What a sad and heart stirring story in your 12-17-12 editorial.
I do agree that the underlying illness is the erosion of our society. You are right that a solid character is no longer a given because we have taken the character building God out of our society.
No more mentioning of Jesus, no more manger scenes, no more praying in public, ten commandments out of the public sphere, oddly one of them says: Thou shall not kill But, God forbid somebody might obey them. The god of this world is alive and well. It's just like a computer now: garbage in, garbage out. All we have to do is look at TV shows now. Small steps, one at a time and we will end up as a godless people. That's how the Nazis did it, the Soviets and all others. As long as we worship what God has created rather than the Creator himself, we are going down, down, down.
Character out, noble out, goodness out, kindness out, honor out. Whatever made this country great is out ! But this is only the beginning. Wait for the collapse in living color.