So…what have we replaced God with in America?
For one, we have replaced God with the great “god” of Entertainment.
This “god” comes in many forms. How many can you think of?
Movies, the internet, music, video games, books and magazines, outdoor activities like fishing and boating, cycling, concerts/shows, and the theater are just a few of the entertainment options available to most of us.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of these activities. There is a problem however with the inordinate amount of our time that these activities consume. When our lives revolve around these entertainment activities, they have become to us a “god”.
When it comes to our children however, we have replaced Almighty God with a different type of entertainment “god”. This “god” comes in the form of a rectangular box, a box that dispenses goodness or morality in bite size portions, while spewing hatred and violence at an unprecedented rate.
This same rectangular box has also replaced parental guidance and nurturing. We have come to the point where we don’t need or want parents pushing their outdated morals on our children. Society has divorced itself from God. Just give us the box!
While you may scoff at such assertions, the evidence is overwhelming. According to csun.esu, the amount of violence our children are exposed to on TV from very young childhood until they reach 18 years of age is nothing short of staggering.
“Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school: 8,000…. Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000…. Percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem: 79%”.
Add to this recipe for disaster the fact that a child spends roughly 900 hours in school each year, but nearly 1500 hours in front of a television!
Did you know that 2000 hours a year is considered the normal number of hours for a full time worker in America? What this means is that our children are watching TV at almost the same rate as having a full time job!
Does this not astound you? Does this not bother you? If our children are spending such an incredible amount of time in front of a TV set, what else does that leave time for? How much blood and gore can a mind absorb before it accepts that this is normal?
And what about the music our children are listening to? Did you know that explicit sexual and violent content have become the norm in a lot of the music our kids are listening to?
Reading the following paragraph from an article entitled Impact of Music, Music Lyrics, and Music Videos on Children and Youth from pediatrics.aappublications.org will give you some idea as to how pervasive this filth is.
“Lyrics have become more explicit in their references to drugs, sex, and violence over the years. A content analysis of the top 10 CDs performed by the National Institute on Media in 1999 revealed that each of these CDs included at least 1 song with sexual content. Forty-two percent of the songs on these CDs contained very explicit sexual content.
Lyrics of some music genres, such as rock, heavy metal, rap, and new emerging genres such as reggaeton, have been found to revolve around topics such as sexual promiscuity, death, homicide, suicide, and substance abuse. Most recently, some rap music has been characterized by the presence of explicit sexual language in its lyrics as well as messages of violence, racism, homophobia, and hatred toward women. Drug, tobacco, and alcohol use also tend to be glorified in these songs.”
I purposely chose this particular article, written in November 2009, solely because it references information from 1999. That’s over 18 years ago. How much worse do think the situation is today?
And where are the parental controls the cable provider likes to tell us about?
Our children are acting out what they see glorified on TV and in music videos. This garbage has now become the norm to them, and yet we want to blame the NRA, the Congress, or the President?
And we wonder why the killings?
The sad truth of the matter is that society, and parents in particular, are looking for a “Scapegoat”!
Where does the parent factor in to this equation?
Where are the parents who should be stepping up and taking control of their homes? What has happened to parents assuming responsibility for every facet of their child’s education, both public and private?
We have abdicated our parental rights and responsibilities to the great “god” of Entertainment, and we have the gall to ask why the killings?
We as parents have willingly turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to what our children are watching and listening to, and we still ask why the killings?
Perhaps,and I say this with all due respect, perhaps we should turn our attention away from searching for a Scapegoat, and instead look in the mirror.
In part 3 of “And we wonder why” we will look at the role the Church has taken in all of this. I assure you I have some hard questions to ask of our spiritual leaders, and I hope you will be watching for this next installment.
Until next time,