Well? When was the last time you actually saw someone express or show shame publicly?
It seems to me that Americans have lost their capacity for shame. Of course, some sub-cultures within America continue the practice of feeling/showing shame when called for. But (by and large) our culture no longer imposes, or evokes it from those who are discovered in a shameful act or condition.
And this is bad news for all of us!
Why? Because it reflects a growing lack of sensitivity to moral standards and propriety, and a disregard for dignity (the image of God in you and in others). And this, in turn is a terminal diagnosis for any culture.
Edward Marbury once said: “Sin carries two rods [punitive consequences] with it: shame and fear.” Without feeling shame, men and women can sin with impunity.
Now please note: I am not defending the abuse of shame. Some wrongly use a form of shame to manipulate a family’s public image (ie: “you can’t drop out of college – what would people think!”), or to suppress the truth (ie: “no one must learn about what you did…”). Such behavior robs shame of its role — of its usefulness in delineating moral norms and standards. Donald Carson has concluded, “We have been debilitated by the virus of indifferentism.”