Why There Are Millions Of The
Morally-Handicapped In Our Schools

By JAMES LIKOUDIS

Address to Convention of the National Congress for Educational Excellence (NCEE)



Who Are The Morally-Handicapped?

The topic of this address has been entitled "Why There Are Millions of the Morally-Handicapped in our Schools". Much has been heard concerning the mentally-handicapped and physically-handicapped in our society, and rightly so. Little has been said, however, concerning the "morally-handicapped" in our society — and especially in our schools. I refer to the "morally-handicapped" as those who are so precisely because they are the product of a false and perverted moral education that is now being provided in our schools.

By the morally-handicapped youth in our schools I wish to refer specifically to the millions of Youth in those schools who have been indoctrinated in moral individualism and ethical relativism — in other words, in the ethics of Situation Ethics, that is to say, that peculiar ethical system (popularized by 'Theologian' Dr. Joseph Fletcher) which totally privatizes morality and dissolves all morality into arbitrary opinion.

The morally-handicapped children and youth in our schools are those who betray both the intellectual and moral confusion of their academic mentors when they are heard saying:

  • "Well, it may be true for you, but not for me."
  • "It may be wrong for you, but I feel it's right for me."
  • "What's good for me doesn't mean it's good for you."
  • "Personally I can't accept it, but in your case I can see..."
  • "Who are you to impose your morality upon me?"
  • "I don't care who said what about it; that's just his opinion."
    (or with greater academic sophistication):
  • "Right and wrong, truth and falsehood are purely subjective and totally historically and culturally conditioned."
  • "There are no absolute moral norms — no absolutes."
  • "You are making a moral judgment on another person! Haven't you heard; 'Judge not, lest you be judged'?"

Thus, the morally-handicapped in our society - whether adults or youth - are those who have adopted or been influenced by the characteristic approach of Situation Ethics which - it must be understood - is the moral philosophy of the militant secular humanist in our culture.

Situation Ethics, A Godless Ethic

This Situationism, or Situation Ethics, is merely the expression in the moral order of an atheist existential philosophy which denies the existence of a Divine Creator who is omnipotent and all-loving and whose moral law (grasped at least minimally by the human intellect) commands certain human behavior and forbids other behavior.

Situation Ethics thus refuses to recognize the objective right order of the Moral Law of God as the ultimate norm of conduct to be applied to particular cases according to circumstances or the situation. For the advocates of Situation Ethics the ultimate norm of conduct is alleged to be "a certain intimate judgment and light of the mind in each individual". This judgment is not measured ultimately, is not to be measured, and is not measurable with regard to its objective correctness and truth, by any norm outside man and independent of his subjective persuasion, but is regarded as entirely sufficient unto itself. Moral judgment, therefore, is not based on any objective laws but on an internal individual light based on personal intuition of any situation in hand. This is the essence of the secularized godless ethic that has become so widespread today, has so weakened the influence of organized Christianity over souls, and has produced much of our present moral confusion. For the advocates of Situation Ethics have done exactly what the Founding Father of our country, George Washington, warned against in his Farewell Address:

"Beware of those who would separate morality from religion."

Here we uncover the dynamic for the moral anarchy underlying the loss of confidence and the loss of moral certainty that is so evident even among many Christians in our society - and this includes many parents, teachers, school board members, as well as young people who flounder terribly when confronted by key moral issues and speak as though they were relativists - as though there were no certain moral truths at all, and as though everything depended on the individual's point of view. They tell us much of the importance of self-fulfillment, of developing their potential, of "doing their own thing". As might be expected, Narcissism runs rampant among such liberated creatures - the inevitable consequence of introverted self-centeredness and self-deification.

