The new normal is yesterday’s abnormal: what was seen as bizarre, if not literally crazy, is now seen as normal. The converse is also true: those who still value the judiciously exercised role of shame, guilt and modesty are now seen as representative of the new abnormal.
The following examples are taken exclusively from news stories of May 9 and May 10:
• The president of the U.S. thinks it’s fine for two men to marry
• Homosexual and transgender characters—all positively portrayed—are proliferating on TV (by contrast, positively portrayed Catholic characters are almost nonexistent)
• There is a bill in California that would make it illegal for a trained psychologist to convert gays and lesbians
• New York’s top court said it is perfectly fine to view unlimited amounts of child pornography online
• The cover of Time magazine shows a young boy standing on a chair sucking his mother’s bare breast
• Tupperware parties run by suburban moms have been replaced by sex-toy parties featuring vibrators and lubricants
• A Nebraska mother has been arrested for charging men to have sex with her daughters, ages 7 and 14
Not all of these incidents are of equal moral weight, but put together they convey a powerful message: cultural ordinates are being obliterated. And when boundary lines disappear, the social fallout can be wicked.
Put differently, if it were our goal to create moral anarchy, we couldn’t have done a better job. There is a risk in pointing this out, but it’s worth being tagged the new abnormal.