JANUARY 1995 – I went to a college football game recently. I used to go quite often but have not attended many games lately. One of the reasons I haven’t gone is that over the past few years it has been my luck to sit near some drunk whose foul mouth and behavior ruin the game for everyone. Who cares about giving $25 to spend three hours being offended by some drunk?
But this was a big game – Mississippi State and Ole Miss – and my daughter, son-in-law, and son wanted me to go. So my wife Lynda and I loaded up and went along. It will probably be the last one I will go to for a long, long time. You guessed it. One row up behind us were three drunks. For three hours we, and all those around us, were bombarded with the most profane, vulgar, senseless language and behavior imaginable.
I pondered what to do about the situation. I thought about speaking with the drunks and asking them to act decently. But I have never had any success with drunks whose intent is to be as profane as they can be. I must confess, and ask the Lord’s forgiveness, that I also thought about turning around and swinging as hard as I could with my fist hoping it would meet the mark. But I knew that was not the answer.
When the drunks got into a near fight with another man sitting next to Lynda, I was wondering what the papers would say the next day should a fight break out. The man explained to the drunks that his first-grade grandson was sitting with him and asked them to tone it down. I knew that I was not going to let the grandfather who was trying to reason with three drunks fight them alone. I could already see the headlines: “AFA president involved in brawl at football game.” The media would have had a field day with that.
What did I do? I simply endured it. After a long period of thinking of all my options, I decided that was probably the best – to endure it. I did a lot of thinking while listening to the drunks. I thought about how much the morals in our society have declined. Having gone to many ball games as a kid, I did see some drunks, but I never witnessed the kind of behavior that is commonplace at games today.
I thought about how the movies have changed, the television programs have changed, and the music has changed. I thought about the increase in crime, the explosion of drug and alcohol use, the increase in the number of abortions, etc.
I also thought about how the blame for this decline must be shared by many. Among them are parents who don’t care. Bleeding-heart liberals who say that society is to blame. Politicians who are willing to give away billions of tax dollars in “social” programs just to get re-elected, programs that help sink people into more irresponsibility. A national media, both news and entertainment, dominated by people pushing a secular, liberal philosophy. An education system controlled by the National Education Association, which is far more interested in a political agenda than educating children.
And, yes – as much as I hate to say it – churches and individual Christians who have remained silent, who have withdrawn their voices from the public arena, or who (in the name of “rights” or “freedom”) have joined with those helping destroy the moral fabric of our nation.
Leaving the game, I felt dirty all over. But I left realizing anew just how important the work of AFA is and how far we have to go to restore a basic common decency in our society.
Like Solomon, I ask God for wisdom to know what to do … and the courage to do it.
Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. Thirty-one of his best columns are now available in a recently published collection titled Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon. These columns represent his timeless wisdom and insight and are now being published weekly on The Stand in celebration of AFA’s 40 years of ministry.
Click here or call 877-927-4917 to order your own copy of Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon.