FROM REVIVAL TO REVOLUTION: THE TIME IS NOW!
By Michael L. Brown
(Excerpted from the book, Revolution! The Call to Holy War)
I don‟t want to be an alarmist, a sensationalist, or an end-times extremist. I don‟t want to
say the sky is falling unless the sky really is falling. If you‟re like me, you‟ve had it with ominous predictions that never come to pass, urgent warnings that seem to vanish into thin air, and fruitless speculation that never seems to produce anything constructive. I hate foolishness, and I assume you hate it too. We have better things to do than endlessly air our own opinions and excitedly exchange our latest “revelations.” Where is the reality in any of this?
Allow me to put this in perspective for you. I began preaching at the age of eighteen in August of 1973, and my thirteenth message, preached a number of months later, was the only one of those early messages that was recorded. A few years ago I listened to it –
with considerable interest. The New York accent was heavy. (What has become of it?) The tone was a little harsh. (I was only a kid!) But the message was just about the same as it has been for almost thirty years: “America is in a mess! Look at the state of our society: It doesn‟t take a prophet to know that we‟re living in perilous times. Let‟s wake up and go for it! Let‟s make a difference for Jesus!”
Now, putting youthful enthusiasm aside, and discounting the old New York accent, I was really intrigued by that old message and I asked myself an obvious question: Was this just my own narrow perspective? Was I exaggerating things then and am I exaggerating them now? Or were things back then really that bad, becoming much worse ever since?
It‟s true, of course, that almost every generation tends to get nostalgic and look back
to “the good old days,” when, in fact, those days are sometimes the figments of our own imaginations. It is also true that almost every generation tends to regard the younger, upcoming generation as more rebellious, disrespectful, and out of control: “I wasn‟t like that as a kid! I would never have treated my parents like that. Boy! Things have gotten really bad.”
But that perspective is not always accurate. Even considering where we stand today, we have to admit that here has been much progress in many ways in the last thirty years –
at least among God‟s people: Churches are experiencing more and more gracious seasons of visitation; desperate spiritual hunger is rising; New Testament patterns are being recovered (in worship; in leadership structure; in discipleship; in mission; in sacrifice; in prayer); and restrictive, denominational walls are coming down (this is not to say that all denominations are bad, but only that restrictive walls are falling). Among the youth in particular, standards that were all-but-forgotten are being recovered: Courtship has
replaced dating for countless thousands (how many of us as teens thought of asking for parental permission and blessing before pursuing a relationship, and how many of us pursued a relationship only if we thought it could lead to marriage?); sexual abstinence before marriage is being recovered; holy militancy is rising; more and more young people are heeding the call to foreign missions. This is just a sampling.
Yes, the list of positive things happening in the church today, even here in North America, is substantial – which leads me back to my question: What about that message I preached many years ago? Was it symptomatic of the “Old Testament prophet in New Testament garb” syndrome? In other words, was it evidence of a negative, gloom and
doom mentality that always sees the bad, Satanic side of things and ignores the good, divine side of things? More to the point, does the recurring refrain of, “Look at how bad things are!” mean that believers like me who claim that our society is in grave danger
should simply be dismissed as spiritual hypochondriacs? Does it indicate that the sense of urgency we feel is really a projection of our own, personal struggles?
In the Summer of 1999, after speaking briefly at a major Christian rally attended by thousands, I returned to my hotel room and watched a riveting documentary on the worldwide rise of religious fundamentalism, beginning in 1979. (Generally, I don‟t watch TV at all when I‟m on the road, but this documentary caught my interest.) During the
program, a respected national evangelist was seen addressing a 1979 Christian rally, a rally that ultimately centered on a presidential candidate named Ronald Reagan. To my shock, I realized that his words were virtually identical to the words I had spoken earlier that night. Both of us had basically said: “Homosexuals [and others] have come out of the closet. It‟s time that Christians come out of the closet!” Yet he delivered his message twenty years before I delivered mine!
Of course, the thrust of our messages was quite different. His was more of a call for Christian involvement in politics; mine was a call to take the gospel to the streets at any cost. Still, the similarities in language were striking, causing me to ask myself again: What‟s going on? What are we doing? Are we merely repeating the rhetoric of the previous decades? Are we making a lot of noise but only a little progress? Or, of even more concern, are we getting worked up about nothing?
