A friend of mine recently posted a comment on a Huffington Post article by Rachel Simmons. The article describes a heinous act at a homecoming dance where a 15 year old girl was gang raped by 10 or so guys while more than 20 others stood around watching, taping, texting and tweeting the event live. She writes,
Salon’s Broadsheet logged 276 hand-wringing words on Tuesday, wondering, “When did high school students become so unafraid, so violent?”
I commented on this statement, saying,
I’d say that high school students became so violent when adults started telling them that they were that way. Look at all the movies that glorify teenage sexuality. Hollywood and TV Land are basically telling students that if they’re not out partying it up and screwing all the girls in class, then they’re nerds and losers. Just look at shows like Beverly Hills 90210 for crying out loud. You can look farther back at shows like the original 90210 or Dawson’s Creek, or keep going back. We keep shouting at teens that they are sexual creatures and to revel in it while they are young!
What is wrong with us? The God of the ancient Hebrews used to continually warn his people to stay away from the worship of other gods, mentioning how these other gods demanded their children and how YHVH does not. We sacrifice our children to Mammon daily as we produce consumable media for them that glorifies their budding sexuality. The money trucks just keep on backing up to the doors of producers who lay aside their moral responsibility and produce whatever sells, maximizing profit on the most vulnerable prey. Parents continue to abandon their children for their jobs, hobbies and adventures and lay their children in the wake of such destructive media instead of engaging it, talking about it, TEACHING and FORMING their children.
Since when have we decided that raising our children is the job of educators? Child care providers? After school programs? Sunday school? Who are these people talking to our kids? Parents, WE HAVE TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE! WE are the loud speaker of morality in our children. WE are the primary influencer! WE show our children how life is to be lived and WE grab moments of life to impact them with skills to avoid such destruction as Simmons describes. Stop pawning our children off to third parties for the primary role. Don’t assume that teachers will truly teach our kids anything about real life. Question what they are learning. Get into their space. Show them you care and show them how to live not by lecture, but by example. Let’s lead our children for once, instead of letting NBC, CBS, ABC, HBO and Showtime lead our children. Let’s take the reigns out of the hands of our schools, out of the hands of Hollywood.
Let’s not forget that these are not adults, they are CHILDREN! TEEN != ADULT. They do not have the capacity to make decisions as we expect adults to do, LOOK AT THE EXAMPLES! We are still parents. We train them how to make decisions by lovingly speaking into life with them, by being involved with them, by training them.
If we stop telling our children that they are the pinnacle of sexual creation, they will stop acting like it. Be careful what you let your children take in. Be a parent, know your children. Pray to God that his grace keeps them within your influence.