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Letter to editor,

An interesting headline reads, “What’s wrong with Illinois?” (Mattoon Journal-Gazette, Monday, 8.30.10, p. A-3). It is a headline that asks a question about why we seem to be at a moral impasse within government. “Is there something about Illinois that encourages governors to go bad?” we are asked. This is followed with the lament, “Illinois voters put them [George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich] in office despite serious questions about their honesty.” Finally, in order to help the reputation of Illinois government to get out of the morass of corruption, we are told, laws are passed. It has been once said that laws made are only for the lawless.

It is interesting to take note of the word “honesty.” This word is associated with a moral standard, a moral standard that has an opposite – the notion of a lie. When one tells a lie, there is a recognition that such a thing as truth exists. Truth has as its foundation what? Is man the foundation or is God?

Is it much too simplistic to suggest that the ethical problem of man is that he lives by his own standard? It is not only not too simplistic, it is dead-on right! One’s ethical foundation has everything to do with the moral code that guides. This truism is more complex than you realize. People who live by the higher standard of God need not laws passed in order to prevent them from doing wrong, for they will live by the standard of doing what is right. Unfortunately, when one is in an environment where corruption pervades, something has to give. Doubly unfortunate, it is the rare person that can hold strong when they are many “corrupters” out there seeking to destroy, and when one does hold strong, he (she) is the targets of all things evil.

Is this approach naïve? Liberals, progressives, relativists, and atheists tell us it is, but look at the result of what their philosophy has produced for us. Please tell us, how the philosophies of those just mentioned produced a bountiful crop of virtuous people?