Moral leadership: The role of moral teaching in a democracy

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  • cdmom Provo, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 7:21 a.m.

    According to the Utah State Legislature, as of May 2011 we no longer live in a "democracy" or a "republic". We live in a "Compound Constitutional Republic"(HB 220,2011). How can we expect our children to learn the "correct" type of government if the adults in the state are not going to use the "correct" term?

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 2:46 p.m.


    President Clinton has not been in office since 1/2001.

    Everyday re-Pubs disparage President Clinton just adds another day for the Democratic Party to do the same to President Bush.

    What goes around comes around.

  • Are You Kidding? Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    I was disappointed in "Moral Leadership" published on August 28, 2011. First, we are a Republic not a Democracy. Please learn the difference. Second, don't raise the moral flag of Martin Luther King so high. He was known to have constant extra-marital affairs and even referred to them as "a form of anxiety reduction" ("Bearing the Cross" by David Garrow and writings by Ralph Abernathy along with many other sources.) A great civil rights leader and champion of the oppressed, yes. But don't make him out to be a saint. He wasn't. When talking about civil rights giants, don't forget to add the names, Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson, Nat King Cole Jr., Dianna Ross and the Supremes, etc. Bill Cosby especially entered the living rooms of the "white" society and made them laugh. He became, along with many other entertainers, the softener of integration that many hardcore racists in this country needed to allow them to accept a new level of equalization that had not been a part of their past for generations. Equality was inspired by God and weakened by the persuasions of Satan. May God Bless America and all of us too, we need it.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Rifleman said:
    We took our cue on moral leadership from Bill Clinton. He assured us that what he did in the privacy of the Oval Office was none of our business.

    I'm guessing you forgot about Reagans moral compass?
    President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo.
    Drugs sold on the street of America to fund a secret war.

    Once again morality is relative, one lied about sex, oh the horror, and others lie about wars and drugs and death.
    I tend to lean towards death being more immoral than sex, but I see it all relative.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 29, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    ShaunMcC, You infer that the most important thing a society/nation can do is produce wealth and any thing government does that impedes that is wrong. Yet the founding document of our freedom states as a goal the pursuit, of life, liberty, and happiness. Nothing there about wealth. Wealth certainly enables life, liberty, and happiness, but is only a tool not a goal or end.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2011 7:17 a.m.

    Re: one old man | 5:17 a.m. Aug. 28, 2011

    We took our cue on moral leadership from Bill Clinton. He assured us that what he did in the privacy of the Oval Office was none of our business.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 7:03 a.m.

    Honestly, I fear religious people who believe that their "morals" are the only "morals". Morality is relative. Relative to culture, region, etc.

    Morals do not derive from religion. Religion isn't the fount of morality.

    For a change I'm going to agree with pragmatistferlife.

  • Theinvisibleman Horsham, W Sussex
    Aug. 29, 2011 12:21 a.m.

    When the state interferes it is accused of being a Nanny-state, when it does not, it is accused of inaction, not caring and failing in its duty. What we really lack is any moral compass amongst the mischievous media who seem to report without any regard to what affect their slant on the truth will have. The chances of the media actually doing something about this is as likely as turkeys voting for Christmas. The truth is that we all have a part to play in bringing back firm standards to society, religion based or not.

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    @Utah Blue... Government, when fulfilling its appropriate functions is both affordable and effective. When it grows out of control and tries to take control of things it was never intended to do (consuming 24% of the Gross National Product while it does it) it becomes an impediment to freedom and liberty, destructive of the economy and a drag on its growth, and extremely unaffordable and ineffective. It has become part of the problem.

  • B Logan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:31 p.m.


    I understand that every kid isn't going to be raised by a mother and a father. And I am not saying that kids who don't have a mother and father aren't loved. However, it is hard enough to raise kids with two parents in the home. It is near impossible to give the kid everything he/she needs with only one parent. Too many men in this country shirk their duties and too many women allow them to get away with it. The country would be better off if it's men did their part in raising kids.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 28, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    Truth - what in the heck are you talking about. Have you even been to Iceland, Great Britton or Spain? By your comments, the nearest you have been is on your local conservative blogosphere.

