America is in a moral dilemma!
Over the past fifty years [a] tidal wave of negative values has eroded the shores of America … With each generation our moral values will continue to decline unless we start a movement against the tidal wave. This movement will not seem as powerfully dramatic as the overpowering … wave of immorality and wickedness, but it will heal our nation with the calm assurance of God’s blessings. This movement will begin like the ripples that arise in a lake when a small stone is thrown into it. As the stone hits the water, each succeeding ripple gets larger and larger until it covers the entire lake.
[Igniting the Moral Courage of America, Dean Kilmer, p. 7]
The Moral Courage Foundation is “throwing pebbles into the lake” by investing in the lives of young people who have consistently demonstrated Moral Courage. Only the Lord knows, and only time will tell, how far and wide the resulting ripples will reach. We believe the potential is enormous, and so we will continue throwing pebbles into the lake for as long as we possibly can. Please join us in this exciting endeavor!
The mission of the Moral Courage Foundation is to inspire young people to live up to the moral standards of the Bible, and to encourage young people to courageously promote those moral values in our society.
The Bible gives us unchanging teaching concerning right and wrong according to the Creator of the Universe. His foundation of absolute truth will never change, and it gives us the wisdom to make the right decisions concerning the direction of our lives.
[Igniting the Moral Courage of America, Dean Kilmer, p. 158]
The Moral Courage Foundation provides annual scholarships to college-bound high school seniors who have consistently demonstrated Moral Courage in their lives (as defined by the Foundation). This strategy seeks to reward those young people who are already making good decisions based on biblical morals, while at the same time providing tangible motivation for other young people to do the same.
We must build communities that support the development of good moral character. Once we teach respect and manners to our children, make sure they understand the difference between right and wrong, and model courage for them, it is imperative for us to increase the reinforcement they get in order to develop good character. Reinforcement must come from entire communities that are committed to the moral training of the next generation.
[Igniting the Moral Courage of America, Dean Kilmer, p. 43]
What is Moral Courage?
Morality begins with a respect for God and His will as expressed in the inspired writings of the Bible. The concept of Morality has its roots in the Ten Commandments, and is further developed through the writings of the New Testament. The Moral Courage Foundation is seeking young people who are committed to the pursuit of Morality in their personal lives. Specifically, we are looking for young people whose lives are characterized by the following traits and behaviors:
- Service to others
- Freedom from addictive behaviors
- Modest behavior
- A demonstrated relationship with God, including active involvement in a local church
(For further elaboration on Morality, you are encouraged to consult the following Bible passages: Exodus 20:1-17, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-23.)
In addition to a personal pursuit of Morality, it is also important to take an active role in promoting Morality and to demonstrate a willingness to take a public stand for those moral convictions when they come under attack, regardless of the outcome of taking such a stand.
Integrity … cannot become the norm in our nation’s people until good people become courageous people.
[Igniting the Moral Courage of America, Dean Kilmer, p. 8]
- 2008 Moral Courage Scholarship Finalists, by Paul O’Rear. ©2008 Moral Courage Foundation. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
- Ripples, by Richard Freeman (Flickr). Used in compliance with Creative Commons License. Used by permission. Image was cropped and resized.
- Definition of Morality, by Paul O’Rear. Used in compliance with Creative Commons CC0 License (Public Domain). Used by permission.
- Definition of Courage, by Paul O’Rear. Used in compliance with Creative Commons CC0 License (Public Domain). Used by permission.
When third-party images are used, image credit info is listed (often accompanied by a link to the image source) in order to comply with Copyright and/or Creative Commons License requirements. The Moral Courage Foundation is not responsible for content on any third-party site.