in a conservative publication called Truth Revolt. He suggests a way to combat the immorality that has inundated our world today. I agree that it’s there and difficult to combat. I do not envy the job parents have today in raising their children. When I was a parent with young children in the 70s, the sitcom Three’s Company was about the most risqué program on TV. Which by today’s standards would be gold. Reruns of The Brady Bunch was typical fare on TV.

Today, there is almost complete nudity even on some broadcast TV shows. And the language has deteriorated right along with it. Although one can always watch public television, that is a small fraction of what available on TV. It is a moral abyss.

The same thing is true with other forms of entertainment.  Theater, movies, music and periodicals glorify sex unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime in the past. And let’s not even talk about the internet which didn’t exist in the 70s.

Eliot makes the point that it is unrealistic  to completely shelter our children – and even ourselves from exposure. I agree.

In response to this, he makes what he calls a bold suggestion:  Creating an alternative American culture: 
If we conservatives are serious about traditional morality and protecting the young, we need to launch our own TV stations, found our own movie studios, start own newspapers, and write our own books.  In other words, instead of trying to influence mainstream culture – a battle we have largely lost – let’s subvert it.  
As much as I sympathize with his perspective - I have to disagree with him about the solution. I don't think his suggestion is realistic. Even if he were to be successful in creating an alternative world of entertainment in all areas that was equal in production values to what's out there now in popular culture... that culture would still be there with all its enticements and ubiquity. And it will overpower anything created in more moral tones by its sheer volume if nothing else. 

I don't know how to combat the inundation of immorality that characterizes our world today. Insularity doesn't work. And unfettered exposure is even worse.

I guess we just all have to do it the old fashioned way, with good parenting. I know it exists and is successful - difficult though it may be. Because my American children are raising their children that way. And they are doing a pretty good job.

* With this post I am off to Israel for Yom Kippur and Sukkos. In a few hours my wife and I will be airborne. Next post tomorrow from the holy land. Moderation will be limited at best until them. All flagged comments will be reviewed and approved (Or deleted. Or edited as the case may be) at that time.