Let's focus on what is good

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What a great letter Jan. 3 from Dallas Duff (“We’re not in moral decline”).

There are so very, very many good things going on in our great country! Let’s not let the sensational-seeking media’s focus distract us from all that is good. Thank you, Mr. Duff, for a beautifully written letter about all the good things!

Gwen Fulcher Young

Augusta

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RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 01/07/13 - 10:28 am
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Hear no evil....see no

Hear no evil....see no evil......Progressivism .

allhans
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allhans 01/07/13 - 12:04 pm
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Good grief!!

Good grief!!

grouse
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grouse 01/07/13 - 12:39 pm
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Why is there no link to the
Unpublished

Why is there no link to the letter to which Mrs. Young refers? I can't even find it with a search...

duffstuff
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duffstuff 01/07/13 - 01:10 pm
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Thank you

Thank You Gwen. I'm glad someone gets my point! Yes, there is plenty of bad to focus on, but its not all bad. It doesn't make me a progressive, left winger because I think there are positive things to point out about society. Those who say that are making untrue assumptions. I actually voted for Romney in the last election so you can take your stereotypes and shove 'em! JK And there have been a number of christian conservative people who have actually told me they appreciated hearing a positive perspective. (One of whom is a pastor at a local church) All I ask is that people acknowledge the good with the bad. That doesn't mean its all good, but for pete sake, its not all bad either!

Dallas Duff

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 01/07/13 - 05:40 pm
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While a fully indorse a

While I fully indorse a "glass half full" analogy I also cannot ignore the facts just to ease my mind. The problems that get ignored never get solved. The heading of your letter reads "We are NOT in Moral decline. This is a statement of fact that you have made and is not factually correct. This is the reason so many objected to your letter in a very strong way.You went on to say "I’m sick and tired of hearing all this moral decline"another strong statement. To follow this statement you went on to list several examples of thing getting better which don't pass the fact check test. It sounds as if you are backtracking some in your most recent posts which is good. The following information is based mostly on data from the US the census Bereua from 1960 to 1990.There were 1.21 million abortions in 2008 and over 50 million since roe vs wade. There is a 560% increase in violent crime, a 419% increase in illegitimate births; a quadrupling in divorce rates; a tripling of the percentage of children living in single-parent homes; more than a 200% increase in the teenage suicide rate; and a drop of almost 80 points in SAT scores. You may argue that some of the above data has improved in the last several years and a few have but all remain very high and some have gotten worse. This big picture represents a steady decline in all indices and I could mention many more including the fact that homosexual marriage is now the law of the land in many states. The bottom line is that there is a long and steady decline in morality in America which began in the late 1950s. This decline is steady although it may take a short break for a year or two , the direction is clear. It takes a very shortsighted person not to see this trend or as Mrs. Young's case , one that lives in a very thick bubble. I would strongly recommend a book written by Charles Murray called "Coming Apart" which documents the moral decline in America.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/07/13 - 02:59 pm
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RMSHEFF, I agree with your

RMSHEFF, I agree with your comment. It appears that the issue boils down to, what does society define as "moral" and what is defined as "immoral".

If what once was thought of as an immoral thing but is now considered moral....then I suppose there are those who would think "morals" are not declining.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 01/07/13 - 03:32 pm
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InChristLove

That is a good point. If a person see nothing wrong with homosexual marriage or out of wedlock births they will not view it as immoral. If you derive your views on morality from the pages of scripture you must come to the same conclusion as we do. Man's wisdom vs God's.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 01/07/13 - 03:49 pm
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I think it is immoral

For a person to publicly support a candidate whose party supports the killing of babies...Some prominent Augusta couples disappoint me.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 01/07/13 - 04:40 pm
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GnipGnop

I believe the Youngs are good people however most likely the people in their social circle are elitist and in many ways liberal regardless of political affiliation. They are the 1% which tend to be fiscally conservatives and socially liberal. Some of the larger and wealthy Churches in this area are home to this group of folks. I have attended some of these Churches in the past and never heard a sermon that mentions sin, judgement, hell, repentance etc. All sermons come out of the hermeneutic of what is loving or positive an nothing that could be seen as negative. An you are correct, abortion is not something to be discussed.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 01/07/13 - 05:27 pm
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Dallas, obviously you are a

