Vol. 6 Issue 04 | January 24, 2020
Three Things This Week
What it is: Taylor Swift has teamed up with Netflix to release a behind-the-scenes documentary on January 31 about her career from “nice girl” to political activist.
Why we’re kinda skeptical: If there’s been one consistent critique throughout Swift’s career, it’s this: Everything feels orchestrated. With her synthetic sound, “fake” house parties, contrived celebrity feuds (language), and curated social media presence, it’s easy to see why The Irish Times described her as a “calculating megalomaniac” (language). Is the new unmuzzled Swift the real thing, or just another calculated attempt to cash in on “woke” culture? Gen Z highly values authenticity, but has also grown up with influencers who curate their image in order to make money. Ask your teens how they feel about her, whether she feels too curated, and how they are able to distinguish who’s being genuine vs who’s just trying to make a buck.
What it is:A brawl broke out in the final seconds of Kansas’ blow-out win over Kansas State on Tuesday night.
Why it’s toxic: Breaking a cardinal rule, a K-State player stole the ball as Kansas dribbled out the clock, racing to the hoop for a lay-up. Unfortunately, instead of just letting him score, Silvio De Sousa chased him down, blocked his shot, and stood over him in a taunting position. Then the melee began. According to Kansas coach Bill Self, “What happened showed zero signs of toughness. It’s a sign of immaturity and selfishness...it’s no way for mature men to act.” But we live in a culture where young men are socialized to react violently to being dissed or shamed (especially in sports). As parents, how can we reconstruct a more positive model of masculinity defined by wisdom and discretion, instead of aggression and dominance?
March for the Unborn
What it is: Today in Washington D.C., thousands of individuals will march in protest of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Why it’s convicting: As incredible as the pro-life movement is, a recent survey revealed that less than 4% of American evangelicals hold to a “consistent ethic of life.” According to the survey, if you are against abortion yet for the death penalty or euthanasia, you are not completely pro-life. Do you agree? Do your teens? As Christians, we know that every human being is made in the very image of God, given infinite worth at their inception by the creator and sustainer of the universe. As you raise your children to be advocates for the sanctity of life, how will you help them navigate some of the more difficult conversations that make up a holistic theology of life, like healthcare, clean water, immigration, war, access to education, poverty, sex trafficking, and gender-based violence?
Prince Charles, Vice President Mike Pence, and a bevy of world leaders met in Jerusalem this week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. During the 12-year era of the Third Reich, over six million Jews were segregated from society, deported to concentration camps, and annihilated in the gas chambers of Hitler’s death camps. Unfortunately, according to the UN, "Around the world, violence, discrimination, and expressions of hostility motivated by antisemitism have created a climate of fear."
But here’s the scary part. Whether we’re talking about today’s rise in racial hostilities or Germany’s systemic, state-sanctioned murder of European Jewry, all of these atrocities were committed by ordinary men, many of whom were Christians. New scholarship reveals that upwards of 98% of German citizens during the Holocaust were members of a local church. The road to Auschwitz may have been built by hatred, but it was also paved by the indifference of good people who became either passive bystanders or willing executioners because their ultimate loyalty was to the State, not God.
Next Monday, as hundreds of Holocaust survivers gather near the Gate of Death at the former death camp, ask your children what they know about the Holocaust. Are they studying it in school? If so, what are they learning about the importance of tolerance, respect, and inclusion? Do they see any current political trends that lead them to believe it could happen again? How do they know when it’s time to take a stand and not simply go along with the crowd? How do they know what’s worth fighting for? Ask your teens what they think pro-life means, and pay close attention to their tone, verbiage, body language, and attitude toward the topic.
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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