Mon, 07 Feb 2000

Morality at lowest level

Low morality and, for most, desperate confusion is a reflection of the society in which we now live. The number of young people committing suicide or escaping through narcotics seems to have increased lately. Crimes involving members of the same family are commonplace.

But how would we classify the case in Sukabumi, West Java, where a 16-year-old youth, called D., used a long knife to cut off the head of his mother, merely because he felt unfairly treated. It was not merely a cruel act. Even describing it as "barbaric" is not enough; perhaps "devilish" may come nearer to the truth.

If so, we may well ask if we have lost the battle against the devil or devils, men and women, which we were warned against early in religious history and which is constantly mentioned in prayers of almost every religion?

All right, we have become materialistic, greedy, selfish, cruel, even barbaric or animalistic in our minds, and not a bit of love or affection is left in our hearts for other species. But to intentionally kill your own mother? And to think that the perpetrator was a boy from a town called Cisaat, where religious education and its practice are the order of the day in a deeply rooted tradition.

I call on the whole nation to stop for a few minutes and think deeply and seriously about the tragic incident of a son killing his own mother, merely out of jealousy.

The violence and cruelty shown on television shows and on TV news coverage is partially to blame. But killing your own mother? May the Almighty forgive him (or does he deserve punishment?).

I blame in the first place the educators, the teachers, not so much in civil matters but in morality, in ethics, and above all in the true meaning of religion, the relationship between man and his creator and between man and man. Traditionally, religious teachings rarely penetrate the heart and are something more of the lips (is there something like lip-service to God? The devil would surely admit so).

I dare conclude that there is something wrong with our society as reflected in the behavior of its leaders and the general public, perhaps including myself.