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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Feb 25, 2018

Is nothing sacred in our society?

By Jim Turner | Feb 01, 2018

To the editor:

Is nothing sacred? Not anymore, it seems. How did we lose our respect for what is sacred? Was it a slow erosion over many centuries? Or a relatively fast development over the last few decades?

One might argue that the growth of atheism, skepticism, and relativism may have contributed to the current state of affairs. It is difficult to pin down. But few would argue that we live in a society and culture that holds few things truly sacred. We also know there are signs of this trend around the world.

One notable example would be the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. A magazine that mocks religion as part of a stated mission, that continually mocked the prophet Mohammed even after being warned repeatedly not to do so.

It was not a moderate form of mockery — it was egregious, sordid, and insipid.

Why did they continue to mock the prophet after several warnings? To assert their right of freedom of the press. Is this a principled stand? An example of moral courage? Or a misguided policy lacking any common sense at all? They put their lives at risk and the welfare of their families and spouses just to claim the right to mock a prophet that hundreds of millions around the world find sacred? Killing them, however, was indefensible. I do believe that, too. Their families deserve compassion and understanding.

Mockery of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Moses, Joseph Smith and other religious figures can be found in our culture as well. Mockery of the tenets of the religions these figures represent is also rather common these days. We seem to just accept it. Whatever one person believes is sacred seems to motivate another person to mock it.

Is the mockery principled in any way, shape, or form? No, it is done to prove there is a right to mock anyone and anything in our society. Would sensitivity, respect, tact or even discretion occur to these people? Apparently not. Comedians who mock almost anything make a lot of money, are considered cool by some people and cool and smart by others.

What does this mean for our children: the constant influence of mockery and ridicule of sacred things? It means they do not see a standard to follow in our society. A moral standard that tells them what is sacred and what is not. If another person considers Mohammad sacred that is good enough for me. I see I owe that person respect — not just for who he is but for what he finds sacred. And as I respect him and his beliefs there is a much better chance that he will respect mine.

We do not need to teach the principles of any single religion in our schools. All religions say essentially the same thing: love and respect one another. Do unto others. Love God, serve God and seek his wisdom through scriptures.

The word used to be common in our culture. We saw it in our literature, our correspondence, in our periodicals, and in our institutions. Not so much any more. When our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their lives, their property and their sacred honor.

If we can’t make the same pledge lets at least all try to respect and maintain what we and others believe is sacred.

 

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