Dallas, obviously you are a thinking person, not blinded by religious dogma.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 01/07/13 - 05:42 pm
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Duffstuff

There are some grey areas in the Bible but Homosexuality is not one of them. It all comes down to weather you believe the Word of God. If you do then His word is crystal clear on this subject. If not, well you can make up your own rules as to what is right or wrong, good or bad. It is you choice. As for the existence of mutations, nothing was untouched by the Fall of man and all of creation. Everything was corrupted. ...Except liberal progressives.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 01/07/13 - 05:51 pm
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itanotherday1

First Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/07/13 - 06:18 pm
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Anyone can be a thinking

Anyone can be a thinking person. Question is, what are your thoughts governed by? Are they weighed against what is good and holy, or are they weighed against self opinion and desire.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 01/07/13 - 07:41 pm
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Liberalized, and

Liberalized, and desensitized, the choices become blurred. Far too many believe they can straddle the fence between right and wrong.
Say, I'm just kidding, can't you take a joke, what's the harm, can't you be more fun, whose business is it anyway?

As Billy Graham so famously said, even a large precentage of the church is unsaved. I don't think it wise to bet on a mere young man or even an older woman's advice; I'll take mine straight from the mouth of God.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 01/07/13 - 09:25 pm
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Will anyone honestly address my questions?

Nobody on here wants to directly and honestly answer my questions. Its amazing. Its like in order to believe in God you have to be willing to not ask or answer tough questions. Well I do believe in God, but I'm not giving up my brain. God Gave me a brain for a reason so excuse me for having some intelligent thoughts/questions!

Ya'll dont want to come out and say that there are potentially gray ares in sexual orientation but the facts of nature will show you there is. How God judges is another question entirely. And if sexual orientation is a choice than why isn't being strait a choice? It's not like you wake up in the morning and have to choose to not be gay. You don't have to say God approves of homosexuality but at least be willing to admit there is some gray area. My brother is finishing med school and will do so at the top of his class and he can tell you call kinds of biological possibilities that will blow your mind. Including mismatch chromosomes.

And also It's hard for me to take the Bible in a totally literal interpretation because it says everything was created in seven days. I have a hard time taking that literally because the evidence is overwhelming that dinosaurs existed and became extinct before man even came into the picture. Also it says light was created before the stars. Well the sun is a star and thats where we get our light, so its kinda hard to take a word for word literal interpretation.

Btw I'm not attacking the Bible. I happen to subscribe to it in a general sense, but I'm curious how some of y'all reconcile these problems??

Bantana
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Bantana 01/07/13 - 10:09 pm
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I don't think any reasonable

I don't think any reasonable person would take the Old Testament as gospel. No pun intended. However, I do see the Old Testament as a collection of fables and allegories written by a primative people to teach others a way of surviving in a hostile and cruel environment. As for the immorality of same sex love, the disciple Paul did not hide his strong dislike for women and some theologians have speculated he was indeed a homosexual. Not that there is anything wrong with it.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 01/07/13 - 10:14 pm
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Duffstuff

You have ask many good questions and it would take me days to answer each one. I have ask these same questions and spent many hours finding answers. I will tell you I have concluded that the Bible is completely trustworthy and accurate. One place to start your search for some of these scientific answers is at the following link: http://www.icr.org/ and http://www.answersingenesis.org/

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/07/13 - 10:25 pm
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First off Dallas Duff,

