By Fr. Lazar Arasu
Our post-modern society is sick to a great extent. Though not trying to be pessimistic with the society, we experience the following state of affairs in the society today.
Senseless and numerous abortions done illegally and thoughtlessly; unhealthy use of contraceptives that affect body and soul; epidemic promiscuity, pornography and sexual perversion; cohabitation and avoidance of marriage; rampant divorce and adultery; alcoholism and substance addictions; abuse of women and domestic violence; filth and coarseness in media; addiction to social media; the loss of a connection to nature and escape into virtual “reality”; environmental exploitation; rampant materialism and consumerism; the lost of the dignity of work; tribal differences; commercialized gluttony and bribery; the dysfunctional political and legal system.
It is not an exaggeration to mention that these vices as existing in the society. Some of these ills can be substantiated with statistics. What could be the cause of their rampant presence in the society? Among the causes, surely we can say that it is the loss of religiosity especially among men (to be precise, the male gender). Loss of religion can cause social stability, loss of values, loss of identity, and a kind of vacuum in the society and nation. Presence of few men in Churches is an indication of this condition.
Men in a patriarchical setting ought to make a significant contribution to the society. This is not a male chauvinistic reference in any way. The father figure is important in our society and in individual homes. They have an indispensible role to play in the family which cannot be substituted. Economic support, childrearing especially in imparting discipline, giving a sense of identity and security, and giving a hope for the future can be best done only by a father figure.
Loss of God and religion are caused by secularism, materialism and consumerism, which are interconnected. Religion is a voice of morality, principles, and integrity. Religion is the best teacher of this godly and humane values and virtues. They are enshrined in all religious traditions. That is why we still use Bible or Koran to make oath of truth and allegiance in courts and public offices.
If we are do not believe in the Book and in its content on which we are making oath we are pretenders and uncommitted people. It does not make sense what we are undertaking. There will be no truth in us. Morality in the society is built on the collective moral strength of individuals. If the individual person is not moral in belief and practice it is not possible for the society to be moral. Personal decay of the individual persons will surely lead to the decay of the society in general.
Though not down playing the role played by women and mothers in the society and family, men and fathers take precedence in setting the moral tone in the society and family. As he rules the family as the head and often as the bread winner his law will prevail in the nucleus family. The good example set by a father in the family will go long way to educate the children. When the families are principled surely the society will be decent, upright and honourable.
Now it is the task and responsibility of the social, cultural and especially the religious leaders to put in place various modes of teaching teenagers, young adults as well us grown up men to abide by accepted moral values, ideals of religions, social laws and regulations and revered customs of nations and tribes. It is also important for religious leaders to reach-out to them in a way appealing to their modern mind and sensibilities. Unless we do this, the society will continue to decay generation after generation.
Fr. Lazar Arasu SDB (Priest and School Administrator)