Let‟s face it: There were problems in Jesus‟ day; there were problems in Luther‟s day; there were problems in Wesley‟s day; there are problems today. So why all the fuss? Given a certain perspective, things can always look pretty bad and someone can always 1make a case that serious judgment is near and great collapse is coming. But, the
argument goes, those who are mature will have a more balanced outlook. They won‟t panic all the time, and they won‟t cause everyone else to panic needlessly. They will go about their business, preaching the gospel and helping those in need, and they will do it with balance. They will be stable and steady, not easily moved by the latest prophetic fad.
1 It‟s interesting to note that in 1949, Billy Graham‟s Los Angeles message entitled “Christ in the crisis” dealt with “the worldwide crisis of fear, of atomic warfare, of economic, social and political problems. And
of moral degeneration in this country” (in the words of Richard Reynolds, Los Angeles Daily News,
September 30, 1949). Think of it! Moral degeneration in 1949. Where does that put us in the year 2000?
Who then is right? Where do we stand today? What is the biblical (realistic!) point of view, as opposed to the hopeless (too pessimistic!) point of view or the foolish (too optimistic!) point of view? What is the truth? What are the facts? What is God‟s perspective on the state of our nation?
Since the 1980s, I have believed that revival was the only hope for America, believing
at the same time that revival was a very real hope for America. I have never accepted the
mentality that it was too late for our nation, nor have I held to an end-time theology of 2 No! The Church of the Lord Jesus will not end this age with a total defeat.
demonstration of the failure of the Spirit, nor has God completely cast America behind His back. Instead, in His mercy and grace, He has been pouring out His Spirit, beginning especially in the mid-1990s. But now, after several years of revival – not nationwide, to
be sure, but certainly in pockets throughout the nation – the hour is more urgent than ever.
You see, while it is very true that God is moving in our midst, Satan is also moving, and all too many believers – really, most believers – remain asleep in the light. The
present revival must become a revolution! The current outpouring must become an awakening! If it doesn‟t happen soon, it may not happen at all.
What gives me the right to say this? What facts support these statements? Isn‟t it true,
you ask, that there have been many signs of positive, moral change in our midst? Yes there have, and for this we thank God. As William Bennett noted in his important 1999 study documenting the leading cultural indicators of America:
The decade of the nineties has seen progress in some key social indicators: reductions in
welfare, violent crime, abortion, AIDS, divorce, and suicide. . . . Since 1994, for example,
there has been a 46.5 percent decrease in welfare rolls. The murder rate it at its lowest
point since 1967. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities are at their lowest level since the
government began keeping such statistics. Since 1993, the number of AIDS cases has
decreased by more than 50 percent. Near the end of the decade, there are 243,000 fewer 3abortions per year than at the beginning. . . .
This is certainly cause for great thanksgiving. There have been many positive developments in recent years! But at the same time, many other things are worse than they have ever been in our land (I‟ll come back to this in a moment), while many other things sit like simmering volcanoes, ready to erupt at any moment. We have not yet paid the full penalty for the abortion holocaust in our land (we knew better than other nations, and to whom much is given, much is required); we have only seen the tip of the iceberg of the impact of rampant divorce on our society (the vast majority of criminals come
2 Cf., e.g., Michael L. Brown, The End of the American Gospel Enterprise, 81-96; idem, How Saved Are
We? (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 1990), 113-123; idem, Let No One Deceive You: Confronting the
Critics of Revival (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 1997), 201-216.
3 William J. Bennett, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators: American Society at the End of the Twentieth Century (updated and expanded; New York/Colorado: Broadway Books/WaterBrook Press, 1999), 2-3.
from broken homes); we have not yet seen the unbridled aggression of the homosexual movement (when it is challenged, it will become violently aggressive); we have not yet reaped what we have sown.
The majority of sexual and violent crimes are committed by people who were raised without a father. According to Bennett‟s study, “Seventy-two percent of America‟s
adolescent murderers, 70 percent of long-term prison inmates, and 60 percent of rapists 4 Yet the generation birthed in the 1990s will be the most come from fatherless homes.”
fatherless generation in our history, and only half of those raised in the first decade of the st521 century “will spend their entire childhood in an intact family.” What does this mean
for our future?
The devil is turning up the heat of sin and pollution in our society, and we, like the proverbial frog boiling in water, hardly realize that the temperature is rising. And while we should rejoice over everything the Lord is doing in our land, we must not deceive ourselves. The percentage of church-attending Americans has actually decreased from 61965 until today, rising only slightly even within the 1990s themselves. Even more
sobering is that, “In 1997, Gallup replicated a survey it originally conducted in 1947. It found that the same percentage of Americans pray (90 percent), believe in God (96 7percent), and attend church once a week.” This means that we are just as religious today
as we were more than fifty years ago, but we are far less moral! The frog is boiling but somehow thinks it‟s bathing. It is simmering and stewing but somehow thinks it‟s sunbathing and swimming. How pathetic.
Let me put all this in perspective for you. Please step back and consider the facts. In 1961, the beginning of one of the most turbulent decades in our history, things seemed relatively peaceful. Speaking of the day of JFK‟s inauguration, Irwin and Debbie Unger
America, on that blustery inauguration day in January 1961, was still deep in the throes
of postwar conformity. Skirts were worn below the knee, dresses were tailored, and
women‟s shoes had high heels and pointy toes. On prime-time TV, the favorite programs
were The Flintstones, Ozzie and Harriet, One Happy Family, and The Bob Hope Show. In
film, the 1961 Academy Award for best picture went to a musical fable about feuding
new York gangs, but West Side Story was monumentally innocent despite its subject
matter. On Broadway, My Fair Lady was still drawing crowds after 2,300 performances.
Elvis had already stirred the rage of parents and moralists with his swiveling hips and
4 Ibid., 61. Bennett also notes that, “In 1999, out of 102 prime-time shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and
Warner Bros. Networks, only 15 included fathers as regular, central characters” (ibid., 163).
5 Ibid., 58. As Bennett observes (ibid., 62), “Children who grow up with only one of their biological parents, when compared to children who grow up with both biological parents, are three times more likely to have a child out of wedlock, 2.5 times more likely to become teenage mothers, twice as likely to drop out of high school, and 1.4 times more likely to be out of school and not working.”
6 Cf. ibid., 173-174.
7 Ibid., 175.
suggestive phrasing, but the most popular recording artist in 1961 was Eddie Fisher, the
quintessential boy next door. Sexual mores were strict. Illegitimacy was rare in the
middle class, and most Americans considered homosexuality a sin, and drove its
practitioners deep into the closet. . . . On college campuses, except for a sprinkling of the
most “progressive” and cosmopolitan ones, fraternities and sororities, pledge week, pep 8rallies, dances, and “sandbox” politics were the dominant extracurricular activities.
Of course, by the end of the decade, things had changed radically:
The Pill, announced with little fanfare in 1960, had ended fear of pregnancy; penicillin
had diminished fear of disease. Sex, in any position, in any form, was considered good;
denial was bad. The new sexual liberation movement soon spread beyond youthful
flower-child dropouts. All through middle-class and working-class America ran a new 9current of permissiveness.
By 1970, Woodstock was history, along with Stonewall (the watershed event in the 10homosexual movement). The feminist movement had been birthed and campus riots had drawn national attention. (Was any of this connected at all to the 1962 Supreme Court decision – hardly resisted by the church – that removed organized, public prayer from our
schools?) The 1960s really did mark a turning point in our culture, sending us into a moral free fall. Promiscuity increased during that decade. Drug and alcohol use increased. Divorce increased. Juvenile crime skyrocketed. Yet the legalization of abortion on demand did not occur until 1973 – since which time we have legally snuffed out more
than forty million innocent lives – while the incidence of teen sex, teen violence, and teen substance abuse was much lower in the late 1960s than in the late 1980s or early-to-mid 1990s.
Sadly, despite some significant gains, the moral climate continues to degenerate in our land, something that becomes clear when we look at the larger context. While violent crimes, for example, decreased by 17% between 1990 and 1997, the comparison from 1960 to 1997 is very negative: Violent crimes actually increased by 280% over those 11years. At the same time, our nation‟s prison population has increased dramatically, growing from 196,429 prisoners in 1970 (representing 96 people for every 100,000 Americans) to 1,197,590 prisoners in 1997 (445 out of every 100,000). In fact, that number has risen most dramatically in the 1990s (from 297 out of 100,000 in 1990 to 445 12out of every 100,000 in 1997).
