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And we wonder why…Part 2

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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 We have come to the point where we don’t need or want parents pushing their outdated morals on our children.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,

Ron

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Is it Really Racism?

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This is not a political post so if that’s what you were looking for you won’t find it here.Neither is it a post about gun control.No,this post is about something that goes deeper than racism. Much deeper.

This is a post about “WHY” people do the things they do,in particular why heinous crimes are committed in the first place.

The recent tragedy in the Charleston South Carolina church is one more reminder that there are those among us who will stop at nothing in their attempts to garner attention to their favorite cause.

Upon hearing the news reports of this act of violence the news media immediately branded this a hate crime.Specifically,a hate crime spawned by the racist mindset of a young man.

Here is where I completely disagree with the masses.

Oh,there can be no doubt that this young man’s mind had been poisoned by racist thoughts.Just as certain is the fact that he planned this murdering rampage to take place in a house of worship in order to get the maximum shock value.

Yet for all of his deliberate actions I believe the media and nearly all Christians who have spoken publicly about this have overlooked one very important thing.

You see,when something of this magnitude takes place society rushes to place a label on it so that by doing so it can be more easily understood.In this case it was immediately branded a hate crime perpetrated by a racist.

But what society,and in particular the media,doesn’t understand is that the root cause of such acts of violence is not born in the bed of racism.

No,racism is but one of many causal factors born out of something much more heinous than racism. Much more damming than hate and bigotry.

SIN

The underlying issue here,the root cause of the “why did this happen” is called SIN.

And it is understandable why SIN is never mentioned in situations like this. For you see we want to,need to,blame someone.

So of course we delve into every detail about the murderer’s life in hopes of uncovering that one detail that will help us make sense of it all.

And that is our undoing. Society today rejects the notion of SIN because to acknowledge that such a thing does exist would be to acknowledge our own SIN,and that just can’t happen,can it?

I mourn with my brothers and sisters who have suffered such needless tragedy and loss at the hands of a young man who by his own volition has thrown his life away.Their pain will never go away.

But let us not forget that racism has been with us as long as hatred,anger,violence,contempt and any other acts of abuse towards others has been around.

They’ve all been right here with us because SIN has been with us. So here’s the real question:

If society cannot fix its problems,and it is obvious it cannot,then what hope do we have?

And the answer is very simple: we have no hope apart from the saving grace of God who sent His only Son to die for our sins.

The government cannot legislate out racism any more than it can eliminate the drug problem.As we pour billions of dollars into one feeble attempt after another to create our own version of utopia on earth,evil marches on unfettered except by the efforts of those committed to a Christlike life.

SIN is a spiritual condition that can only be dealt with at the foot of the Cross. No law or ordinance can destroy it or even hope to control it.

You see, Racism is not our biggest problem.Neither is bigotry or hatred.

The rejection of Jesus Christ however,is.

Ron