The Meadville Tribune's recent Associated Press article "Inside Epstein network, layer upon layer to protect the boss" is very telling about the decline of American values and moral decay as spelled out in the case of U.S. v. Jeffrey Epstein.

Money is the root of all evil ... not really. Just turn to the local stories: "Police: Sex assaults occurred over nine years" by Mike Crowley; "Judge: Man competent to stand trial" by Keith Gushard. And the national story, "Jeffrey Epstein case shines a light on true abuse." They all pertain to sex crimes against underage children — only Epstein was using his vast fortune to buy the self-indulgence in illegal sinful distorted immoral pleasures involving the very young.

How wrong, how pathetic and how disgusting. Where have we gone wrong? Well, as a start, the Constitution and the Supreme Court's failure to follow precedent supporting Christian religious values in its elimination of prayers in the schools. Then there is the opening up of television, internet, etc., with programing splattered with adult sexual abusive conduct and immoral happenings. Of course, religious leaders, Boy Scout leaders, coaches, doctors and so forth have also failed in many publicized instances to exemplify moral goodness.

Where are we heading? Church attendance is on the decline. Some churches are being sold and some becoming wineries or restaurants. If the Bible was adhered to as hoped by our Founding Fathers, there may have been a better America today.

The Meadville Tribune does its part in providing its readers the opportunity to experience and understand moral goodness in its section every Saturday of the paper titled "Faith & Values." For example, July 13, "Let us pursue truth in love and respect affording each their God-given inherent dignity."

Hopefully the goodness and wholesomeness of newspapers like the Tribune occurs nationwide in providing a forum for the expression of goodness over evil.

HARRY A. FLANNERY

Conneaut Lake

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