I find it ironic that we have released our new series on ethics, “Doing the Right Thing,” at the very moment we are seeing a wave of egregious ethical failures, right in the capital of the United States.
I’ve refrained from commenting on Congressman Weiner’s Twitter episode on the basis of res ipsa loquitor -- the legal doctrine that says a thing speaks for itself. What can you say about something so obviously disgusting and repulsive?
Then I read a New York Times piece yesterday about Weiner’s relationship with a young college activist in Washington State. The woman had exchanged messages with Weiner about politics. She admired his views and how he battled with his conservative critics. As a reward, he sent her a lewd photo of himself. Unbelievable. I imagine Weiner’s behavior has changed the young woman’s view of political leaders.
But that wasn’t all I saw in the Times. A few pages over is an article about the case of former Senator John Edwards. The episode is so distasteful, I don’t want to dignify it with any more comment.
But it doesn’t stop there. John Ensign, a friend of mine and a Christian, resigned his Senate seat from Nevada because he is being investigated for using campaign money to cover up an extra-marital affair.
Cases like these just keep on coming. But don’t focus solely on the congressmen and senators. They’re just the ones who happen to be in the papers this week.
Instead, look at our society as a whole. Why do we see ethical failures all around us -- in our schools, businesses, churches, in every walk of life?
As I wrote this week in National Review online, we are in an ethical mess today because we as a society have embraced relativism and abandoned truth and moral certitude. We have bought the modern myth that life is all about us and our desires. We’ve lost the restraints of conscience and have abandoned the understanding of right and wrong that has been the foundation of Western ethics.
This is why I have spent the last two years producing the “Doing the Right Thing,” a six-part DVD series. It’s one of the most important things I’ve worked on in 36 years of ministry.
Not only do I hope you will order a copy for yourself, I would love it if you would help promote this powerful and very timely series. You can start by writing your Congressman and recommend he watch the series. I’ve already sent a copy myself to the chairman of the House Ethics Committee.
And in September, we’re holding a simulcast on “Doing the Right Thing” for churches all across the country. Please, come to www.Doingtherightthing.com to find out how you can get churches in your community to participate.
“Doing the Right Thing” doesn’t merely critique the collapse of ethical behavior in this country, it provides a roadmap for restoring a culture of ethics. Using natural law arguments accessible to non-believers, we make the case that there is such a thing as truth and that it’s knowable. We talk about the formation of conscience, how we build character in the context of family and community. We deal with the medical care and human life issues, the marketplace and how responsible citizens should view their business obligations.
Again, come to www.Doingtherightthing.com and find out how you can get a copy of “Doing the Right Thing” and how you can get your church involved in the September 24th simulcast, and maybe in the process, even straighten out your congressman.
Timing is everything. And given the ethical chaos all around us, there’s no better time than now to start doing the right thing.
This article published on June 10, 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.