Thursday, January 20, 2011

MTV's "The Skins"- possibly child pornography?

I remarked to some a few days ago that I was going to write about this new television program, that was imported from Britain. I am prompted to write this morning because it appears I was beaten to the punch by, of all sources, the NY Times!

For those of you unaware of this travesty of a program, MTV, which long ago stopped playing music, and delved into the sleazy, trashy end of the reality television cesspool, has moved into a series depicting the lives of teenagers, high school aged, engaging in all manner of inappropriate behavior, including premarital sex, drug and alcohol abuse, and a general disrespect for anything that resembles authority.

My own experience of this "show" is merely from a commercial advertising for the premiere, in which a teen girl lies to her mother about going out to study with her friends. Perhaps they were studying, though I'm not sure what they were studying.

This morning, the NY Times reports that Tuesday morning (following the Monday evening premiere), officials at MTV (a unit of Viacom- list of their networks below) met in a flurry of meetings, wondering who might be held criminally liable for potential Justice Department charges of child pornography! I had to stop to shudder and think, "this is what finally caused them to be be concerned, jail time for child porn?"

MTV insists that the program is intended for adults, yet the demographic for MTV viewership has been and remains predominantly teens. They also advise that this program is shown after 10pm. I know, I'm talking a different universe here, but there are lots of teens that are still up at 10pm. I fear that if allowed, my own daughter would regularly be awake past that hour. (Have no fear, I have the parental controls locked down so tight on the TV in our home that sometimes the shows I watch end up being blocked!).

I know some will tell me the easiest thing for me to do is to just turn off the TV. On one hand, yes, that would stop the influence in my home. But what about the homes where it's not even considered possible to remove the TV? What about parents that don't put any settings on the box?

Where does it end? Looks like this one might come down to being afraid of criminal charges. While not happy that it came down to that, I will accept it as a start. It's time to push back against the networks that constantly seek to "push the edge." Instead, we should find those programs that as I once heard, "we'd be okay watching with Jesus on one side, and His mother on the other."

By the way, just so you can get an idea of what sort of influence MTV has on our television, it's parent, Viacom, controls the following: MTV, BET, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Night, Comedy Central, Logo (this one would make you shiver), TV Land, Teen Nick, Rhapshody, AddictingGames, Atom, CMT, Paramount Picture, Paramount Films, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies. There are more, but this gives you an idea.

We as parents much protect our children. Voice your concern to these networks, and vote with your clicker!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My own thoughts on the dignity of women

I've been musing this post for several days now, and with a homework assignment and a half looming over my head, I figured this is the time to go ahead and work on the post.

As I write this, I would wish all a Happy 10th Day of Christmas! Yes, the 12 days of Christmas begin with Christmas, not culminate in Christmas!!!

Each Christmas brings me wondering on what it must have been like that night in Bethlehem, when our God entered the fullness of time, incarnated nine months earlier in the womb of a virgin. In that moment, at the Annunciation, this one woman became the greatest tabernacle of all: the Christ-bearer, the Mother of God.

All that we know of Mary places her high above that which we can ever hope to attain in this life. We know her to have been born without sin; Original Sin thwarted at her conception, that she might bring God into the world. She always kept herself open to the will of God- an example we would all do well to follow. And she is loved by her Son; we see it in Scripture, it has been revealed to us throughout the ages.

So, for centuries, nineteen of them at least, we held women high above us; some would say in this spirit of reverence and remembrance of Mary; even our Protestant brethren held her in the most high regard. However, I was reminded on Christmas Day no less, of how far we have fallen. I was watching a movie called "A Man Called Peter," which is about Peter Marshall, a Presbyterian minister from Scotland, who ultimately became the chaplain of the US Senate before his death in the 1950s. In the movie, a young lady who would later become his wife, recounted virtually verbatim, before a crowd of unruly youth, a sermon that Mr Marshall had given nearly two years before.

She told them, (and I severely paraphrase here) "Women want equality with men. Well, look what has happened now that you have it. For nineteen hundred years, women were held as superior to men, better than men, more fragile, more precious. Now women can cuss with the men, drink with the men, work with the men, and all other manner of things. In order to be equal with men, women had to step down."

That hit me like a ton of bricks. They were 100% right. I remember how my grandmothers were revered and loved. And I think that was great. I can't exactly say my grandmothers were always the nicest of people, but they were loved and adored. That's what I remember about them the most, and hold most dear. But then I see the break. I see how my father treated my mother, and I am saddened. I recall my own treatment of women in the past, and I shudder to think of the examples I have given to my own daughters, and how hard I have tried to reverse that trend, and provide them examples of how a woman should be treated, loved, and respected.

Ladies, women, you have a right to expect to be treated better than you have been. Mothers, what you tolerate now will be examples, good or bad, for your sons and daugthers. There will be effects, long and short term. Expect more of your sons, your husbands, your fathers, your brothers. Expect more of the boys your sons associate with, and those that your daughters fancy.

Men, we are sons of God- we can make the choice now, today, in this moment, to dig deeper, and look beyond ourselves. It does not matter if you have fallen in the past, God wants you to ask forgiveness, and go forward.

Adam failed in his one mission- to protect the Garden and all that was in it. Christ came to redeem those wrongs. We cannot win this battle alone, but if we walk in the light of Christ, we can reap the rewards of His sacrifice.

Men, read Ephesians 5. Live it in all that you do. Love your wife as Christ loves the Church. Love your heart, as it is as much a part of you as you are part of it. Remember that Christ came and served, not because He had to, but so that we would see that example and know that is what God always wanted for us.

Become an Ephesians 5 man. Proverbs 31 women will flourish before you.

Now, I will get in to my homework!