Moral morals. Under this view, a statement

Moral subjectivism with its mantra of “what is true for
you might not be true for me” has taken root and enveloped all aspects of life:
entertainment, culture, law, education, and even religion. By moral
subjectivism, also known as subjective relativism, we mean the philosophical idea that proposes that moral
statements are made true or false by the attitudes and beliefs of
the observers (“Subjectivism”, 2017). In essence,
moral subjectivism allows its proponents to base judgments on their own
personal experiences and feelings. This has an intense impact on our conduct. This
philosophy stands opposed to Christianity that affirms there
are indeed moral absolutes and that whether individuals assert them
or not do not change their nature. Christians claim that
objective morality is defined by God as given in the Bible. Individuals
or culture cannot change or erase these morals. Under
this view, a statement such as “Murder is wrong” is similar to the statement “2
+ 2 = 4.”

Today moral subjectivism that is
insinuating itself into all spheres of society has made its way into the
American educational system, and this is where this paper will focus on.
Furthermore, we will narrow our research and attention to the area of public education
(K-12 and public colleges) in the United States and how it affects the evangelical
Christian community. This is of utmost importance for as Abraham Lincoln once observed
with alarming insight, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation is
the philosophy of government in the next” (Everson & Everson, 2005, p. 173).  The promotion of moral subjectivism in public schools in the United
States of America is a danger to evangelical Christians because it erodes
biblical values as can be observed in the increase in academic dishonesty, high
levels of promiscuous sex, and declining church attendance among the youth.

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To begin with, let us examine how the promotion of
moral subjectivism in public schools leads to academic dishonesty.  Subjectivism has been incorporated into the
educational curriculum and has had deep effects on education. Public schools
today train students to use their own feelings and ideas to determine morality (Beckwith & Koukl, 1998).  Children are guided to
critically question the values of their parents and seek their own set of
made-up values. According to Sommer (2006), “Values
clarification often places children into dilemma situations in which they must
make decisions between two wrong choices.” 
Students are assigned an exercise involving a feedback form,
role-playing, or class discussion and are told that there are no right-or-wrong
answers. Diverse situations are often made-up that make it appear that absolute
values are not viable. Bringing in the Bible, religion, or parents, is
discouraged. Sommer noted that “the pros and cons of drugs, homosexuality,
lesbianism, stealing, prostitution, lying, infanticide, euthanasia, and suicide
are likely to be discussed while nonjudgmental teachers carefully avoid
imposing their values.” Furthermore, the common core standards that are now
used in all American public schools are packed with relativistic principles (Pesta, 2016). So, in the end, through
moral subjectivism imbedded in the curriculum, students conclude it is all a
matter of opinion and personal preference. It is
logical and especially evident that the chief outcome of moral subjectivism is
the elimination of moral deterrents, leading to an increase in academic
dishonesty (among other things).

In recent years, the problem of academic dishonesty
has been growing in the whole   world (Williams, Nathanson, & Paulhus, 2010). According to Rutgers
professor Donald McCabe’s research in roughly
70,000 schools , “95% of high school students say they’ve cheated during
the course of their education, ranging from letting somebody copy their
homework to cheating on tests” (Oleck, 2008).
Studies show that students who exhibit subjective ideologies are significantly
more likely to cheat than students with absolutist ideologies. In one such
study, (Rai & Holyoak, 2013) examined whether
exposure to moral relativism would compromise moral behavior and found that participants
who were brought up to think relatively  were more likely to cheat, concluding that the
subjectivity of morality implied by relativism appears to compromise behavior. In the end, it matters what one believes and moral
subjectivism promoted in schools will continue to produce academic dishonesty.

We shall now turn our attention to
how moral subjectivism leads to high levels of promiscuous sex. By promiscuous
sex we mean the act of “having a lot of different sexual partners or sexual
relationships, or (of sexual habits) involving a lot of different partners” as
defined by Cambridge Dictionary (promiscuous, 2017). A great number of
people, especially teens and young adults, believe in the subjective idea of
‘if it feels good, do it’ and this has devastating effects when it manifests
itself in promiscuous sex as it can destroy emotionally, spiritually, and
physically with all the  deadly sexually
transmitted diseases going around. “Promiscuity is one example of a class
of high-risk behaviors,” says Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald, PhD, assistant professor
of psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University (Iliades, 2010). It is plainly
evident that we live in an over sexualized era and there is no escaping how sex
is everywhere. Sex sells
clothes, cosmetics, video games, books, cars, movies, and music. Media is saturated with sexual images and innuendos,
glamorizing sex and reinforcing the idea that sex is fun and should be
practiced at will. And if there was one place where parents, until recently, felt
that they could trust that their children would not be bombarded with sex was
the classroom, but not anymore.

Sommer (2006) states, “the morally
neutral teacher promotes ‘do-what-makes-you-feel-good,’ but use safe sex
methods by always using a condom when having sex.”  But it goes further than what teachers promote.
Now with the common core, there are set national sexuality standards from
kindergarten to grade 12 that every public school must meet. These standards
are shocking as the promote promiscuity in children. For example in middle
school, sexual topics such as masturbation, sexual fantasy, oral sex, and anal
sex are explored and discussed in class (McKenna, 2014) . Furthermore, these
sexual practices are equated with actions such as kissing, dancing, and
cuddling, making the students feel that signs of affection and deviant promiscuous
sex acts are all subjective and on the same level. Morally subjective teachers support
teen sex by teaching that children should choose their own values, making it easier for young Christians, like their non-believing
counterparts, to fall into temptation.  One study found that “80
percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they
have had sex – slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried
adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization” (Blake, 2011).

