Is America Loosing Its Civility?


As I became aware of the milieu I was born into during the 1950’s I was taught to respect elders, people of authority, teachers, clergy and everyone I encountered in public.  Manners were important and especially the choice of words used in public, school and certainly in mixed company.

Today it seems common here on the East Coast of the U.S.A.  within Megalopolis to slack off on manners and abandon constraint on the tongue: I often her expletives and swear words once confined to harsh work environments, back alleys, saloons and during armed conflicts. Sure boys hanging out were prone to express themselves in a loose manner but quickly modified their speech when an older person, female or person of authority entered within hearing range.  What about today?

Since the 1950’s things have turned away from a tradition of being polite.  This is reflected in the character and dialogue in cinema, television programs, magazines and more so in the new publicly shared social media of the Twenty-first Century have a much lower standard.  I find it especially offensive when the expletives and swearing is unrestrained in popular song lyrics, in mixed company and especially in groups that have children present.  Many people today apparently do not think this is a problem nor do they seem to believe it does any harm.  Aside from older people from another generation being offended as I, I see this trend as one more degradation in our society that once was civil if not always pleasant.

I am a Christian and I do not believe the wisdom offered to us within the Bible is old fashioned or out dated.  On the contrary,  Holy Scripture teaches us  how to make life better by fostering respect and positive behavior within families and in public.

Luke 6:45 (ESV)

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Ephesians 4:29

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

James Halifko

Author: James Halifko

I am a Baby Boomer with a lot of life's experience to guide me and share with people.