From Jim O'Brien
July 21, 2017

Hi Friend,

Believing Your Moral Convictions

The proclivity of human beings to willingly reject their own moral convictions in preference for group think is one of the most perplexing aspects of free men. Alexis de Tocqueville once described America as the nation with the most freedom of speech and the least freedom of thought. The unbridled race toward politically correct speech has made Tocqueville a prophet.

The WWII criminal trial of Adolph Eichmann shed light on the willingness of otherwise kind people to commit heinous crimes and excuse their actions by saying "I was only doing what I was told."

It was such a fascinating subject that Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram designed an experiment that has become legendary. He paid 40 volunteer subjects $4.50 to participate in an experiment where they were told to administer electric shocks to a "student" who answered questions incorrectly. Milgram rigged up an elaborate device that looked real. The subject believed he was administering real electric shocks to a victim seated on the other side of a curtain.

Milgram speculated that only about 3 percent of the subjects would actually comply with the commands of the experimenter to administer maximum shock to the student. Instead, in spite of moans, pleas from the students to stop, and screams of pain coming from the other side of the curtain, 65 percent continued to follow instructions. In some cases the subject continued administering shocks until it appeared the student had died.

Milgram concluded that there were several reasons for the extraordinarily high rate of compliance. One of the most intriguing was that Yale University sponsored the experiment. Surely Yale was morally superior to the individual and therefore would do nothing to harm a student.

The researchers concluded that most people place more confidence in an institution such as Yale than they do their own sense of what is right and wrong. It's an indication of the lack of conviction the average person places on such fundamental Christian concepts as life itself.

That thought came to mind when another politician again referred to Islam as a "religion of peace." His voice had the ring of an experimenter telling the subject to administer another electric shock. Don't believe the screams of the victims. We know what is right better than you. Our values are superior.

Once Jesus asked His followers, "When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8) One wonders what it will take to convince Americans that the ethics of Jesus Christ are superior to anyone else. The evidence is overwhelming that the teachings of Jesus have had a greater positive effect on mankind than any other religious teacher who has ever lived?

God never expected His followers to close their eyes to truth. He calls us to be a light for mankind. It isn't Christians who are blind.

America can conquer her enemies when the average citizen has enough faith in Jesus Christ to believe his own eyes and ears even when professors, politicians and pundits are blind.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien