Moral chaos. That was the phrase that came to mind when I read about the cheating scandal that rocked the Atlanta public school system. Imagine: To boost their pupils’ standardized test scores, 178 teachers in 44 schools altered and corrected answers that students put down on the tests.
Atlanta is not alone. There are investigations of this kind of cheating going on in several states.
Why would teachers give the students better scores than they are entitled to? Some are saying teachers acted out of fear that they would lose their jobs unless their students performed better. Others say that bonuses for better performance tempted teachers. Either way, we are facing the same truth that some of the very people who are supposed to be educating our children either no longer care or have the capacity to do the right thing.
If that scandal is not enough, look across the pond at Great Britain. Right on the heels of the shocking wiretapping scandals involving journalists and the British government officials, the streets of Britain’s major cities turned into war zones, with thousands of youth rioting and pillaging. And the chief Rabbi of England, Lord Sacks, blamed it on the lack of moral teaching of children and on the end of Christian influence in England.
Well, from financial scandals on Wall Street, to influence peddling on Capitol Hill, and now chaos in the streets, our society is in a moral and ethical meltdown.
This is precisely why two years ago, along with Professor Robby George of Princeton, I began working on one of the most important things I’ve done in 35 years of ministry: The filming of the series “Doing the Right Thing,” a six-part exploration of ethics.
I believe so passionately that if enough people — political and church leaders, business people, students, parents — watch and study “Doing the Right Thing,” we could begin to reverse the ethical tide in our country; we could re-build the ethical foundations of America.
So I want to remind you that this week, on September 24, we will be holding a national, web-based simulcast on “Doing the Right Thing.”
Dr. Robby George, Del Tackett, Eric Metaxas, John Stonestreet and others will join me for a lively panel discussion on ethics: How did we get into this mess? Is there a moral law we can all know? If we know what is right, can we really do it? How do we develop character in young people? What does it mean to be human? We’ll also talk about ethics in the marketplace and in public life and how you can use this teaching series to really train kids, people in the marketplace, people in business, people in your churches. We need to be speaking to the culture about ethics.
Hundreds of churches and small groups across the country have already signed up to participate in the simulcast on September 24. And it’s not too late for you to join in. Go to www.DoingtheRightThingEvent.com to find a church near you that is hosting the event. You also still have time to sign up yourself. Individuals and small groups are more than welcome. Just go to www.DoingtheRightThingEvent.com.
Folks, I can’t tell you how important I think this is. There is nothing more we can do for the good of our country than restore ethical and moral behavior in public life. And we can start doing that together, on September 24. Again, please visit www.DoingtheRightThingEvent.com.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: September 19, 2011