"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
We hear it often: Christian values are to blame for most of the problems in society. Marriage is ridiculed as "just a piece of paper". Strongly held convictions of right and wrong are said to be to blame for arguments, fights and wars. And by all means, we must free ourselves from old fashioned attitudes about sex and marriage.
Scientific support for these "liberated" values goes back to 1928 when Margaret Mead spent nine months in Samoa, then wrote a book. In it she said that Samoans live a happy, carefree life. Not only is crime virtually unheard of but even young people pass through their teen years without becoming rebellious. Mead, writing as an anthropologist, said this was because Samoans practice complete sexual freedom and avoid having strong convictions about religious and philosophical matters. For more than 50 years, Mead's writings have been cited as scientific support for anti Christian values.
But now an anthropologist who has spent many years in Samoa has come forward with a book that says things in Samoa are almost exactly the opposite of what Mead reported. The Samoans themselves asked him to correct the record because almost nothing Mead wrote about their values was accurate. Samoans are very puritanical about sex, and parents are strict with their children and competitive with each other.
How foolish humans are to think they can invent better moral values that produce more happiness than those values their Creator gave them. And what a shame that so many have based their lives on a lie because they wanted to believe that "nature" made them.
Notes: Rensberger, Boyce. 1983. Margaret Mead. Science 83, April. p. 28.
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