Sins of Omission: Immoral Evil and Human Permissiveness

A controversial and extremely provocative issue regarding human behavior, which has perplexed philosophers and pundits since the dawn of recorded history, and which is still polemically bandied about in the 21st Century, consists of whether ignoring and/or silently tolerating an existing evil is tantamount to a willing acceptance of it. For instance, if neighbors of a single-parent family fully realize that the father in the family is physically and sexually molesting his two preadolescent daughters, and do nothing at all to intervene, or to let law enforcement know about the situation, are they, in some way, responsible for the continuing criminal molestation? Some will say yes, and some, of course, will say no. Yet, I have come to believe that all normal human beings, who ignore and knowingly tolerate acts of others that are heinous and reprehensibly evil, will ultimately suffer pained and guilt-ridden consciences throughout their lives when they realize exactly what they have done, even if they are not formally censured by societal law. This self-indicting realization might take a little while to occur, but it will eventually come about; for evil has always had a profound way of subtly nosing its way into a society by, seemingly, innocuous incremental degrees, which, to most human beings, constitute normal evolving shades of fashion.

By analogy, just consider the prevailing attitude of the majority of Protestant and Catholic Germans toward the German Jewish community prior to 1918. At that time, all of the German people, regardless of ethnicity or religion had been enlisted for four long years in a common war-effort to defeat the Allied powers. Consequently, there existed an amicable tolerance by the non-Jews for German Jewry. Everyone was, then, working together for a common cause. So, how did this mutual toleration deteriorate 25 years after the German defeat, when the Treaty of Versailles essentially forced the creation of the Weimar Republic? Did the German Protestant and Catholic citizens just suddenly start hating the Jews in the mid-and-late-1930s? No, the hatred was slowly and incrementally inculcated into German society by a small minority of politically devious anti-Semites who called themselves Nazis. It took Adolf Hitler, his group of henchmen, and his Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda approximately 11 years to permeate and pervert the common attitude of German society toward Jewry, in order to change 95-percent of the freedom-loving German people into anti-Semites, actually believing that Jewish men, women, and children were sub-human and totally responsible for Germany's economic plight. One insightful view of this tragic mis-assignment of blame, which led directly to the Holocaust, was that, somehow, the German people lost, over that short period of time, their collective empathy for human suffering. When General Dwight D. Eisenhower discovered the Nazi death camps, in 1945, and heard from German citizens in the surrounding communities that they knew nothing about the mass exterminations of Jewish men, women, and children, he forced quite-a-few of them to walk through the death camps in order to witness, first-hand, the atrocities that had occurred. As a result of facing such horrible truth, quite a few of those German citizens couldn't live with themselves, and committed suicide when they realized the sad result of their collective toleration.

Of course, the particular aforementioned type of politically perpetuated evil was, and remains, exceptionally vile, but immoral evil can take many other forms that, at first glance, may appear relatively benign and harmless, while, over time, permutating into malignantly ravenous beasts. Again, by way of illustration, take the issue of human sexuality and mode of dress by men and women in American society from 1945 until the present day. Before the Second World War, the human body was commonly regarded by most American men and women as sacredly private in nature, and you only saw women dressed immodestly in the movies, in certain risque magazines, or in burlesque entertainment parlors. Modesty was clearly distinguished from immodesty, during the late 1940s and early 50s, in distinctly measurable terms, such as skirt-length, the cut of the female blouse, the amount of female breast cleavage showing, and the amount of body surface disclosed by swimsuits. Most men and woman during that time considered being seen in anything comparable to underwear as considerably taboo; and except for movies, and certain magazines, such as Hugh Heffner's "Playboy (the actual beginning of commercial pornography in the United States), the majority of Americans practiced prudent modesty in their personal lives. Believe it or not, less than 17-percent of the U.S. population, in 1954, regularly read such magazines as "Playboy." Such long-term moral standards were inexorably changed, slowly and incrementally, through the efforts small, but vociferous, minorities of the American population that began exhibiting what were, at first, regarded as aberrant behaviors. Skirt-length slowly rose from an inch below the knees to several-inches above, the female breasts slowly, but ultimately, became symbols of male eroticism and female liberation, and, in the late-1950s and early 60s, the bikini essentially replaced the one-piece swimsuit. It took only 14 years for an abandonment of limitations upon observable cleavage in female dress, and the frequently intentional display of panties and pantyhose (split skirts), which became widely vogue in fashion. Then came U.S. Supreme Court Potter Stuart, who, grinningly sporting the "Playboy," Penthouse," and "Hustler," magazines normally hid in his desk, laconically quipped the infamous words, "I may not be able to define pornography, but I know it when I see it." Consequently, from 1970 until the present-day, there have essentially been no limits placed on human sexuality and female/male dress. Watch a Victoria's Secret commercial if you don't get what I mean. For it seems today, in the 21st Century world, that a very large number of American women can shamelessly strut-their-stuff in public, wearing sensuous highly revealing undergarments and be loudly, and continuously, applauded by an extremely large audience of erotically stimulated men. These same women can also parade around, almost nude, on the public beaches wearing much-less-of-a swimsuit than the most revealing bedroom laungerie, and they can do it with impunity.

So, was this late-20th Century permutation of modesty and simple decency a new morality, extending beyond the concepts of good and evil, or the old evil immorality disguised as something much more appealing to human lust and vice? Let's see. From 1950 until 1960, the number of rapes and criminal assaults of women in the United States increased 65-percent, as compared to a 9-percent increase from 1940 until 1950. From 1960 until 1970, the number of sexually-oriented assaults against women, and men, increased another 9-percent. From 1970 until 1980, rapes, assaults, and sexually-oriented homocides increased 45-percent of what they were in the previous decade. Also, during the 1970s, child pornography (commonly known as chick-porn) became rife within the U.S., leading to the creation of special FBI, and police, task forces to handle the onerous perversions that became common across state lines. During the 1970s, homosexuality became politically defined as a functional lifestyle, and heterosexual men and woman disturbed by homosexual acts were formally classified as dysfunctional homophobes; but criminal homosexual assaults on, both, males and females increased 40-percent from 1970 until 1980, as sado-masochism and sodomy were declared by the courts as viable tools for recreational sex. With the advent of the Internet, cell phones, and quick electronic communication, there has been an inexorable rise, since 1990, in the number of sexual predators around the country, lurking in the shadows, seeking their young and tender prey. Many of these convicted violent sex offenders and molesters are living in urban, and suburban, communities throughout the nation. What's really scary is that there are, perhaps, hundreds, if not thousands, of these deviant human beings, presently unknown to law enforcement, who are biding their time, entertaining themselves with Internet and magazine pornography, waiting anxiously for their unwitting prey to fall into their grasps.

I sincerely believe that this continual prolific rise in sexually-oriented crimes has been directly due to the inexorable demise of moral standards over the ensuing decades, and the glorification of such crimes on television, motion pictures, and entertainment magazines. Even if the sexual predator is depicted as arrested, tried, and sentenced on such shows as "Law and Order" and "CSI," many disturbed minds (and there are currently over a million of them in the U.S.) will look be attracted to the deviant acts depicted in drama, and the attention they graphically bring to the offender. R and X-rated movies depict pictures and themes that embellish and glorify the commission of deviant and sexually-violent acts in the minds of mentally aberrant human beings. How many violent rapes by deviant men have, perhaps, been committed against innocent women after having watched such movies as the 1988 "The Accused," which starred Jodie Foster and Demi Moore, or "Strip Tease," starring Demi Moore? How many date-rapes have occurred after couples have watched sexually-explicit and violent movies, when the hormonal man begins to feel his sexual prowess and asserts it an animalistic fashion? While a great majority of American people, 35-years-and-older, don't subscribe to, and participate in, the prevailing immorality that exists throughout the United States, they regularly tolerate and endorse it by collectively saying nothing against it. This is because there are so many diverse ethnic, racial, and religious factions within the nation that work against each other. A noted sociologist, who will remain anonymous, told me, on one occasion, that if any person puts an ad in the "New York Times" describing the creation of a new church that worships flying saucers, and requests disciples, fifty-or-more interested people from the New York City area will, in all probability, respond within a one-week time period. This prediction, the sociologist said, is based on the existence of a continually large number of aberrantly impressionable people concentrated in large urban areas.

Unlike the German people, who knew pretty much what was actually happening to the Jews, but somehow pretended that the Nazis wouldn't do such heinous things, a great number of Americans have actually capitulated to the gradually continual rise in immoral evil in the U.S., presently considering it as an irreversible component of American culture that is here to stay. That is to say that 80-to-90-percent of the American voting age population are being controlled and manipulated by, at-the-most, 10-percent of that very large number of local, state, and national voters, the base mentors of evil. Whether Republican, Democrat, Tea-Party Member, Independent, Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, Unitarian, Seventh Day Adventist, or any other civic or religious affiliation, the majority of decent morally-minded people in the United States must come together to collectively oppose the immoral evils that have pervaded and changed the mores of the American nation. Unless this happens, our children, and our children's children, will inherit a desolate land devoid of morality and the essence of goodness.


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