Another way in which moral subjectivism is leading
to an increase in promiscuous and immoral sex is through the LGBT agenda in
education. In accordance with the philosophy of subjectivism, under the guise
of tolerance, schools advocating LGBT ( lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender) lifestyles are considered acceptable and
even commend­able. Teachers across the USA are increasingly integrating LGBT
themes into lessons (King, 2013).More
and more public schools all over the United States promote LGBT lifestyles,
oftentimes through publically-funded school programs produced by groups such as
GLSEN (Heyer, 2015).
Books promoting homosexuality are being produced at ever increasing numbers and
made available to school libraries across the United States. One such book: My
Two Uncles, by Judith Vigna, talks about the girl Elly who has an uncle called
Ned and his gay friend called Uncle Phil. Another book promoting homosexuality
is Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite. School library journal points out, “It will be useful for children in similar situations
or for helping those from heterosexual families understand differences” (Journal). The message by many
of these books is that LGBT lifestyles are as nurturing as mainstream ones.
Overall, the promotion of LGBT lifestyles in education creates the notion that
sexuality is fluid and subjective.

Millions of teenagers and young adults are infected with
dangerous sexually transmitted diseases every year because of living out the
subjectivist philosophy in their lives. Studies show that promiscuity among
students leads to higher levels of sexual violence and an epidemic of sexually
transmitted diseases. According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), 20 million new
sexually transmitted infections occur in the United States each year and
roughly half of them are youth ages 15-24. Dating violence and sexual
violence are prevalent problems among adolescents and emerging adults. One in
five teenage girls reports being a victim of violence by her date (Dickinson, 2001). In a more recent
survey funded by National Institute of Justice, nearly 20 percent of teenagers
said they’d been victims of sexual abuse in their relationships (CRARY, 2014). The endorsement of
moral subjectivism in schools has been a disaster; a nation without values will
only regress. Sommer (2006) concludes, “One
wonders how many more ruined lives it will take to cause schools to change.”

Finally, we will now examine how moral
subjectivism leads to declining church attendance among the youth. The numbers
are frightening but not surprising considering the spiritual void we now living
in. Nearly three out of every five young Christians disconnect from their
churches after the age of 15 (Kinnaman, 2011). In another study, the Public Religion Research Institute (2016) found that “today,
one-quarter (25%) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this
group the single largest “religious group” in the U.S.” and 79% percent of
young adults age 18 to 29 who become religiously unaffiliated report making
this decision during their adolescent and teen years. There is no doubt that
our young people are attending less and even completely leaving the church. The
question we need to ask is why?

Christianity’s claim
of exclusivity as to truth and salvation makes it unpopular for practicing Christian youth to interact in a world flooded by moral
subjectivism and religious pluralism. The tolerance and acceptance of diverse
and immoral lifestyles young people learn from the media, friends, and public
schools is in total opposition of what Christianity teaches. Also, there is an erroneous
belief in today’s culture that there are many paths to God. But Jesus
Himself had said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to
the Father except by me” (John 14:6).

 Moral subjectivism endorsed in
colleges subjects Christians who speak about their faith (students and faculty)
to institutional punishment and public ridicule thus limiting their positive influence.
Faculty is far less likely to endorse
Evangelical Christians expressing their beliefs. One study found that only 6% of college professors said the Bible is “the
actual word of God”. 51% described it as “an ancient book of fables, legends,
history and moral precepts.” 75% believe religion does not belong in public
schools (Gross & Simons, 2017). In effect, there is
no balance of views in college; almost all voices heard today are
anti-Christian. So, in this restrictive and intolerant environment it is no
surprise that many young people lose their faith.

On the other side of the argument,
many Americans believe that the subjectivist ideology equates to better
education. They believe that the subjectivist ideology promotes child-centered
education and curriculum as well as the individual freedom of the learner. Some
believe that subjectivism leads to greater understanding of other cultures,
benefiting students in a globalized and multicultural world. Also,
subjectivists usually see moral absolutes as dangerous and to be shunned for
when they are adopted this usually means repression of those who do not share
them (Keddie, 2017).

In conclusion, American
Christian families should avoid sending their sons and daughters to schools
that promote the dangerous philosophy of moral subjectivism as it erodes
biblical values. As we have seen, the fruit of moral subjectivism are an increase in academic dishonesty, high
levels of promiscuous sex, and declining church attendance among the youth. Proponents
of moral subjectivism claim that Christianity with its objective morality is
narrow; they claim that those that oppose subjectivism are slaves. But this is
a false charge, as Pastor DeYoung (2014) affrims, “The only chains God wants us to wear are the chains of
righteousness—not the chains of hopeless subjectivism, not the shackles of
risk-free living, not the fetters of horoscope decision making–just the chains
befitting a bond servant of Christ Jesus. Die to self. Live for Christ. And
then do what you want, and go where you want, for God’s glory” (p.61).

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