First off Dallas Duff, sometimes post get flagged by the moderator and not because some poster “flagged” it, so it’s not whether it makes other posters happy or not, it’s whether it complies with the AC guidelines.
I don’t believe anyone will disagree with you that there are some things in society that are good but the article was a statement that our society is not in a moral decline. This is the subject to which most disagreed with….not how much is good and how much is bad.
As for gray area when it comes to sexual orientions? I’m not sure what you mean by this statement. As for how God judges, God judges the heart and no there is no wiggle room when it comes to either following Christ commandments or disobeying His will.
It is not that no one wants to directly and honestly answer your questions, it is that you do not really want to hear the truth. Ask the tough questions all you like but be willing to listen to what His Word says if you truly love God. You asked if there were gray areas, then you proceed to state “Ya'll dont want to come out and say that there are potentially gray areas in sexual orientation but the facts of nature will show you there is.” So you really don’t want the truth, you want others to change their view to suit your opinion so you can believe it’s true.
You asked “How God judges is another question entirely. And if sexual orientation is a choice than why isn't being strait a choice?” It is. People choose to be hetersexual, homosexual, bisexual, some even choose to be celibrate. Just because you have desires does not mean you have to act upon those desires.
As for literal interpretation of the Bible. When we base our truth of the Bible on human concept of what time is and what our pea brains can comprehend we degrade and belittle God’s ability and limit his Awesomeness and Power to human standards. Where in the Bible does it state the light came from a star? His Word says, God create Light and He separate the light from the darkness and He called the light day and the darkness night. On the second day he creates the filament (which is known as our atmosphere) and divides the water above and below the filament. On the fourth day he creates the sun for light during the day and the moon for lesser light in the evening and create the stars so we have seasons. So how do we know what this light was before the sun, moon, and stars were created? We don’t, but it very well could have been the light from His Shekinah Glory. So just because we do not understand it, does not mean it is not truth.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/07/13 - 10:42 pm
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Bantana, Paul wrote in

Bantana, Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

He wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12: “In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”

In Romans 16:1-2 Paul mentioned Phoebe as being a "great help” to him.

Although at first glance it appears that Paul didn't care for women very much but if you study the scripture in context, cultural concerns, historical precedence, and traditions , I think you will find that Paul appreciated and valued women. In Romas 16, out of the 29 individuals he mentioned, 9 of them were Godly women.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 01/07/13 - 11:11 pm
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InChristLove...The point of

InChristLove...The point of the article was there is good in society and positive movement in certain areas. The heading "We are not in moral decline" was put up by the editor. But I was not trying to make that direct statement. And I personally think a society with slavery and racial injustice is a horrible society to live in and I know black people would agree so theres at least one, very big example of a way society has gotten better. Perhaps at least acknowledge that.

And do you know all the ambiguous biological mutations that exist in reference to sexual identity? Did you know people can appear outwardly one sex but be internally another? Did you know chromosomes can get mismatched in all sorts of ways? Also did you know most of these people were judged as sinners in Jesus day and beyond. If you know anything about these things you have to come to the conclusion there are some gray areas!!!

And don't tell me I don't want to know the truth. All that is, is a cheap shot and its both untrue and condescending!

So you believe you choose to be heterosexual? Are you kidding me?? Has choosing to not be gay ever been a decision you've had to make? lol

And so what do you think about the dinosaurs? All the information says they existed and died out way before man. Do you have a problem with that? Are you a biblical literalist?

rebellious
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rebellious 01/08/13 - 12:26 am
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4th Quarter

And Notre Dame is down 42 to 14 in the 4th quarter with 8 minutes on the clock! (My version of throwing cold water on the fire, here)

rebellious
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rebellious 01/08/13 - 12:40 am
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Watered Down preachin

I hate to thump the Bible, but I beleive it and 2 Timothy says:

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

I don't pretend to have all of the answers and believe each of us must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

As for Homosexuality, Jesus addressed that Himself, so who am I to add to or take away from what He said.

Choice or Born that way? Each individual must decide and then be prepared to live (on this earth and in eternity) with their choice.

Hermaphrodies and such..... I believe that the longer man exists, the worse sin gets. The results of that inherent sin is desease, abnormalities, etc...

Just my 2 cents. I will repost my comment to Duffs article next. It is still pertinent to this thread, I think.

rebellious
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rebellious 01/08/13 - 12:41 am
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RePost

Rose Colored Glasses

It seems each generation has their apocalyptic myopia. When I was a child, The USSR and it's threats to bury America prompted films on how to get under your school desk in case of a nuclear blast. Hippies burned draft cards and women burnt bras. Our nation was caught up in a war where we could not identify the enemy, drugs were rampant and Madeline O'Hare clamored for the removal of prayer from the schools.

The generation before me saw the Dust Bowl and a financial depression which makes todays recession look like a boontime.

The world will always be filled with problems, conflict, strife and discontent. With time it morphs and manifest itself differently, but is driven by the same "good vs evil" struggle first documented with Cain and Abel.

