Rahm Emanuel recently made statements regarding the gang violence in the city in which he serves as mayor. In those statements, he suggested to the gang members that they should “take your stuff away to the alley.” The New York Post quotes Emanuel as saying, “It’s not about the crime. It’s about values,” in response to the recent high-profile gang shooting of a 7-year-old girl killed in the crossfire as she sold candy outside her home.
For me, these statements are a classic example of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:22, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.”
They are criminals
First, Mr. Emanuel is addressing criminals. The very nature of a criminal is that he does not recognize the boundaries that God or society have put in place to maintain an orderly civilization. On what basis does he appeal to the gangs to change their behavior? If they recognized the authority of the police and the government, they would not be criminals and would not be killing people. To ask them to have values is almost as silly as asking my dog to become a bunny or a giraffe. Without a change in their hearts and minds to the point where they recognize a higher authority, no appeal to them will be effective.
Criminals do not share our values
Secondly, on what basis should the gang member value one life over another? Why should the gangster be concerned about the little girl? I’m agreement that he should be concerned about her, but considering that he shows no aversion to shooting people and selling drugs or whatever else his gang does, it does not seem likely that when the opportunity comes to strike at his enemy, rational evaluation will prevent him from pulling the trigger.
Society has contributed to the problem
Our country is becoming increasingly atheistic, to the point that anyone who dares teach transcendent values to children is considered dangerous or kooky. We teach kids in school that they are the product of random mutations. We teach them that the strong will outlive the weak and then we get upset when they put that philosophy into practice.
Similarly, we send the best and the brightest to Ivy League schools where they are taught that there are no objective moral standards. They are taught that morality cannot be legislated; they are free to live as they want with no restrictions. Yet when they become executives and live out this philosophy in the board room, we put them in jail for circumventing the financial regulations.
The party affiliation of Rahm Emanuel has nothing to do with this gaffe. The philosophy and the spirit of our age that he has knowingly or unknowingly ingested have everything to do with it. The idea that children should be free to choose their own belief system is now showing itself to be a delusion at best and a nightmare at worst. It is not a question of whether children will be indoctrinated; it is a question of what will be included in that indoctrination.
We are reaping what we have sown
We are reaping the fruit we planted when we threw off the moral categories on which the country was founded. The apple of freedom that looked so appealing when we first saw it has been found to be full of worms.