We forget, those of us at middle age, that we grew up in a saner time. I'm in no way saying that the world I grew up in was perfect; however, it wasn't like it was today. For instance, the culture of free sex, abortion, pornography, only began to explode in the '70s. We have lived in it for over thirty years, but most of us have turned out okay. So we think our children will be fine, too. But they have never had a normal culture against which to balance this newer, sicker one. They have no references which point to the old, boring normality.
We assume that they know what we know, which is "this is not right!" But why would they know that? This is the only world they have ever known.
-Terry Polakvic, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Lecture Series
Of course, this statement provoked a well-meaning but naive audience member to claim Mrs. Polakvic was painting with too broad a brush. I thought the objection was reminiscent of those in a crisis who say "Problem? What problem?" Those of my parents' generation, like this doubter, often presume their mores were passed along relatively unaffected by the turmoils of the recent decades. They correctly claim that there were always wild kids. Yet they never even suspect that such adolescent dissolution now has very considerable cultural, economic and political forces promoting the moral haze of libertine sloth. They seem utterly oblivious to debauchery and violence, believing it safely confined to late night television.
With such nigh-ubiquitous polyannas, I have to say that I am grateful to Mrs. Polakvic for her realization that something momentous has indeed actually happened. The ability to state the obvious shouldn't be so uncommon.