Dumbing Down of America

The whole process has been going on for a while and no doubt will continue, since it has become in some ways the official policy of many folks who are involved in government or educational institutions and, sadly, even in the church. The dumbing down of America is an idea whose time should not have ever come. I call it the dumbing down of America because for some years it has become apparent that instead of challenging people to rise to excellence, we would prefer just to have a level of mediocrity or below to which people can aspire.

It’s not the effort to get good grades or high grades. It is the effort to just let everybody be involved in a lower standard. There seems to be in the thought process that something is wrong with either the material or the grading system and so the result is we just lower the standards so that everyone can come up to a level of achievement.

I would quickly confess that there have been points in my life when it would have sounded very appealing to me that we lower the standards. Maybe so that 50 on a test score would be an A. That would have suited me fine when I was in the seventh grade, but I would add it is good to grow out of that phase of life. I would not have appreciated the long-term impact of such un-wisdom. Designing curriculum for the lowest common denominator does not serve society well or help the individual at all.

It is a crazy standard by which students can do less, know less, be less, and still appear to be intellectual and even successful. It is intellectual and academic hypocrisy. Lowering the standards and encouraging people to see the higher values is not helpful whatsoever. When it comes to morality and some degree of spirituality, we have seen a huge shift in the way people think about the issues of right or wrong to the point that what used to be the wrong is now right. Let me give you some areas where you can see this clearly here in America.

For instance, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exod. 20:13) is not only one of the Ten Commandments, but also a part of the fabric of our country and laws. Yet while the Bible presents this truth and focuses on life being a precious gift from God, in our world today that is not true. Taking another’s life is okay. I’m not talking about just the action of a criminal or some street gangs, but all of us have accepted a new look at what life is and are willing to cross the line and provide for our social structure to have a place where life can be taken if we do not think that it is beneficial. If that is not true, we would not be having over one million abortions a year taking place in America. Life has value and it has a precious quality about it, unless it is inconvenient to us and we do not want that life to exist among us. In those cases, we destroy the life before it has opportunity to live, walk, sing, study among us. Abortion was, is, and will continue to be wrong even though the U.S. Supreme Court has said that it is right for a woman to have a choice of whether or not she wants to carry a baby to birth or not. It is still wrong. The Supreme Court is, in fact, overruled by the court of heaven.

Another area that is also going through a metamorphosis is drug and alcohol use in America. At one time it was illegal to possess, sell, or participate in drugs and alcohol use or sales — but no longer. In fact, in a world now filled with rehab facilities we provide for prescription drug use at a rate never before seen. We are faced with so many people who are addicted to drugs, while in their minds they’re only taking their medicine.

While the federal government still has laws and statutes against marijuana on the books, we’ve watched as some states have turned the drug into a fabric of their society. While alcohol used to be recognized as potentially dangerous if not deadly, when it comes to relationships and/or driving, it is more and more openly accepted and its possibilities are even presented from the pulpit of many of our churches.

A major area of change and dumbing down has to do with marriage. Marriage in Scripture is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman for a lifetime, but that is no longer the accepted definition. The standard today is much different — and much lower. Many people simply choose to live together without marriage. Cohabitation in America is seen by many as marriage without marriage. It’s strange. They share the bills and the bed and play at living together, and some even convince themselves all that will help in the marriage and lessen divorce. Unfortunately, that has not been the reality.

God gave us a perfect plan and pattern for life and a type of relationship that would be beneficial both to us and to those in the marriage including the children to come, but obviously many think they know more than He does, only to find out there are huge problems created by lowering the standards and implementing the new plan. In every area, the high standards of God are not put in place for Him so much as for us. When He offers you the best and points to His way of implementing the controls in every area of life, pay attention to Him. It will be for your good and blessing and then indeed for His glory.

The author can be contacted at directions@mbcb.org.

Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer