Vol. 2 Issue 8 | February 26, 2016

Vol. 2 Issue 8 | February 26, 2016

Three Things This Week

1. Dirty Little Secret

What It Is: Actor/director Terry Crews gets real in an ongoing video series on Facebook about his previous addiction to porn.

Why It's Important: Culture says any form of sex that doesn’t harm others is acceptable, but Crews is going counter-cultural in saying that porn is in fact dangerous. His addiction started at age 12, and he says porn “changes the way you think about people.” A recent study by the Barna Group reveals that when talking about porn, 89% of teens “say they do so in a neutral, accepting, or encouraging way”. We recommend watching Crews’ videos with your kids and having an authentic conversation with them about pornography.

2. #Da**Daniel

What It Is: A viral Twitter video of a teen exclaiming “Da**, Daniel!” at his friend over multiple days because of his fashion sense. If you hear students say that or “Back at it again with the white Vans!” it’s from this video. (See this week’s issue of The Culture Insider for a more in-depth description.)

Why It's Important: Besides simply knowing about the phrase and that students think it’s hilarious, it’s also a great discussion starter about the impact of Internet fame. Both the subject of the video and the voice behind it became famous overnight, but it’s not all fun and games. The poster was “swatted” (meaning someone found out where he lived, told the cops that someone at his residence had “shot his mother in the head with an AK-47,” and had the SWAT team sent to his residence). Swatting is actually a dangerous prank, yet somehow becoming one of the risks of fame.

3. A New Kind of Apologist

What It Is: A new book, edited by Sean McDowell with contributions from 20+ other apologists, that is the “go-to resource for effectively defending the Christian faith in our changing culture.”

Why It's Good: It addresses topics that matter today, as well as offers strategies for discussing those topics in light of God’s unchanging truth. Bonus: Our friends at BreakPoint have a great summary of the book and are offering John Stonestreet's chapter, “Telling the Truth about Sex in a Broken Culture,” as a free download.

Thing to Know:
#FreeKesha > #EndIt

The legal battle to free pop star Kesha gained global prominence this week when a judge ruled that she couldn’t get out of her recording contract with Sony, despite her ongoing lawsuit against Sony producer Dr. Luke, who, Kesha claims, sexually assaulted her over a 10-year period. Dr. Luke has publicly denied the accusations. Many celebrities, including Adele, Lena Dunham, and Lady Gaga, spoke out this week in support of Kesha’s battle to free herself from her abuser. Taylor Swift even donated $250,000 to pay for Kesha’s legal bills.

What’s interesting about the timing of this case is that Thursday was international END IT Day to raise awareness about the global pandemic of human trafficking and slavery. Slavery currently exists in 85% of nations across the globe. 1 in 5 victims are children engaged in the sex trade, and 55% of slaves are women and girls forced into prostitution. An estimated 199,000 incidents of sexual exploitation of minors occur each year in the U.S. alone—that’s 1 incident every 3 minutes!

If Kesha was abused, we should support her, just as many are doing. But should we not speak out just as much or more about the millions of others stuck in abuse, day in and day out, with no power to free themselves? #FreeKesha has garnered over 18 million Twitter impressions, while #EndIt trails with just 2 million impressions.

Use this opportunity to talk with your students about the reality of sexual exploitation. Identifying victims can be difficult. Here are a few warning signs from the anti-trafficking organization TRUST to look for in your students if you fear they are being sexually exploited:

  1. Unexplained absences
  2. Unexplained income
  3. Bruises or physical signs of abuse
  4. A new tattoo or “brand” with an exploiter’s name
  5. Isolation from family and friends
  6. Paranoia
  7. Self-blame or self-harm