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 educators in 44 schools altered and corrected answers that students put down on the tests.
But Atlanta is not alone. There are investigations of this kind of cheating going on in several states.
Why is this? Some are saying that teachers acted out of fear that they will lose their jobs unless their students perform better. Others say that bonuses for better performance tempted teachers. Either way, we are facing the horrible truth that some of the very people who are supposed to educate our children either no longer care or have the capacity to do the right thing.
If that scandal is not enough to tell you something horribly wrong, all of Great Britain is horrified over reports of illegal wiretapping, hacking, and bribery by reporters for News Corp. The reporters’ targets were allegedly public officials, victims of terrorism, and the families of military casualties. Unbelievable.
Well, from financial scandals on Wall Street, to influence peddling on Capitol Hill, and now felonies in the news room and cheating in the classroom, our society is in a moral and ethical meltdown.
This is precisely why two years ago, I along with Professor Robby George of Princeton began working on one of the most important things I’ve ever 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 begin to re-build the ethical foundations of America. And to that end, I want to make a major announcement. Mark your calendars for September 24. On September 24, we will hold 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 our young people? What does it mean to be human? We’ll also talk about ethics in the marketplace and in public life.
We are hoping for thousands of churches and small groups across the country to participate in the simulcast on September 24th. You can join in hosting an event with your school or your university or your church or your small group. Invite members of your congregation, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to attend with you.
All you have to do is go to Doing the Right Thing Event.org. We’ll explain how you can host the simulcast and the kind of materials we will supply you to publicize the event at your location.
Folks, this is so important. There is nothing we can do for the good of our country and for the future of our children than to restore ethical behavior to public life. And we can start, together, on September 24. Again, please visit Doing the Right Thing Event.com.
This article published on July 19, 2011. 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.