(Read “The Great Awakening & Revivalism in America,” which describes the impact of such awakenings in our country. Visit www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/icon/revivalism.html).
The recent shootings that have taken place in our city, state and nation should serve to awaken our community members to needed reform. America’s moral climate needs to reverse direction. Otherwise, it is possible that we are headed toward more violence in the future.
Citizens in our country are too fascinated with violence. Many adults have been exposed to so much that they have become desensitized. Think about the prevalence of violence in television, movies, song lyrics, literature and digital games. Exposure to such media has harmed adults and the children in their homes who have easy access to it. Adults in our country should take more responsibility to shield children until they are mature. Adults, too, would do well to curtail engaging with too much violence, and I am not sure any of us are ever old enough to see much of the violence-based media available with the push of a button.
Another form of violence, abuse directed toward spouses and children, destroys the family unit and especially damages lives. Our churches, civic groups and government need to focus on social programs that work to halt physical and mental abuse toward children and spouses.
Of course, the most effective way to shape future generations of children is through positive parenting in the home. Most children raised happily and purely grow up mentally healthy. And, concerning mental illness, our social consciousness should prompt us to spend more, not less, on social programs that test for and treat mental illness.
Regarding gun control: Most of the gun enthusiasts I know agree that people do not need high-powered assault weapons in the home. Why have we not taken steps to curtail ownership?
We, as Americans, should communicate our concerns about these issues and other related ones to our representatives on a state and national level.
During this holiday season, when friends and family members are gathering, I hope we all pray about these concerns. Ask God to show us ways to protect children from the onslaught of violence. As we turn our attention to gift giving, let us give ourselves a more wholesome society.
My column, with its small circulation, cannot achieve such a lofty goal as inspiring a Great Awakening. However, its 500 or so readers can point out the need for such a movement among their family and friends, and they can encourage them, in turn, to spread a desire for a turnabout to other friends and family members. A mutual concern, carried out in a prayerful manner, can bring about change.
After terrorists attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001, people crowded into our churches for a while. For a short time, more people renewed their interest in spiritual and civic matters. They came together and focused on positive pursuits. However, it seemed that most of those newcomers fell away only weeks later. Only a Brief Awakening occurred. America needs another Great Awakening. We need to rededicate ourselves to working through church and civic organizations to help people. Also, it is time for us to do right by our children. We need to correct our ills. We owe spiritual renewal to our precious, innocent children.