Old Year, New Year: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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49 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    This might be my favorite article from you, Duane. Well said.

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, I agree with you – we should have decency and a moral compass – even I try.
    But you said we need to regain this decency and moral compass. When did we ever have those?
    You quote RFK 50years ago showing that we lacked such. Everything he listed was a culmination of the previous 50 years as they too lacked decency and a moral compass.
    Before that we had the robber barons, the roaring 20s and the gangster era.
    Earlier we had slavery and civil war.

    Perhaps instead of trying to reclaim something we never had, we need to establish, for the very first time decency and a moral compass.

  3. Duane Arnold says:

    It won’t be for the first time. There was a time of decency in public discourse. When Joseph McCarty was censured, decency prevailed. When the morality of public policy decisions was considered of importance, such as in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, decency prevailed. When the Voting Rights Act was passed and enforced, decency prevailed. When Little Rock High School was desegregated, decency prevailed. When James Meredith was admitted to the University of Mississippi, decency prevailed. The list is long…

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, my apologies – I did not catch on that you were writing about forced legislated “decency”

  5. prodinov says:

    Duane, “moral compass” – your understanding is well received. I remember so much of the Jesus Movement days of John Michael. I can only imagine (and not the play on the song….) how the two of you were visiting Mother Teresa. My wife whom is 41 and of another culture (communist country that pretends to be open society), was not aware of this unique Christian serving the poor. She immediately looked for more information and was amazed of the how one could serve others, one by one. Thx for the read.

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    It is not the legislation, it is the sense of decency that stands behind what is done… What stands behind Brown v. The Board of Education which overturned “separate but equal”? What stands behind the Peace Corps or Vista? What stood behind Lincoln’s second inaugural address? I think it was a sense of common decency, in many cases, without regard to the political/societal costs. These speak to “the better angels” of our nature…

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    prodinov

    John Michael, at the time, was a fairly new Roman Catholic. On the day, he sang, “Holy Is His Name”. Mother Teresa loved it! Afterwards, she gave both of us a hug!

  8. richard says:

    although you lament the lack of a moral compass and decency, others may see the glass as half full and not half empty.

    all the items in the list below were accomplished by a greater decency and a greater moral compass;

    https://www.facebook.com/100001361688354/posts/2706266556095374/?d=n

    and perhaps most importantly of all, the day of our Lord’s return grows closer and not farther.

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    Decency existed when we had a higher level of social agreement. Decency is gone and has been gone for a while. Gun violence in schools and other public places is a symptom of a nation with no internal core or if you will no decency.

    An interesting convergence is coming. Security at churches will bring men by that I mean establishing security teams. That phenomenon may issue forth in mini militia teams. That would bring men who would come to say that churches will be safe places. Watch for this development to become very intense.

    Church might become a place for men to demonstrate an instinct that is bering killed off by a culture that is feminizing men faster than you sell dollar a gallon gas.

    I know my point is a deviation from the point but recovering decency will have to include restoring masculinity and restoring order.

    The desire for order is a frightening reflex.

  10. ShortPolock says:

    Wait…

    I thought that the neo-fascists are the left wing crazies…

    🤯

  11. ShortPolock says:

    Duane

    You will never recover and establish a Christian moral ethic. We are living in a time when you are more likely to be jailed, fined, or sued for adhering to even the tatters of biblical decency. What is decent now is the Equality Act, forced speech and tolerance.

    Jesus told us as much would happen, and he didn’t come to establish decency. Unfortunately for the Christian in this natural plane he came to make us set apart for him. We will not be called decent for that.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    “Decency existed when we had a higher level of social agreement. Decency is gone and has been gone for a while.”

    Living in such a society fills me with dread… (pun intended…)

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    SP

    “What is decent now is the Equality Act, forced speech and tolerance.”

    What I see is inequality, careless speech and intolerance…

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I still contend that an age of American decency is a myth. The fact that decency must be legislated speaks for itself.
    It seems odd to me that RFK campaign promises are held up as some proof of decency.
    RFK served as counsel to Joe McCarthy’s committees that ravaged and terrorized innocent folks accused of being commies. As Attorney General, he personally had J Edgar Hoover do all kinds of covert activities to demonize Martin Luther King and what can we say about his womanizing (much in the style of Bill Cosby) even sharing women with his brother.

    But aren’t we correcting all that today and returning to decency with the #me too movement, the “cancel culture” and hate speech legislation?

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    You might want to do some actual historical research, as you obviously know very little about this subject…

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, you can be a history denier if you wish.
    Each thing I mentioned about RFK is true and documented – most in my personal library.
    Do you care to state which is not true?
    Of course you won’t because it would show you to be a fraud. (I will say I am flabbergasted at your denials)

    Perhaps there was an feeling of decency because the press and associates covered up and didn’t speak of these things.

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    Actually, you are incorrect on a number of points.

    I am not claiming that RFK was a saint. His words concerning decency, however, continue to ring true.
    Others may find your curmudgeon routine entertaining, I simply find it tedious and, in the main, unworthy of response apart to say, it makes sense that you of all people seem to find decency something not to be valued.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Now this is where you continue to LIE about my position (which I find indecent)
    Go back and read the first sentence of my first comment yesterday. I highly value decency and said such.

    So when you take the time to reread my comment, please come back and apologize – which you probably won’t.

  19. Duane Arnold says:

    Yes, you said, ” I agree with you – we should have decency and a moral compass – even I try.” You then immediately qualified this by saying, “But you said we need to regain this decency and moral compass. When did we ever have those?”