Each individual must decide how they will deal with the worry and stress of their days problems. Somewhere between the eternal optimist and Chicken Little is where we should be. Able to appreciate the freshness of each spring's blooms and resurgence of new life, yet ever cogniscent of the dangers and evils lurking.

It is up to you how you walk each day.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 01/08/13 - 01:36 am
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illusion of choice?

I love God and have faith in him but that doesn't mean I gotta be the scarecrow...If I only had a brain?? lol

And this is getting into a whole other realm but we don't have choice as much as we have the illusion of choice. What I mean by that is if I'm born in the southern United States I have a high probability of becoming a christian because that is what I'm surrounded by and influenced to believe. Especially if my parents are christian. But if I was born in Afghanistan to muslim parents, in a muslim influenced society, I would have a very low probability of being a christian. So the idea that I simply choose or reject The Bible can be a little illusive. I personally choose to accept it. Heck at this point I've been drilled with so much fear of hell that I'd be scared not to believe. Right now there's some muslim kid in Afghanistan being spoon fed the quran both by his parents and by his society....And so continues the cycle. Most christians havent read the Quran and most muslims havent read the Bible so we're all just equally ignorant of opposing beliefs. We generally just go with what has been fed to us the most and that becomes our faith in which we do not question. We read our Bibles and they read their Qurans and both sides just bark about how wrong the other one is! Why should I get a better chance at going to heaven just because of where I was born? Did I make a clear choice? or is it the illusion of choice??

If you are going to respond to this post please ponder thoughtfully what I am saying. Please don't just put up some cookie cutter response! lol

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/08/13 - 07:25 am
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First, Rebellious, I

First, Rebellious, I appreciated reading your response.

As for duffstuff, I do not throw out cheapshots and whether you truly want to know the truth can be decided in reading your comments. Each reader can form their own opinion. As for "Cookie cutter response"? I wonder who is being condescending...is that the kettle calling the pot black?

It is truly sad that there are those who think becoming a Christian is based on nothing more than environmental and family influence, and not due to a change of heart derived by the powerful movement of an Almighty God and His Grace. Salvation is not received out of fear or because of geographic location and if not received out of total surrender and love for Almighty God then is it truly Salvation at all? I fail to see where anyone has stated you must become a brainless scarecrow to follow God's Word (believe it all you like, but if you don't follow it what is the point in believing it).

To know something in your heart is not the same as knowing something in your head.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/08/13 - 07:30 am
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Now back to the original

Now back to the original article. Since you did not label the article I can see where your viewpoint may have misunderstood. I will agree that there are some things in society that have improved and I believe I stated in another comment (evidently you must not be reading them) that the issue some commenters had in the original article wasn't that there isn't good in society as well as bad. I believe we all agree to that. The difference in opinion was whether our society is in a moral decline or whether our soceity is in a moral upswing. I believe most think that morality has gotten worse in say the past 40 years although saying that does not mean that there is not some good still left in all of us.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 01/08/13 - 10:45 am
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Don't take anything I say btw

Don't take anything I say btw as anti Christian or anything like that. I'm simply stating some views on reality that not everyone thinks about. When I said please no cookie cutter responses, I meant thoughtfully ponder what I'm saying. I didn't say that being a christian is only about your "environment" but it plays a very big factor. I'm just trying to get people to think. You can still acknowledge these things and keep your faith. Why is it so hard to acknowledge the simple statistical truth of how much more likely you are to be a christian in the southern U.S. vs Iraq or Afghanistan? I'm sure you're intelligent enough to realize this?And you don't have to be brainless to follow Gods word but it just seems like alot of people are unwilling to look at certain harsh aspects of reality. You can have faith without being in denial. Most people seem to love faith + denial and thats a comfortable place to be because you dont have to question anything. I prefer faith without denial.