For these devotees of Situation Ethics, moral decisions are not based on universal moral laws, for example, the Ten Commandments of God, but rather on the conditions or circumstances, real and concrete, in which personal conscience must act and according to which the individual conscience must weigh and decide. The decisions and judgments of conscience therefore cannot and must not be dominated by transcendent ideas, principles, or universal laws. This subjectivism in morality - so destructive of any kind of coherent public morality in society - has long been condemned by the Catholic Church (especially in the addresses of the great Pius XII) and other Christian adherents of traditional biblical morality; but this privatized, individualistic, and subjectivized morality is precisely the media morality now accepted as natural and normal and true by millions of Americans who, lemming-like, follow Phil Donahue and the other ideosophic gurus of the TV entertainment industry who have their counterparts teaching in our schools. These secular humanist "change agents" active in our schools have done irremediable damage to many of our youth in propagandizing what has been termed - "The New Morality " : namely, Situation Ethics' denial of the absolute character of all true moral norms. The basic truth is, of course, that fundamental moral values do not and cannot change (whatever the discrepancy between moral norms and actual behavior eagerly seized upon by activist psychologists and sociologists and pollsters). As a perceptive philosopher has pointed out:

Basic moral values, such as purity, justice, veracity, and piety, are the fixed stars in life. They are as changeless as God. They are eternal identities above man, judging each man and each generation as we move mysteriously through time. Thus to say that something may have been impure in times past but that this very thing today or in the future may be morally good is as nonsensical as saying that the number three may be even in the future and the number two odd. The same is true for morally good actions: it is simply nonsensical to say that charity may someday be morally evil.

... Actually, if something was ever really morally evil, it will always be morally evil. And if something was ever morally praiseworthy, it will always be so in the future. Progress in other fields has absolutely no bearing on moral good and evil. Thus, fornication was a sin in grandma's time - when it may have taken place in the barn. Today, what with all the progress, fornication often takes place in motels, and is charged on credit cards. Tomorrow, it may well take place on the moon. The accidentals no doubt have changed and always will change. But not the essentials. The fundamental permanence of moral values is not affected by the sociological deviations from moral norms. Good does not become evil and evil does not become good simply because human persons may choose to act and think differently. What ought-to-be remains the same, transcending human wills and human desires.

(Dr. William Marra of Fordham University)

Secularist Humanist Educators At Work

What is perturbing, perhaps, is that not more parents have grasped the link between the spread of Situation Ethics among the "intelligentsia" in the media, the social sciences, and government with what has been happening in the Brave New World of modern progressive education. The fact is that the moral relativism and moral anarchy of our time (especially affecting the highly sensitive domain of sexual behavior) lies at the roots of the social engineering and manipulation-syndrome now pandemic in so many of our schools. It is precisely this permissive ethic of moral individualism (that has lost the sense for objective reality and truth) that has sparked the tyranny of our educationist planners who seek to replace a fading public morality with instruments of coercion. Thus, the phenomenon we witness today: the widespread subjection of students to government-subsidized trainers, facilitators, counselors, and clinicians who use the dehumanizing techniques of "group dynamics" which, as one observer rightly noted, have their "roots in the laboratory studies of social psychologists".

Has it not, for example, become a normal feature of our time for parents to complain everywhere of HEW-funded Planned Parenthood spokesmen appearing in our public schools to preach their hedonist gospel of "a condom for the boys and the pill for the girls?" Do we not hear everywhere complaints concerning teachers and guidance counselors in our government schools making referrals for contraceptives and abortions? We have reached a situation where the verdict on modern education by such an astute observer as Malcolm Muggeridge is quite applicable to the HEW-NEA Planned Parenthood complex operating on the American scene:

"The corruption of our children is appalling: in our schools they see the crassest materialism preached, and marital fidelity and the family ridiculed."
Solzhenitsyn Denounces Spiritual Apostasy of West

In his remarkable Commencement Address delivered at Harvard University on June 8, 1978, the great Alexander Solzhenitsyn also decried the morally-debilitating apostasy of the West from its Judaeo-Christian spiritual heritage. He took the occasion to warn our American intelligentsia of their loss of nerve and frightful "state of psychological weakness" before the growing increase of totalitarian Communism. The moral decay of the West he blamed squarely on our ruling Liberal intelligentsia who had succumbed to a "boundless materialism" wherein "freedom from religion and religious responsibility" characterizes a "Humanism which has lost its Christian heritage". In the stirring accents of an ancient prophet, Solzhenitsyn thundered against the morally decadent consumerist society fostered by secular humanist philosophy:

All the celebrated technological achievements of progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the twentieth century's moral poverty.

