A lot of talk is swirling around these days about traditional values. Just what are they? To most people, encouragement of the strong, nuclear family, fiscal responsibility, respect for law and order as balanced by freedom, good education without a political agenda, reasoned patriotism, respect for human life, religious freedom, and a few others would make the list of traditional values. But what do these concepts have in common? Does belief in creation belong on this list?
Traditional values are not simply "the ideals upon which America was founded," although when America was founded, each item in the above list was prominently present. And they are not just "the way we used to do things," although America used to do things this way. Nor are they merely balanced by a new list of non-traditional values, even though such a new list exists and seems to be winning almost every confrontation with the traditional values.
To define the underlying philosophy behind traditional values would no doubt prove illusive, but it seems to me, to believe in traditional values is to believe in the existence of an absolute standard. While there is individual freedom within certain parameters, some things are definitely wrong and some things are definitely right, and these truths don't change. For example, a heterosexual marriage, lasting for life, with a loving, nurturing relationship between members is definitely right. Premarital chastity and marital fidelity are right, while promiscuity is definitely wrong. A relationship based on sodomy is wrong. A sodomite couple adopting children is wrong. It is wrong to encourage sexual encounters among children; wrong to pass out condoms in junior high school.
Likewise, it is wrong for the government overly to tax away the fruit of a worker's labor. Similarly, it is wrong to let criminals go unpunished, just as it is wrong to propose a society without the restraint of law.
Those who hold to traditional values believe in the sanctity of human life; abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, and genocide are definitely wrong. It is wrong to force anyone to worship in a certain fashion, just as it is wrong to force someone not to worship. Some things are right; others are wrong.
It does't take too much to recognize the basis for these rights and wrongs. They all stem from the concept that there is a Creator God who designed people, the family, government, and society to operate in a certain fashion. As Creator, He had the authority to set the rules for His creation and the wisdom to write them down in a Book, so people would know what they were. To teach about this Creator, His creation, and His guidelines for His creation is not only a traditional value, it is the basis for all traditional values. America was founded by leaders who understood these principles and designed her constitution and laws to reflect them. Little wonder why those proposing the abandonment of traditional values all believe in evolution!
With an election coming up in America, one needs to observe which candidates or referendums reflect traditional values, based on a creationist way of thinking.
*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.