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Defining Deviancy Down

Christian Research Institute letter, December 6, 1993

Defining Deviancy Down

U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan recently published a disturbing essay entitled "Defining Deviancy Down." In the Nov 22 issue of The New Republic, Commentator Charles Krauthammer writes that "Moynihan's powerful point is that with the moral deregulation of the 1960s, we have had an explosion of deviancy in family life, criminal behavior and public displays of psychosis. And we have dealt with it in the only way possible: by redefining deviancy down so as to explain away and make &ls;normal' what a more civilized, ordered and healthy society long ago would have labeled&md;and long ago did label&md;deviant."