Monday, January 18, 2010

By the Content of Their Character

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." M. L. King Jr.

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Unfortunately, we don't live in the world Dr. King dreamed of, and we are getting farther from that dream every day. I don't mean the part about not judging people by their color. We have made great progress since the 1960s on that score. I mean the part about how he did want his children to be judged- by the content of their character. Unfortunately, moral relativism and political correctness have made "tolerance" some kind of new god that we all must bow down to. It is considered "intolerant" to judge people by the content of their character.

The second part of King's dream languishes. Even if his children made choices with their lives that displayed admirable character, it would be considered offensive to mention it. This is because it would cast a negative light on those who made other choices. If, for example, his children were sexually chaste until marriage, we dare not dwell too long upon that as a virtue for fear of offending the legions of single mothers out there. Even those who never married and have children from several fathers.

The result is that the biggest threat to the prosperity of black America is not racism, but "illegitimacy". 70% of black births are to unwed mothers. The rest of America is catching up and if we don't change course soon we risk becoming literally a nation of what used to be called bastards. Now even the term "illegitimate children" is out of vogue on the grounds that "no child is illegitimate". Fair enough, but can we at least use the term "illegitimate parents" to describe whoever won't own up?

As it stands now, we can't even use terms that honor parents who do the right thing out of a fear of putting a "stigma" on those children whose parents did not do the right thing for them. But it is the parents who did the wrong, not those who recognize it. And without a label that sticks for it, more people on the margin will be tempted to act irresponsibly and saddle even more children with a burden that is still huge even when society lacks the moral courage to put a label on it.

Dr. King's dream is in trouble, but then, what else can we expect in a climate of moral relativism and "tolerance"? Marriage and commitment requires so much character, and since we are no longer willing to "judge" people for lack of character, avoiding commitment is the easier route for many people. Children are the victims, until they grow up and give us a dose of what we let them go through in the the name of not being "judgemental" of people's character.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best blog post I've read in a while.

6:04 PM, January 18, 2010  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Thank you.

6:14 PM, January 18, 2010  

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