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Index of Leading Cultural Indicators

Dr. William J. Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education and also “drug czar,” issued an important report two months ago entitled “The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators.” He described the mess we have created for ourselves and how we can get out of it. These are a few of the statistics presented, comparing our welfare today with 1963:

  • Violent crime has increased over 500 percent.
  • Illegitimate births have increased 400 percent.
  • Divorces have increased 400 percent.
  • Children living in single-parent homes have increased 300 percent.
  • Child abuse has increased 340 percent since 1976.
  • Teenage suicide has increased 200 percent.
  • S.A.T. scores have dropped almost 80 points, despite huge increases in support for education. Focus on the Family , Newsletter, May, 1993

What is culture? It is the ways of thinking, living, and behaving that define a people and underlie its achievements. It is a nation’s collective mind, its sense of right and wrong, the way it perceives reality, and its definition of self. Culture is the morals and habits a mother strives to instill in her children. It is the obligations we acknowledge toward our neighbors, our community, and our government. It is the worker’s dedication to craftsmanship and the owner’s acceptance of the responsibilities of stewardship. It is the standards we set and enforce for ourselves and for others: our definitions of duty, honor, and character. It is our collective conscience.

Winning the New Civil War, Robert P. Dugan, Jr., p. 169

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