Behind the Badge

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Q. In the latter part of L.A. Justice, you outline the five root causes of the [Rodney King] riots. Can you describe these?

A. Sure I can. By the way, they're not original with me. I took them from the Book of Isaiah, which was written around 700 B.C.

The first root cause is the abandonment of our children. I don't think most parents would admit this, but some have chosen to gather material wealth over and above the interests of their children...

Number two is hedonism--pleasure at all costs. Look at who makes the most money in our culture: entertainers and sports figures. These are the people who make us feel good. When you add drugs and alcohol--and alcohol is a drug--you find a whole lot of people hung up on feeling good...

Number three is a loss of conscience. ...We are no longer ashamed of wicked behaviour. To the contrary, people boast about it on national TV, using talk shows to tell the world about their particular perversion. ...We're at the point now where people are no longer trying to conceal their shame.

Number four is neglecting principles. The way it's described in Isaiah is that some will call good evil and evil good, a complete reversal of right and wrong...

The last reason is arrogant elitism. We see that in political leaders who are not really interested in the people they're supposed to lead. ...Political decisions are made on the basis of expediency, not principle...

Q. What does L.A. Justice say to Christian families?

A.All the root problems I've described apply to Christian as well as non-Christian families...

I like the way my son put it ... he said, "Dad, it's like this," stretching his hands out flat in front of him. Then he put one about eight inches below the other and slowly moved both of them down toward his right leg.

"This is how it is with a lot of Christians," he told me. "Every day, we're keeping our eye on the guys in the world, and we figure as long as we're a cut above them we're okay. But guess what? They're going downhill, so if we keep our eyes on them, we're going to come down several notches too, as far as our morality is concerned. We have unwittingly taken a relative position of comparing ourselves with the rest of the world. And as long as we're a little better than they are, we think we're okay--but we're really not," said my son.

...We need a plumb line to let us know when we're wrong, or else we'll slip into the behaviour of the rest of our culture and not even be cognizant of it.


Extracts from "Behind the Badge" by Mike Yorkey & Sandra P. Aldrich - Focus on the Family, February 1993, p. 2-4.

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