Counsel for the Counselors

By Lee Duigon
January 04, 2004

An appearance on Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” Dr. Pinsky hit the nail right on the head. Speaking about a “sex museum” in Copenhagen, which host Bill O'Reilly described as “the hardest core stuff you've ever seen,” which was being giggled at by teens on a class trip, Dr. Pinsky said, “Well, I can't say whether it is right with a capital ‘R' .”

Bullseye, Dr. Pinsky! You just “can't say.” And that's precisely what the problem is.

Some of the experts can't say, and some of them won't. A 200-page book on sex education from the Rutgers University Network for Family Life Education does not once use the words “right” or “wrong.” Even in dealing with something as obvious as students cheating on tests or plagiarizing whole passages in their term papers, educators can't or won't say the behavior is “wrong.” (I have observed this personally.) It is as if the words themselves are taboo.

“You can't moralize to teenagers,” said Barbara Huberman, director of education and outreach, Advocates for Youth, Washington, D.C. “Europeans don't try to dictate to their young people, and neither should we.”

The experts' solutions to society's problems don't work because social problems are people problems, and people are spiritual and moral beings. This world's experts, chained to a materialist ideology, refuse to address their “patients'” spiritual dimensions. After all, they might offend an atheist, and the ACLU might sue them. And because their official posture is one of moral relativism, they can't address the moral dimension, either.

The sex educator can't tell teens that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong. The family law professor can't criticize anti-marriage social innovations on the grounds that they violate the Bible's spiritually transcendent definition of marriage. And as much as Dr. Pinsky might like to tell drug addicts that they need God in their lives, he can't bring himself to cross that threshold.

The experts deal with our problems as if we all inhabit a moral and spiritual vacuum. They may agree that their clients might not be able to direct their own footsteps, but they think they can do the directing for them.

The results make it obvious that they can't.

Maybe we ought to stop listening to the experts and go back to the Bible. Better still, maybe the experts themselves ought to get to know the Bible and the God who authored it. They want to help, they're already in position to help, and they would probably find it enormously gratifying to see their work resulting in a drastic decline in teenage pregnancies, a societal recommitment to marriage, and people getting off drugs that would otherwise kill them.

They would, of course, have to abandon their ideology. No more moral relativism. But if they did, they themselves would be the first to feel the benefits of being set free.

Instead of only trying to help people, they could begin to really help them.

Topics: Culture , Family & Marriage

Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine.Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at

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