    The rhetoric about hating the achiever is unexplainable. How Dr. Kings words are twisted to infer he, or anyone else hates the achiever is beyond comprehension. What it more sounds like are those who are so self focused that their primary concern is themselves only. What is destroying this country is this rampant selfishness of thinking doing or sacrificing for your community or country is somehow a breach of your personal freedom. Freedom was never won by the individual, but by those who were willing to sacrifice for their country, for their brothers and sisters whose names they don't even know.

    This is the generation of me, I and what is in it for me.

    " I hope everyone is listening - especially those who think government is the answer instead of being part of the problem."

    Without government, over 50 percent of this country would not have the right to vote or attend school. Left to their own devices, previous generation treated each other really poorly.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    "social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement."

    This is the very definition of the NEO-liberalism/socialism that has been sweeping the globe,

    and which the left has been trying to transforms us into here for over a century, under various names like progressivism, liberalism, the black theology that Obama learned as his church for over 20 years,

    Hate the achiever, take from those that work, nanny state dependent people, government/public entitlements, union thuggery, indoctrination of chidren, and so forth,

    without any morals, without any work.

    Iceland, greece, spain, great britain,

    it has breed great contention, and economic distress whereever it is installed. It is a failure that needs a police state to keep the people oppressed and controlled.

    As our founding fathers noted, you need representative republic that recognizes rights, liberty, life, comes from God, and a religous moral people for it to succeed.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 28, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    B, I would agree with your second post, at so far as it says we should govern ourselves. I'm all for personal responsibility, in fact no system works without it..yes including our own welfare state. But, the hyperbolic rehtoric of some well known posters here, that everyone on the left is lazy and wants everything for nothing is pure trash.

    Your first post however is exactly the kind of "moralizing", that makes me cringe. There's no getting around every child needs a mom and a dad..pure nonsense. Part of life is randomness, and cruelty. Not every kid is going to have a Mom and a Dad for any number of reasons..and they are going to do just fine. What's not ideal is when a kid is raised without love, comfort, or support..and guess what some kids even overcome this. Love, comfort, and support come in all kinds of packages, always have and always will.

  • slgs5aggie Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    The need for a higher level of moral thought and action is indeed high in our society. Moral leadership is something that each family, neighborhood, city, etc. needs. To combine that with Dr. King, however is rather strange. For how great he was as a leader, and a man who fought for change, he too, like over 50% of men in our country was an adulterer. How is that moral leadership? Many men do great things, but it takes a bit more to be a great man.

  • B Logan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 1:21 p.m.


    The best definition I know of for government is a line from America The Beautiful: "Confirm thy soul in self-control; thy liberty in law."

    Of course we need government. But we ARE (theoretically) the government. A government for, of, and by the people. We ought to govern ourselves first and delegate that which we cannot do individually. That ought to be the goal, shouldn't it?

    How much better would this nation be if people governed themselves morally and financially?

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    If we, as parents, were to teach our children about morality, the first lessons should be "do unto others as you would others do until you" and "love thy neighbor as thyself". Today everything is all about ME, ME, ME!! If we were to try to do away with pride, selfishness and envy in our lives, morality and peace would stand a chance of survival.

  • B Logan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    Being moral is politically incorrect. That's the problem. There is a new movie called 'Mars Needs Moms.' They should make one called 'Earth Needs Dads.' There is no getting around the fact that kids need a Mom AND a Dad.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 28, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    I shudder when I see someone promoting the idea of "morality", and "What in Tucket?" is the perfect example. "Government and dpendency on government is not good for a nation". Government is not good for a nation..what we should have anarchy? Morality is simply a catch phrase for what I think is right, and then it's touted out like a given.

