The Latin word mos means "the behavior, principles, or character expressed by a person."
Morals are the principles of an individual person that either restrict or permit certain behaviors.
A man or woman without morals (principles) will do as he or she prefers or pleases.
When a group of individuals in specific societies lack morals, then the cultural mores will reflect the individual preferences of people. The English word mores means "the customs, characteristics, or essential conduct of a community." The phrase "social norms" would be a synonym for mores.
American culture has changed its "social norms" during the past 40 years.
Prior to 1980, homosexual or lesbian sexual activity was outlawed by almost every state in the union. As recently as 1986, the United States Supreme Court upheld state sodomy laws. In Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the United States Supreme Court ruled that Georgia's law against sodomy, even if the sexual act of sodomy occurred in the privacy of one's home, was a just moral code for American society.
Michael Hardwick, the young man caught in the act of sodomy by the Georgia police officer, asserted to the Court that a law must have a rational basis for its existence and that there is none for the Georgia statute against sodomy except for "the public’s view that homosexuality is immoral and unacceptable." He asked that the court give him "Due Process" and protect him from the sodomy law that has no rational basis.
The Supreme Court disagreed with Michael Hardwick. In their 1986 ruling, the Supreme Court stated “The law…is constantly based on notions of morality, and if all laws representing essentially moral choices are to be invalidated under the Due Process Clause, the courts will be very busy indeed."
The Supreme Court basically told Michael Hardwick that the law he violated by performing the act of sodomy was a law based on "a notion of morality" that cannot be invalidated by one's personal preferences.
In other words, sodomy violated the moral code of Nature and Nature's God. Moral principles by definition come from a Source outside of one's individual preferences. The Supreme Court understood t
that the individual is obligated to submit to a moral principle from a Source higher than self.
My, how times have changed.
Forty years ago the American culture, courts, and churches all believed that God established the proper boundaries for human behavior, and all human beings stand obligated to live their lives in accordance with His commands.
It is now possible in the United States to call a man a woman and a woman a man. It is now possible in the United States for two men to marry or two women to marry. It is now possible in the United States to steal from others because you've been victimized by an oppressive moral code and deserve to take from those who've oppressed you.
The culture has changed because individuals are lost and the church is more interested in tickling listening ears than teaching living Truth.
The only thing that will save America is a revival - a true revival - of repentance toward God and away from self-absorption. It will require a Great Awakening in our society and a Great Revival in our churches.
I don't fault society for the crisis we are now facing in America.
I fault the churches. We've stopped teaching the Scriptures. We've stopped preparing our young people to answer the agnostics and atheists who believe in no moral code and mock those who do. We've paid more attention to our comforts at home than our commission to go into the world to make disciples of Christ in every nation.
God seems to be bringing down the tall tree called "proud" America. The good news is that the God of all the nations always brings hope after despair, restoration after destruction, exaltation after humbling.
The answer to the problem in America isn't politics.
The answer is returning to the principles of God's Word as the basis for our social norms.
And God can (and will) bring this about, but it will involve a great deal of pain before it occurs.