8 Irwin and Debbie Unger, eds., the times were a changin’: the sixties reader (New York: Three Rivers,
9 Ibid., 7.
10 Stonewall was the name given to the 1969 riot in New York City‟s Greenwich Village when
homosexuals decided to fight back when police raided their gay bar.
11 Bennett, Index, 15-16.
12 Ibid., 27. Adding in local jails to federal and state prisons, the total number of all inmates in 1998 swelled to 1.8 million. Sadly, it is estimated that 28.5% of all Black males and 16% of all Hispanic males will serve at least some time in a federal or state prison during their lives, as compared with 4% of White males. See ibid.
Let‟s take a closer look at America in 1961 as compared with America in the 1990s:
There were popular, animated TV shows then and now. In 1961, The Flinstones ruled;
today, it is The Simpsons. What a shocking contrast! In 1961, West Side Story was
considered to be a violent flick; today, it‟s Natural Born Killers. Americans then were
entertained by Ozzie and Harriet and One Happy Family; today, they are enthralled with
Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones. I wish it were not so! Even ten years ago, most Americans would not have tolerated such vulgar trash on major network TV. Yet it 13abounds today. Just stop and look around. The devil is putting his cards on the table.
In homes across America, during the afternoon – in broad daylight, so to say – TV
screens glow with lively discussions about such topics as sex change operations, transvestitism, flagrant cheating on spouses (often with same-sex affairs), and prostitution, to name just a few. How can this be? (Of course, to brighten things up, you can always turn to the soap operas!) Profanity is also making its inroads on the airwaves, as standards 14drop year by year. And all this takes place on major network TV. What about shows and movies aired on Cable and Satellite TV? What about the availability of pornography or the increase in movie violence? What about the fact that the average ten year-old child
today sees and hears things that the average thirty year-old adult rarely saw or heard one
generation ago? (And I have not even mentioned the Internet!)
As noted in a 1998 Time magazine report on teen sex:
Even if kids don‟t watch certain television shows, they know the programs exist and are
bedazzled by the forbidden. From schoolyard word of mouth, eight-year-old Jeff in
Chicago has heard all about the foul-mouthed kids in the raunchily plotted South Park,
and even though he has never seen the show, he can describe certain episodes in detail.
(He is also familiar with the AIDS theme of the musical Rent because he‟s heard the CD
over and over.) Argentina, 16, in Detroit, says, “TV makes sex look like this big game.”
Her friend Michael, 17, adds, “They make sex look like Monopoly or something. You 15have to do it in order to get to the next level.”
13 According to a Time magazine report (June 15, 1998, from the Time Web site), “With so much talk of
sex in the air, the extinction of the hapless, sexually naive kid seems an inevitability. Indeed, kids today as young as seven to 10 are picking up the first details of sex even in Saturday-morning cartoons. Brett, a 14-year-old in Denver, says it doesn‟t matter to him whether his parents chat with him about sex or not because he gets so much from TV. Whenever he‟s curious about something sexual, he channel-surfs his
way to certainty. „If you watch TV, they‟ve got everything you want to know,‟ he says. „That‟s how I
learned to kiss, when I was eight. And the girl told me, “Oh, you sure know how to do it.”‟”
14 “Between January 1997 and November 1998 – a period during which a television-ratings system was
adopted – sexual content, foul language, and violent content rose by more than 30 percent on network television” (Bennett, Index, 163). According to a report from the Parents Television Council released March 30, 2000 and analyzing the content of programming on major network TV, “in terms of sexual
content, coarse language, and violent material combined, the per-hour figure almost tripled from 1989 to 1999; on a per-hour basis, sexual material was more than three times as frequent; the level of violence on television has remained about the same.” The report was entitled “What a Difference a Decade Makes: A Comparison of Prime Time Sex, Language, and Violence in 1989 and ‟99.”