    Talk about specific behaviors such as personal responsbility, charity, specific sexual behaviors etc. fine, but "morality" ugh..makes me shudder.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    I see socialism as a cause of immorality. Government and dependency on government is not good for a nation.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    Some seem to think that we are proposing a return to religious values as a cure when clearly history has shown than many religious leaders have been morally corrupt. It is not individuals who profess to be righteous that we advocate worshiping, it is ideals and principals that encourage and promote harmony, good will and self control. Religion, in spite of all of the flaws demonstrated by imperfect people, has a very good track record overall for promoting strong families and thus societies. But there are other also other institutions which are also productive - when allowed to function according to their creeds: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, just to name a few.

    We would do best to stop spitting out hatred against institutions which we personally have been offended by and look to embrace programs, creeds and organization which lead to better values, higher regard for each other, personal responsibility and stronger character individually and collectively. There are bound to be flaws and problems in anything that people are connected with, but we work through that as well, and somehow come out better as a result.

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    Whose "morals" do we decide are to be trusted though? MLK was an incredible human being who saw through race and socio-economic level. Sadly though there were other people during MLK's life who taught that good morals are to keep races separate and not mix with others. Time has shown us who had the correct morals. But during the 50's and 60's there was much debate about who actually had the correct morals at the time. Today is no different- there is opposition on which morals are correct or not. So whose morals do we trust?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 28, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    Yes, I agree with this.

    Somethings are obviously dumb. Somethings are also dumb in the long term although there may be perceived shortterm benefits.

    In foreign policy there is this view called Realpolitic which says that the world is too dangerous of a place to permit morality to determine our foreign policy. Our national interest is more important than our morality.

    Based on realpolitic we overthrow a democratic government in Iran in the 1950's because we felt that Iran being led by the Shah of Iran would help Iran be a buffer to keep the Soviet Union out of the Arabian gulf.

    Looking back on that now, this not only immoral it was incredibly short-sighted. Morality would have kept us from making a huge mistake. But at the time it seemed like a good idea to those involved.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    "In the wake of Britain's recent and unprecedented rioting, Prime Minister David Cameron spoke forcefully about the need to stem society's moral decline."

    I'm sorry, but this kind of hyperbole is just strange. I suppose to not know English history is forgivable for Americans, but to to think this sort of thing has not happened at all is just silly.

    Two quick examples:

    The Peasant's Revolt of 1381, ending with the beheading of the Arch Bishop of Canterbury over a poll tax levied on the people at his suggestion.

    More surprisingly and strangely, Charles II tried closing the coffee houses of England in 1675 out of fear of the spread of liberal ideas. So many people revolted, including Whigs and Tories,the "Proclamation for the Suppression of Coffee Houses" only lasted 11 days.

    * * *

    My point is editors should know better that to exaggerate the facts in order to establish their premise.

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    Mr. Cameron described the problem and tried to describe a solution, but what was reported could be construed as "moralizing". Lord Sacks in two editorials (one appearing yesterday) did an admirable job of of not only diagnosing the root causes of lawlessness and crimes of opportunity, but explaining how we got here and how we can (and have in the past) recovered our sense of society, civilization and morality. It is in those positive values that the negative slope we are on can be brought back into balance and the lives of all of us can begin again to encompass hope, confidence and a vision of a better future. He accurately and persuasively shows how religion and other creeds that encourage thoughtful responsibility, morality, family and citizenship are the things that can rescue us from the debilitating and destructive directions their opposites have created over the last 50 years. Bravo, Lord Sacks. I hope everyone is listening - especially those who think government is the answer instead of being part of the problem.

  • Florien Wineriter Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    Thanks for such a strong statement of the need for moral individuals if we are to establish a truly moral society.

  • Larry Willard, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:34 a.m.

    A Moral decline? Quite clear the way we are doing things are eroding the Moral ideas. We are going backwards as the way things are going.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 5:17 a.m.

    Perhaps the REAL problem is that we seem to have no moral leadership in government, industry, entertainment, sports, or virtually any other aspect of our modern lives.

    One need look no farther than the Utah legislature, Congress, Hollywood, our corporations and banks to see the real problem. Even many religions are failing to provide clear leadership.

    Fear and greed are the ruling passions of our day.