...There is a disaster which is already very much with us. I am referring to the calamity of an autonomous, irreligious humanistic consciousness.

It has made man the measure of all things on earth - imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects. We are now paying for the mistakes which were not properly appraised at the beginning of the journey. On the way from the Renaissance to our days, we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity (God) which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility. We have placed too much hope in politics and social reform, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. It is trampled by Party hucksters in the East, by commercial ones in the West.

("A World Split Apart")

It is hardly surprising that Solzhenitsyn's stirring excoriation of our spiritually bankrupt modern-day Liberalism should lead to his abrupt disappearance from Media coverage. Nevertheless, the Nobel Prize winner's remarks on the "spiritual exhaustion" of the West remain of particular interest to all of our citizenry interested in what passes for Liberal Education today.

The Corruption of Liberal Education by Secular Humanist Programs And Agencies

We simply cannot ignore that the veritable collapse of discipline in many schools and families derives from a similar ignoring of the Judaeo-Christian moral code which once profoundly influenced all aspects of traditional public education in our nation. But, as has been previously pointed out, today the very concept of an Objective Morality has been destroyed in the minds of millions of Americans by precisely those programs of "Innovative Education" which were ostensibly designed to further social reform and to help young people "relate" to other persons in society and solve real social problems. I am referring to such innovative programs of education that have been foisted upon students, entire school districts, parents and taxpayers as: "Family Life" sex education program; Sidney Simon's "Values Clarification Strategies"; Lawrence Kohlberg's "Stages of Moral Development" theory, and other kinds of behavior modification programs (such as "MACOS" which even led to a Congressional Investigation some years ago). All these - and there are many others - have had the effect of liberating our youth from the traditional values of their parents, their churches, and their society.

It is important to stress that one powerful secular humanist organization, Planned Parenthood (with its recent Five Year Plan calling for the implementation of its permissive philosophy of sex in all the schools of the nation) bears much of the responsibility for the replacement of sound objective morals in our schools. It has been one of the prime advocates of the destructive "values-free" or "non-judgmental" morality favored by the proponents of Situation Ethics in our society. An examination of the Sex Education texts, audio-visual aids, and other instructional materials used in the public schools everywhere makes clear that the anti-God, anti-parental, anti-decency philosophy of Planned Parenthood permeates the sexual instruction in vogue today. We are in this appalling situation wherein both contemporary media an our schools vie with one another in deliberately fostering sexual permissiveness in our society - both doing so in the name of."education". Can we wonder any longer why Discipline (which was once understood as indispensable for the proper Character-Formation of youth) should suffer in families and schools?

Population Control Policy and Classroom Sex Education

The crass phenomenon of Classroom Sex Education in our public schools (and indeed where it has made inroads in our parochial schools) cannot be really understood in abstraction from Federal and state government population policies. Since the Nixon administration announced in 1968 that the highest priority of national policy was to reduce the size and to change the demographic character of the American citizenry, the Federal Government has launched a massive program of population control without precedent in history, spending an estimated $1 billion in the last decade to limit the number of children in U.S. society through a public policy favoring contraception, sterilization, and abortion. Many objectives have been sought by this policy. Some have considered it a method to further the eugenic progress of the American People (improving its genetic and ethnic quality); others have regarded it as the most effective means of reducing crime, racism, poverty and social conflicts; yet others have claimed it to be the best way of preserving the environment and increasing economic prosperity; still others have felt it to be the necessary instrument of a new and desirable Sexual Freedom; many have simply hoped that it would be an efficient means of reducing the escalating costs of the Welfare State. Although it is apparent that such a population policy has accomplished none of these goals, what is clear is that where it has been implemented via the Educational Process (through Classroom Sex Education and "Parenting" programs in our public schools), it has already created a widespread animosity toward children, has badly eroded the basic structure of the family, has compromised the fundamental constitutional guarantee of the right to life for major segments of the American populace, and has involved both Federal and state governments in the direct financial subsidization of Planned Parenthood's efforts to institutionalize contraception, sterilization, and abortion as part of the American Way of Life. This growing collaboration of our public schools with Population Control policy and Planned Parenthood's goal to popularize the Contraceptive Society is of direct significance to the Moral Discipline problem in our schools.