15 See n. 13, above.
As to the impact that TV and movie violence in movies have had on our society, even a secular Hollywood source had this to say: “It is not that violent pictures create more
violence, but the constant litany of gratuitous violence is destructive to the fabric of the 16 How our threshold culture because it lowers our threshold for sensitivity to the issue.”
for sensitivity has been lowered! A recent crime report provided the following shocking statistic: “In 1995, handguns were used to kill 2 people in New Zealand, 15 in Japan, 30 17in Great Britain, 106 in Canada, 213 in Germany, and 9,390 in the United States.” What
do we say to facts such as these?
Have you seen how with each new act of violence and each new atrocity we become less shocked and more insensitive, less outraged and more uncaring, less grieved and more hardhearted? As the year 1999 wore on, Americans reacted with increasing indifference to the mounting wave of multiple shootings in our land, as the grim totals rose and rose. January started slowly: 1 dead, 1 wounded; by the end of March, we reached 3 dead, 1 wounded, and by the end of April, we were up to 21 dead and 28 wounded. By the end of June, the numbers were 24 dead and 32 wounded. By the end of July we reached 44 dead and 45 wounded, and by the end of September we were at 55 dead and 58 wounded. At the year‟s end, we reached 69 dead and 61 wounded – all in 18multiple shootings. Some of these tragedies didn‟t even hold our attention for a full day. Some of them – including the unprecedented shootings at the Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth – didn‟t even make the top headline in some national newspapers.
Men of God have warned us for years, urging us to wake up from our stupor, yet still we slumber on. We are becoming so accustomed to filth that we hardly notice its stench. We have become so inoculated to evil that we are numb to its stinging bite. Do you hear the alarm? In the mid-1990s, when a major TV show introduced an openly lesbian character, there was an uproar. By 1999, more than thirty characters on network TV were
playing homosexual roles. What is happening?
More than 300 years ago, Thomas Manton observed that, “First we practice sin, then
defend it, then boast of it.” We see this happening before our eyes with the homosexual movement. First, the sin was practiced in secret, then it was defended as a healthy, acceptable lifestyle, and now anyone who objects to is to homophobic. There is something wrong with us if we reject the practice as ungodly! And things have only heated up with the beginning of the new millennium: Homosexual activists are fighting
16 Thom Mount, president of the Producers Guild of America, quoted in the Calgary Herald, Sunday,
November 21, 1999, A12.
17 From a recently-released national crime report. 000
18 Sylvio Izquierda-Leyva, the suspect in the Tampa shootings at the year‟s end, was arrested within twenty minutes of the incident. Amazing, Police Chief Bennie Holder gave this description of the arrest: “When I
arrived on the scene, it was just like someone having been stopped for a traffic violation,” Holder said. “He was not upset, he was very calm. He‟s upstairs sleeping; he‟s obviously not too concerned about it.” And this man had just murdered five people! The Columbine killers, as is well known, laughed as they viciously gunned down their peers.
for government recognition of same-sex marriages, and in some parts of our nation, they are rapidly gaining ground. Don‟t we see the handwriting on the wall?
Even Satanism is becoming more blatant and overt. Why should the devil hide in the shadows when he can freely come out in the open? Of course, I‟m aware that we have
had our horror pictures and Satanist movies for years, like Dracula and Frankenstein of
old or The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby of more recent decades. But the increased
interest in these ever-more-explicit themes is striking. In 1999 alone, at least six hit movies had strongly occultic themes, including The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth
Yes, the battle lines have been drawn, the enemy is taking ground, and many of us hardly realize that the war is on. The devil is moving forward with energy and aggression. What in the world are we doing?
In 1961, women and girls commonly wore skirts or dresses (rather than pants), always wearing them to school, and those skirts or dresses were worn below the knee. Yet today even women‟s tennis players – we‟re talking about athletes, not strippers or
nightclub dancers – are often known for their skin-hugging, highly-revealing, sensual outfits. Do trends like this mean nothing? Or consider the look of magazine covers over the last forty years. Pictures of not-quite-nude women that were not seen as recently as ten years ago – I mean on the covers of weight-lifting magazines, not porno magazines –
now “grace” many a magazine cover. What‟s next?
