Vol. 2 Issue 38 | September 23, 2016
Three Things This Week
1. Sex Before Kissing
What it is: A generation of students are learning sex ed. from pornography, meaning all they know about relationships and sexuality they acquired from hardcore porn.
Why it’s horrible: Many middle school girls have had sex multiple times with their boyfriends and yet have never been kissed. Why? Because in porn sex is a consumer transaction devoid of kissing, intimacy, and affection. The pornification of society is training young boys to view our daughters as sexual service stations. When asked, “How do you know a guy likes you?,” an 8th grade girl replied: “He still wants to talk to you after you [give him oral sex].” We MUST start conversations with our students about the plague of porn, here’s a 11-minute Axis talk to help you do just that.
2. Be Still And Know…
What it is: We recently reported that the average person touches their phone 2,617 a day. In a decade, our devices have gone from unknown to indispensable. Every hour we spend online is an hour not spent in the real world. “We keep swiping and swiping because we are never fully satisfied”.
Why it’s important: As Christians, part of our purpose is to offer the world an alternative way of being human. In our secular age when seemingly everyone is distracted to death, immersed in the virtual white noise of technology, give your students the gift of your embodied presence. Sit with them in the cafeteria and have a real conversation. Practice prayerful meditation by integrating moments of silence in your classrooms to simply be still and comprehend the glory of God. If our churches and Christian schools realized that “the greatest threat to faith today is not hedonism but distraction,” it’s possible we might offer a new way of living and believing to this “frazzled digital generation”.
3. America’s Lost Boys
What it is: From Xbox to X-rated, America’s young men are growing up alone in mom and dad’s basement, oscillating from the virtual thrills of gaming achievements to the cheap stimulation of fake intimacy.
Why it’s important: Research indicates that young men with less than a college degree are spending up to 30 hours a week playing video games, and that young men aged 18-30 are “statistically more likely to be living with their parents” than with a romantic partner or spouse. How are you providing a healthier vision for masculinity? Help your male students mature into manhood in the midst of a culture that encourages prolonged adolescence.
Walk A Mile In His Shoes
When Harper Lee wrote her 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird about a small town southern lawyer (Atticus Finch) who defended a black man falsely accused of rape, America was embroiled and embittered in the battle to end segregation. Civil Rights activists staged sit-ins, public protests, and nonviolent resistance movements that allowed viewers to witness the often brutal response to these demonstrations via the new technology of home television. 1960’s America was divided along color lines, and sadly even Christians weren’t immune from injustice and bigotry.
Today, we find ourselves engaged in another racial crisis. This week, many of us witnessed the shooting of un-armed Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma as well as the shooting and killing of Keith Scott in Charlotte. These two incidences continue to fuel the flames of racial bitterness, sparking public protests in the Queen City.
As you start conversations about these issues with your students, refuse the temptation to sow seeds of division by simply blaming or shaming one group or the other. Consider once again the wise words of Atticus Finch when he told his daughter Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Have you ever considered what it is like to be a black male in a culture that portrays you as shiftless, criminal, and a thug? And what about the policemen and women who patrol our streets? Do you know how frightening it is to approach a car at night and wonder if the driver is indeed a violent criminal with intentions to harm you?
Help your students restore relationships by developing compassion for the sufferings of individuals that are not like them. Our common faith in Christ should unite us to seek justice and righteousness even if we must first admit our own prejudice in the process.
Here are three ways to help your students think about discrimination. Also, don’t forget about the minority of African American students in your classroom or youth group. They may feel alone in these discussions. Teacher Tricia Matthew offers these tips to support your black students. And, read To Kill A Mockingbird with your students! It will give them hope even in the midst of injustice.