In a Contraceptive Society the right to marry and to have a family loses much of its traditional meaning. Men and women of a Contraceptive Society place little value on children, and accelerate the unfortunate trend to turn over the moral and intellectual formation of youth to the schools and the media. Family homes with ties of place or history no longer will interest a largely rootless and propertyless people, and what passes for love will more nearly resemble the selfish "self-interest" of economic individualism. In this milieu where the policy of government has been to condone permissive divorce, to promote childlessness, to preempt control of education, to favor large corporation over family businesses, and to replace the moral and religious norms of family custom with statutory regulations, - individual responsibility all but disappears and all Moral Discipline suffers.

Marriage, family, parental authority, and the moral climate in our schools (where effective Discipline should function to the moral growth of all persons involved) will not be aided by the adoption of more Classroom Sex Education or other Behavior Modification Programs turning our schools into laboratories, mental health clinics, and therapy centers, or by approaching the problems of the family as a rich opportunity for the aggrandizement of government agencies and Planned Parenthood abortion mills. What is needed is the drastic reform of existing government and education policy in such a manner that the family is encouraged to fulfill its intrinsic purposes, leaving the rest to the intelligence and ingenuity of a free people.

Agenda For Parents Seeking Restoration of Moral Discipline In Schools

Sound morality and education and discipline in our schools will only be restored when:

  1. — Government agencies withdraw from the field of population control which involves the public school sector in an unwarranted interference with the structure of the family;
  2. — School districts withdraw entirely from instituting Classroom Sex Education Programs-without-morality that are wreaking havoc with the traditional educational character of our public schools;
  3. — School districts end the Curriculum Sex Education Programs already in progress (as distinguished from ordinary Biology courses) that can be regarded as only a threat to the primacy of parental rights in education as well as an affront to the privacy, chastity and modesty of youth.

Needless to add, school officials in both public and parochial school education should be more attentive to the concern of ordinary Parents and their Parent groups rather than to those vested interest organizations that defend dirty textbooks, classroom sex instruction without any moral guidance, constant social engineering and tampering with the psyches of young children through manipulative behavioral and attitudinal modification programs, and the heady ideology of "Children's Liberation". Rank-and-file parent groups - not the PTA organizations with their public record of furthering the bureaucratization and governmentalization of education - know pretty well what has put the public schools into their present sorry state: federal funding and control, neglect of the basics, lack of moral discipline, innovative programs of behavioral and affective education given in a context of amorality, and radical teacher activism.

What all too many schools are doing now is helping to destroy the family and parental authority and the personal integrity of students by implementing a comprehensive national family population policy framed to promote the values of a Contraceptive-Abortion and Population Control Society that is homicidal toward the family. Classroom Sex Education by "Professionals" usurping the rights and responsibilities of parents is but part of the essentially inhumane process of extending the power of the State to every aspect of human relations. The consequence of this final bureaucratization of society is already being felt in the erosion of personal responsibility at all levels of society and in all sectors of society - and especially in the emergence of what has been termed the "Millions of Morally-handicapped" from our schools.



This Address by James Likoudis, then a national officer of Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) was delivered at the November 1980 Convention of the National Congress for Educational Excellence (NCEE) held in Boston, Massachusetts.
Published as an article in the "Social Justice Review" issue of March-April 1981