Yes, the world pursues its agenda with very little spiritual or moral resistance from the people of God. And even in those moral areas where we have seen some progress (for example, in the recent decline in the abortion rate), there is bad news too, since one major reason for the decline in abortions is the increased use of condoms among unmarried, 19 sexually active young people.
We live in a society today where students can wear Satanist tee-shirts to school but cannot pray in the name of Jesus at their graduation ceremonies, where teens can get abortions without parental permission but where teachers cannot read the Scriptures to those same teenagers without fear of parental prosecution. We live in a society where eleven-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds can be skillful, purposeful murderers – using
schoolmates for target practice – and where favorite video games include Doom and 20Mortal Kombat and favorite cartoon movies include the South Park series. Gone are the
19 Cf. ibid.: “The remarkable--and in ways lamentable--product of youthful promiscuity and higher sexual IQ is the degree to which kids learn to navigate the complex hyper-sexual world that reaches out seductively to them at every turn. One of the most positive results: the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and of teenage pregnancy is declining. Over the past few years, kids have managed to chip away at the teenage birthrate, which in 1991 peaked at 62.1 births per 1,000 females. Since then the birthrate has dropped 12%, to 54.7. Surveys suggest that as many as two-thirds of teenagers now use condoms, a proportion that is three times as high as reported in the 1970s.”
20 Here are excerpts from Mark Englehart‟s Internet review (Amazon.com) for the latest in the series, South
Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut: “OK, let‟s get all the disclaimers out of the way first. Despite its colorful (if
days when the gyrations of Elvis stirred moral outrage. MTV has long since made its anti-moral mark and “gangsta rap” is here to stay – unless we have a moral and spiritual 21 revolution.
So what are we waiting for? What else needs to happen? How many more massacres in our schools and massacres in our workplaces and massacres in our houses of worship do we need? At what point will we realize that now is the time to act? The hour really is
later than we know!
When Congress must debate issues like whether it is ethical to “harvest” and sell aborted baby parts – spinal chords and skin and brains and limbs – what have we come to
as a nation? Yet in November of 1999, such a debate took place:
On Tuesday, November 9, 1999, by voice vote, the House of Representatives passed a
non-binding resolution calling for congressional hearings to investigate trafficking in
tissues, organs and whole bodies of aborted babies. Representatives Joseph Pitts (R-PA),
Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ) introduced the resolution (H.R.
350). In the midst of debate concerning H.R. 350, Pitts said, “I wish this gruesome price
list [of baby body parts] was a cruel Halloween hoax, but it is not. It‟s the price list for
human body parts from aborted babies. It‟s almost like the bureaucratization of the Nazis
final solution hammered out in conferences and committed to legal documents. Except
now it‟s in the form of a capitalistic price list, organized for commerce, sanitized for the
grim reality, which it is.”
Pro-abortion House members believe those in favor of the resolution are “attempting to
corrupt medical research with the politics of abortion.” They also challenged the evidence
crude) animation, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is in no way meant for kids. It is chock full of
profanity that might even make Quentin Tarantino blanch and has blasphemous references to God, Satan, Saddam Hussein (who‟s sleeping with Satan, literally), and Canada. It‟s rife with scatological [i.e., toilet-
language] humor, suggestive sexual situations, political incorrectness, and gleeful, rampant vulgarity. And it‟s probably one of the most brilliant satires ever made. . . . And in advocating free speech and satirizing
well-meaning but misguided parental censorship groups (with a special nod to the MPAA), Bigger, Longer
& Uncut hits home against adult paranoia and hypocrisy with a vengeance. And the jokes, while indeed vulgar and gross, are hysterical; we can‟t repeat them here, especially the lyrics to Terrance and Philip‟s hit song, but you‟ll be rolling on the floor. Don‟t worry, though--to paraphrase Cartman, this movie won‟t
warp your fragile little mind. Unless you have something against the First Amendment.”
