Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
We are failing. We are all failing. You feel it too, don't you?
I saw a study from the Pew Research organization which said that only 18% of Americans had any faith at all in the federal government. I'm with them. I don't have much confidence in the feds either. But I think a very important question must be considered. Can a country survive that has so little faith in its own institutions?
But I don't believe it's just that government that is failing. I believe it's all of us. And I think we all know it too. We can't help but be reminded of it often. It's impossible to ignore.
We've all seen the reports that at least one police officer stood outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida while Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people inside. When his inaction came to light he resigned. It's now being reported that he wasn't the only one. The failure was likely systemic.
The media has also eschewed their responsibility as objective fact gatherers and taken on the role of propagandists. But our failures aren't just high up. They're everywhere.
When I was a kid all the parents in the neighborhood were in charge of all the kids. All adults were authority figures. But now most parents wouldn't dare to raise their voice or correct someone else's child. This is not an advance. It's a surrender.
Technology which was supposed to bring us together has separated us. So many of us are alienated from each other. I'll be honest. I don't know my neighbor's name. I've lived next to him for eight or nine years. He seems like a nice guy. But he's single and works a lot. We've shoveled the walkway together a few times. He's funny in a sarcastic way. He drives slowly in the neighborhood because he knows there are many children running around. And I'm grateful for that. But I don't know his name. And it's one of those deals that I feel like he's been here too long and asking him would show what an idiot I am. So yes, I'm part of the problem.
Families, which are the building block of civilization, are broken. Millions of children are born out of wedlock and have no relationships with their fathers. Babies are called a choice and that choice is often death. Our education system is failing but we do nothing. We teach our children that gender is just a choice and that sexuality is fluid.
Our culture has become a grand and terrible experiment in selfishness and libertinism. We teach our children that meaninglessness is truth. And without something firm to stand on is it any surprise that the suicide rates for adolescent boys and girls have been steadily rising since 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, from 2007 to 2015, the suicide rate for girls ages 15 to 19 doubled. For boys of the same age, the suicide rate increased by 30 percent.
We are failing. Systemically. And we know it. But instead of dealing with the real issues, we declare emergencies. We seem intent on labeling everything an emergency (Rape culture!, xenophobes!!, racists!!!, nationalists!!!!) But here's the thing, when everything's an emergency, nothing is.
There are tragedies occurring all around us and we are not running in. We are setting up a perimeter.
The truth is that you can't contain evil. You can only confront it or cower. I fear that the truth is that we are not interested in actually solving our problems because we, as a country, fear the real solution. I believe that a large portion of country fears that the answer to our problems might just be God. And that idea is so horrifying to so many that they are willing to establish government programs and pass laws that they know won't actually remedy the situation. And when those programs and orders fail, it simply means that more programs and orders are necessary. That is the equivalent of setting up a perimeter. And it brings us ironically back to the fact that as the government takes on more responsibility, we have less faith that it can help.
We are failing. And we will continue failing. Until our country places its faith in God, we can pass laws, create programs, write sweeping judicial decisions but in the end, it will just be a more expensive failure. Lives will be lost, spirits crushed, and generations will accept the truth of meaninglessness. And they will despair. That despair may eventually lead them to the light of God's love and they will attempt to collect the scattered and broken pieces of civilization. Pray that they get it right where we have failed.