Shame Needs to Make a Come Back

8

by Geoffrey G. Fisher

Today there is a crisis in our culture, a crisis that gets little attention but deserves serious scrutiny: THE LACK OF SHAME IN AMERICA.

As Merriam-Webster puts it, shame is a “Painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety…you know you have done something wrong and you have the ability to feel guilt, regret, or embarrassment.

How did we get here? One answer is the character development of the baby boomers who were spared from the hardships of the Great Depression and of World War II – they were pampered and indulged more than any other generation in U.S. history. The boomers also saw the disintegration of the family unit in the 1960s through divorce and the exodus of the modern woman from the home into the workforce. The result was a crack in the moral foundation of America and the beginning of moral relativism in our personal and our religious values.

The lack of shame became turbo charged twenty years ago in 1993 with the inauguration of the first baby boomer as president, namely, our 42nd president: William Jefferson Clinton.

WILLIAM CLINTON AND THE MONICA LEWISKY AFFAIR

The Clinton-Lewinsky Affair started four months into Lewinsky’s White House Internship on November 1995 (she was 22, the president was 49 and continued until March 1997. One month after the affair started she was put in a paid position in the White House Office. There was NO SHAME exhibited by Lewinsky or the president – she can be forgiven due to her youth and naiveté, he cannot.

By January 27, 1998 Paula Jones’ attorney, John Whitehead and Independent Prosecutor Kenneth Starr teamed up to build a case regarding Clinton’s history of sexually harassing women. Like a true Victorian woman wronged by her husband, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton lashed out at the public and said in a broadcast interview that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” is behind the charges against her husband. Given their time in Arkansas she knew better but had no shame either.

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