    So far you have in one thread called me a liar and a fraud. Maybe you need to try harder…

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL – after all that you still did not have the decency to apologize for lying about my position even after confirming it.
    I guess advanced degrees affords you the privilege.
    Carry on in your myth driven world. I’m out.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Perhaps you didn’t read the last paragraph of my first comment where I called for the establishment of decency that we have never had.

  22. MM says:

    MLD

    “Perhaps there was an feeling of decency because the press and associates covered up and didn’t speak of these things.”

    Yes this is a part of being “decent.”

    The biblical rule is translated into English as “gossip.” Saying things, gossip, is often compared to murder. Why? Because one can’t fully take back or repent from the damage they do to others by the things said. The person murdered can never regain his life.

    The problem here is trying to define what “decency” is and what it should look like. Of course it is true that humans have always been indecent to one another, bringing hurt and evil on others. However, being a polite and decent society doesn’t mean these things don’t happen, rather it means how we participate and handle them.

    Yes it is well know about JFK and his skeletons, but in the day decency meant we treated him with respect and care.

    I guess I just don’t get why you have to put such a negative and possibly less than a “decent” spin on these things. If you need another word maybe we might call it “civility.”

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    I read all that you say… and find it less than compelling.

  24. MM says:

    MLD:

    “RFK served as counsel to Joe McCarthy’s committees that ravaged and terrorized innocent folks accused of being commies. As Attorney General, he personally had J Edgar Hoover do all kinds of covert activities to demonize Martin Luther King and what can we say about his womanizing (much in the style of Bill Cosby) even sharing women with his brother.”

    I believe you are confused about heart of the article.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    MM

    Many thanks, you’re correct…

  26. Em says:

    Moral compass, decency…. as i grew up those words were honored in the media, schools, movies, homes(?)… over my lifetime i have seen a shift to honoring such as hypocritical – you knew you and no one else could live the standards, so? Drop them. The point of having ideals, standards was misinterpreted and…. lost….. 😔
    Or so it seems from here….

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    I think you are right. Regardless of faults and failings, at least we had a sense of decency, or as MM said, civility. And, yes, those ideals were honored, if not always upheld. The only way we can do it now is one person at a time…

  28. Steve says:

    The word “decency” is much like the word “gay”. It just doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve,

    Perhaps, but we know in our hearts what decency looks like…

  30. Steve says:

    Duane, not really! You as well as I know that the heart is desperately wicked. But that’s another rabbit trail for another day or perhaps another year. Happy New Year!

  31. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    Happy New Year to you!
    “As water reflects the face,
    so one’s life reflects the heart.”

  32. Jean says:

    Steve, my friend. Christians don’t establish norms for their communities based on the wickedness of the heart. We know what decency is because we have God’s law, which reveals it. Perhaps you’ve heard:

    “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”

  33. bob1 says:

    Duane, you can be a history denier if you wish.

    Oh, the delicious irony! Love it!

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    Bob1

    I’ve been called many things… this one I’ll frame and hang on the wall…
    Happy New Year, Bob!

  35. Steve says:

    Jean, we are not really talking about decency in our Christian community but decency in the secular public. Mayor Pete may be a decent guy in the public stage but considering God’s law as a practicing homosexual, he is far from decent. Would you agree?

  36. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    As a friend, give it a rest…

  37. Jean says:

    Steve,

    Are you saying that Christians should act one way in their churches, but another way in the world?

  38. Em says:

    Steve, i don’t think the folk here hear you today…. 🙆

  39. Steve says:

    Duane, give what a rest?

  40. Steve says:

    Jean,. No that is not what I am saying. I am saying that I make no assumptions that are public leaders are Christians.

  41. bob1 says:

    Thanks, Dr. Duane! Happy New Year to you!

  42. Michael says:

    There’s more to decency than sexual preferences…

  43. Mayor Pete is the sanest, IMO, besides Gabbard, whom I could see myself voting for, converted Hindu or not. We’ve had many adulterous presidents. Many “Christian” presidents have done un-christian things. Sexual escapades either prompt you to vote, or they do not. Personally, I’m not attaching my identity to a politician, much less committing my hopes and fears.

  44. Steve says:

    Who knows. I may vote for mayor Pete if it came to that but I’ll be honest not sure our country is ready for the first man in the white House. I could be wrong. When Obama lit up the Whitehouse in rainbow colors to celebrate pride month, this was not a demonstration of decency in the traditional sense but I’m sure it was in the progressive sense. Just makes my point in the changing of definitions.

  45. Duane Arnold says:

    I believe the White House was lit with rainbow colors when the decision came down from SCOTUS regarding same sex marriage. I think traditional standards of decency are different from traditional standards of morality, although at times they intersect…

  46. Steve says:

    Duane,. You might be right. I was responding to Jeans definition of decency coming from God’s law. Regarding the SCOTUS, I think there is a argument to be made they acted indecently in usurping the legislative body in over turning centuries of tradition with gay marriage . But I’ll take your advice and put this topic to bed. Hopefully 2020 has some uplifting stories we can all latch onto as a nation and be more United.

  47. Despite all of our sins, the USA still retains a strong, dare I say, Christian ethic. I’ve heard it from both Indian and Vietnamese immigrants in my 28 year career of working in tech, and from my Mexican friends, that a most significant thing that they appreciate about the USA is its lack of endemic corruption. It’s not a “white” thing, but I think a Christian thing.

  48. Duane Arnold says:

    New Victor

    A good observation. I think we have some corruption in the body politic, but it seems to be “at the top” in terms of conflicts of interest, special dealing, etc. In most of the developing world, such corruption is, as you say, endemic throughout. I do think most of American society has retained a sense of “fair dealing”, which is to our credit.

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