21 Already in 1985, Susan Baker, the wife of former Senator Howard Baker, testified before Congress on behalf of the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), calling on the music industry to place “warning labels on all albums if the lyrics „portray explicit sex and violence and glorify the use of drugs and alcohol.‟” She argued in part that, “While a few outrageous recordings have always existed in the past, the proliferation of songs glorifying rape, sadomasochism, incest, the occult, and suicide by a growing number of bands illustrates this escalating trend that is alarming. . . . There certainly are many causes for these ills in our society, but it is our contention that the pervasive messages aimed at children which promote and glorify suicide, rape, sadomasochism, and so on, have to be numbered among the contributing factors.” See Senator Robert Torricelli and Andrew Carroll, eds., In Our Words: Extraordinary Speeches of the
American Century (New York: Kodansha, 360-361). In rebuttal, rock musician Frank Zappa said (in part), “Bad facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are in my opinion more dangerous than songwriters who celebrate sexuality. Freedom of speech, freedom of religious thought, and the right to due process for composers, performers, and retailers are imperiled if the PMRC and the major labels consummate this nasty bargain. . . .” (Ibid., 363)
and stated that “no one is going out selling baby parts, arms or legs for any purpose.”
Two weeks earlier, during Senate debate over the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban (PBAB),
Sen. Robert Smith (R-NH) detailed carefully documented information concerning the
harvesting of baby parts. Smith reasoned this was one of the terrible secrets behind the
push to keep partial-birth abortions available to abortionists and offered a sensible
amendment to the PBAB, providing for immediate regulation of the fetal tissue industry, 22but it was rejected by the Senate, 46-51.
Do you realize what you just read? It is unspeakably tragic that the Clinton administration vetoed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban three times, helping to pave the way for the gruesome horrors just described. Yet such are the times in which we live!
With our president leading the way, we have learned that oral sex is not sex, that you can go to church on Sunday and lie to the nation on Monday, that you can be a very good leader and a very bad person – simultaneously! – and that homosexuality is acceptable
while rejection of homosexuality is not. No wonder so many young people are so confused. And no wonder we adults don‟t seem much more clearheaded. In fact, we have
our own foolish obsessions.
Just think: We live in a time of moral madness and social uncertainty, a time when talk of a moral revolution should be everywhere. Instead, the best-selling “revolutionary” 23books are books about new diets! What does this say for us as a people? When we need
to be talking about the call to die for the gospel, we are talking instead about the call to diet for good looks. What a sad indictment! And what does it say of our self-deception and lack of discipline when we are at one and the same time the world‟s best-read nation 24on diet and nutrition and the world‟s most obese? Even our pets are overweight. We
need a revolution!
To quote William Bennett once again – in terms of our present, moral stupor:
22 See the Capitol Hill Prayer Alert, Nov. 11, 1999 (email). Also included in the email alert was this announcement: “HOUSE PASSES „BABY PARTS HARVESTING‟ RESOLUTION: WHEN WILL
ACTION TO STOP THE HARVEST TAKE PLACE?”
23 Cf., e.g., Jennie Brand Miller, et al., The Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic
Index-The Groundbreaking Medical Discovery (Marlowe & Co.: 1999); Robert Arnot, Dr. Bob Arnot’s
Revolutionary Weight Control Program (Little, Brown & Co.: 1998); Robert C. Atkins, Dr. Atkins New
Diet Revolution (Harper: 1997); Robert E. Kowalski, The Revolutionary Cholesterol Breakthrough: How
to Eat Everything You Want and Have Your Heart to Thank for It (Andrews and McMeel: 1996); Jeffrey S.
Bland, The 20-Day Rejuvenation Diet Program : With the Revolutionary Phytonutrient Diet (Keats: 1996).
One book contains both the words “renewal” and “revolution” – but not in a spiritual context. See Timothy
J. Smith, M.D., Renewal: The Anti-Aging Revolution (New York: St. Martins, 1999).
24 According to a report on MSNBC news (www.msnbc.com, dated 000), 30% of our cats and dogs are
overweight. In fact, pet obesity is considered to be the leading health problem by veterinarians. The report notes that, “Sedentary people tend to have sedentary pets, and owners who enjoy high-calorie diets tend to
pamper their pets with high-calorie treats.” According to Evan Kirk of the Brewer Animal Hospital in
Springfield, Illinois, “Our dogs and cats are eating themselves to death,” while Julie Churchill, who operates a weight-loss clinic [that‟s right!] at the University of Minnesota‟s College of Veterinary Medicine,
states that, “The average American dog these days is a couch potato.” So, while humans forage for food in other nations, America is filled with fat cats and couch potato canines.