"Things didnít used to be like this, what has happened to this planet?" How many times have you asked yourself this question as you read the pages of the newspaper or listened to the latest news broadcast about the violence, crime and lack of values permeating this society?

Cultural decay is rampant and no city or town in the world is immune to the myriad of social problems that arise in the wake of widespread violence, crime, abuse, illiteracy and immorality.

Our social decay is clearly reflected in statistics.

  • The average age for first-time porn site viewers has now dropped to 8 years old (Fox News). Source

  • Underage drinking amounted to 19.7 percent of the alcohol consumed in the year 1999. Source

  • 11.2% of 12-17 year-olds reported current use of illicit drugs in 2003. Source

  • A 10% increase in children living in single-parent homes leads typically to a 17% increase in juvenile crime. Source

  • One-half of all U.S. children will live in a one-parent house. (CNN, Dec. 10, 2004). Source

  • More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8. Source

  • There is a sexual assault every 2 1/2 minutes in America. Source

  • Violent Crime rose in '05, with murders up by 4.8%, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Source

  • Three-quarters of all employees have stolen from their employers at least once and some do so regularly. Source

  • U.S. prison population now exceeds 2 million with 1 in 142 US residents now in prison. Source

40% of all European union cities have been labeled
"Fairly Unsafe" or "Very Unsafe."
High school students admitting to cheating on exams.
  • Nearly 70% of prisoners released from prison are rearrested within 3 years. Source

  • 40,000 children under the age of five die each day from malnutrition and vaccine preventable disease. Source

  • In the last decade 1.5 million children have died in wars. Source

  • Sixty million people were killed in wars during the 20th Century. Source

  • The five major nuclear powers currently have more than 20,000 nuclear warheads in their arsenals. Source

  • As you read this, over 30 wars and conflicts rage around the world. Source

We can no longer afford the view that our social problems will lessen or go away if we throw enough money at them.

Thankfully there are many fine groups and individuals working earnestly to resolve these and other problems. These people and groups are truly special and are factually the ones that keep civilization from completely self destructing. We applaud their efforts.

But there is something basic that is wrong ó a true common denominator ó that causes such problems to exist, causes them to persist and causes such problems to keep recurring without a final resolution.

We are facing an ethics crisis in our world, from the highest levels of government, business and the media down through every echelon of society.

At the root of violence, crime and an unsafe environment is the lack of basic moral and ethical values. When the youth are not taught what is right and what is wrong (in a way that makes sense and that they can understand) then society becomes a dangerous place to live, work or play for all.