And what do you mean exactly by knowing something in your heart isn't the same as knowing something in your head? If you are implying that the heart is a better judge than the head I would say that is a very flawed way of thinking. Lots of crazy people know things in their heart! LOL Using the heart as your main guide requires little but a sense of feeling. Using your head requires intellect. Its about information and knowledge. Which one is more reliable?? The reason why people stay in abusive relationships is because they listen to their heart and not their head. Its the same reason why you will probably never convince a devoted muslim to convert to christianity. You could tell them all the rational information in the world and they won't truly listen. And the same goes for alot of christians as well. Don't assume that there aren't christians who subscribe to this type of thought process as well. They take their head out of the equation and rely too much on what they feel is right. Culture has everything to do with that. If you think you'd still be a christian if you were born in Iraq to a muslim family in a muslim dominant society then I'd say you are very naive.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/08/13 - 11:00 am
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If what you meant, was to

If what you meant, was to thoughtfully ponder what you were saying, then don’t make your statement with sarcasm, people will not take you seriously.

You stated “I’m just trying to get people to think”. No, it appears you are trying to get people (or is it just myself) to agree with you and because I have a different opinion somehow I don’t understand or refuse to understand. Seems pretty close minded to me and not trying to get people to think.

I appreciate you not directly calling me dumb (LOL) but your words speak differently and your condescending attitude towards me is rather a juvenile tactic.

I am well aware that the south is considered the Bible belt and you will probably hear more about God in the South than anywhere else in the US but that does not automatically mean you will have more Christians in the south. You can teach the Word to 10 southerners and not a one accept the saving Grace of God but you can teach one person in Iraq and they can hear the calling from God and accept His free gift, so I will give you that you will hear the Word more in the US but it does not mean the more you hear the more likely you will receive. Salvation isn’t based on location or amount of hearing, it is based on whether you respond to God’s calling.

You asked....“And what do you mean exactly by knowing something in your heart isn't the same as knowing something in your head?” It is rather annoying when someone ask a question and instead of waiting for a response you assume you already know the answer and wish to debate it.

You can read the Word from cover to cover multiple times but until you engage your heart to hear the Word, it’s just black type on white paper. You may think you have knowledge of the Bible because you read the words but until you read the Bible with your heart through the direction of the Holy Spirit, it’s just head knowledge and not heart knowledge. That is what my statement meant. Your statement “Using the heart as your main guide requires little but a sense of feeling”, but I say, Unless it is guided by Christ living inside you.

And a final thought.....are you saying that there are no Christians who were born into a Muslim family, even some who live in Iraq today? I do believe there are a few missionaries that would disagree with you on that point. They may live in hiding and not very public about their faith but they do exist.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 01/08/13 - 11:07 am
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I believe a good trip to a

I believe a good trip to a third world country is in order if you really want to see the miracles and power of Christ that is still at work on this earth.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 01/09/13 - 11:37 am
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Well I gave you a chance to

Well I gave you a chance to be willing to acknowledge facts about reality and you didn't acknowledge them, so I'm not sure what you expect me to think? You say I just want people to agree with me. Not true when were talking about sheer opinion, but when you can't acknowledge how statistics or social psychology works then you're disagreeing with facts. People are influenced by their environment...Fact! You are improbable to become christian if you are born to muslim parents in a muslim dominant society. Fact! The American south is like 80% christian and Most areas of the middle east are predominantly muslim. And I'm sure you understand how propaganda and indoctrination works? I'm sorry but you are far more likely to become Christian in the US south than in a muslim dominant country. That is a statistical fact!!

And I'm sure there are a few people who were muslim that became christian, but there are also christians who become muslim. They are the exception not the rule. There's always exceptions but I'm talking about the probability. The point is society over there is more likely to shape you belief as muslim.

And I bet there are miracles going on in some places but people require a very divine religious experience in order to change their faith in most cases. Would you change your whole beliefs that you've held your whole life based on the fact that a muslim friend gave you a Quran, or that you went to a mosque a few times? No of corse you wouldn't, so why would you expect any different from the perspective of another faith? Maybe if you witnessed a miracle I would understand. That would be a profound experience indeed. You realize though without such an experience they have no more a reason to convert their beliefs to christianity than you do to islam I bet? Most of them probably have never read the Bible but most Christians have probably never read the Quran and we feel no reason to do so. Most of us just continue on our little path that has been carved for us. We don't make an effort to understand other religions and other cultures, or the fact that what we've been taught may be wrong, and here in lies the problem.

You know you can admit all these things and still have faith. I'm not sure why that seems to be such a problem?

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