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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 6, 1970)
or better or worse
by TOM WIESE "
. There has been a lot of talk today about a "New Morality"
which is said to have descended upon our nation like a swarm
of locusts. One major aspect of the "New Morality" is said
to be free love, or in other words an increase in the occurence
of pre-marital sex.
My question is "Does this 'New Morality' really exist,"
and if it does, how is it different from morality of old?
If you are interested in a thorough and historically based
discussion of this subject, I suggest that you talk with Alan
Pickering, past director of the United Ministries for Higher
Education. The following comments are in part based upon
his explanations of morality and its relevance to modern life.
DR. PICKERING defines morality as the way things really
are, not the way society thinks they ought to be. The logical
question which follows is are things different now than they
have been since man first grouped into societies?
The answer, in a moral sense, is no. Judgments of morality
are still made on the same basic standard that has been .
employed for centuries; that is what is moral is that which
will cause the least cost to the least number of people.
, THE EXAMPLE of a supposed change in morality in our
times was cited as growth in practice of pre-marital sex.
The fact of the matter is that there has been only a minimal
increase in the occurance of pre-marital sex in the last several
centuries (or at least as far back as information was available).
It may surprise many that the greatest upsurge in this
practice is not happening now. The largest shift in numbers
was around the year 1920 (the advent of the automobile).
CLOSELY-RELATED to any changes that occur in the popular
morality of the times is the concept of social costs. If it
will cost an individual a good deal of social embarrasment
and ridicule, chances are. that there will be relatively little
participation in the activity.
For pre-marital sex, there is a substantially greater
possibility of social sanction today than ever before.
With the expanded use and availability of birth control
devices, and with a more open approach to sex by the public,
the degradation and social costs to the individual have less
chance of materializing. One can see the changed attitudes
of society by the relatively lax enforcement of existing laws
in this area, and by the move towards more liberalized laws
of abortion and divorce.
THE INSTITUTION of marriage has long been held to
be a commitment "for better or worse." Men and women
face the problem of selecting a compatible mate for the rest
of their lives, regardless. To help avoid the mistakes which
undoubtedly occur in such a selection, careful preparation is
MANY CASES point to the fact that if the couple approaches
a premarital relationship prior to marriage with the proper
attitude, a much closer and less superficial understanding can
be achieved between the two people, not only in the sexual
sense, but in other aspects of the relationship as well.
This is not to say that pre-marital sex Is necessary or
even right. What is right for one person or one couple may
not be right for another. What is necessary though is a thorough
examination of each individual's attitudes towards the marriage
situation, and until this is done, serious thought of living for
and with the other person for a lifetime is most difficult.
THE "NEW MORALITY" of today is not so new as It
Is timely. It is a product of the day in which we live, and
if you really stop and think about it, it isn't so different
from the morality of any other age. The difference is primarily
in how society views this morality, and more important, how
the individual views it.
IN BIS ARTICLE, "Sup
pository", Dan Ladely vented
his feelings about several dif
ferent things at once. He was
talking about the situation of
the American Indian, the
University as a reservation, the
University administration, the
government, and the Church as
it relates to individuals and the
While it Is difficult to know
exactly which issue Mr. Ladely
is the most concerned about, it
is his ideas about the Church
and religious faith to which I
IT IS VERY popular to
criticize the institutional
church today and God himself
knows there are some miscar
riages of religious faith going
on there. That cannot be denied
or apologized for. The curious
thing is that Mr. Ladely makes
a subtle shift from the institu
tional church to religious faith
Itself and then straps it all with
one of the most popular but
erroneous concepts around to
day. It is true that some
"missionaries" have been most
excited about pronouncing
' judgment in order to create a
climate of need for their pro
duct. The "missionary" In
Hawaii is a tremendous exam
ple of playing on people's
Some missionaries have seen
the task of getting Western
clothes on people as
FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 1970
synonomous with conversion to
Christianity. But these prac
tices are in error and even
most of the institutional
religious people know it. It
would be unfortunate to label
the whole church with Mr.
OTHER THINGS have been
done with equal vigor in the
name of Christ people have
been called to their highest,
Individual fulfillment as
persons; hospitals and schools
have saved lives and minds;
correction of social ills has
been given energy; and persons
have been helped to a realistic
understanding of themselves.
The support and encourage
ment of a faith in the very
source of being has been
adopted in free will by great
numbers of people. And even
women's liberation was begun
by Jesus (he was concerned
about the worth of every
While I do not believe that all
problems are somehow
automatically solved by saying
you "believe in Jesus," it is my
conviction that a real faith in
the hope that Jesus' resurrec
tion reveals and adherence to
the spirit of his teaching as a
guide to behavior are more
freeing than oppressive.
THE DISCIPLINE of con
tinual awareness to the needs
of others and the honest ap
praisal of one's self may very
well be more an indication of
strength than of weakness.
fo. n .v.
"Let 'em fine us for polluting. We'll make it up In prices.
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