Vol. 4 Issue 42 | October 19, 2018

Three Things This Week

1. Peace Prize

What it is: Nadia Murad became the second youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts “to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.”

Why it’s a start: In 2014 Mrs. Murad was kidnapped and taken into sex slavery by ISIS, where she and hundreds of girls were repeatedly raped and beaten. Thankfully she escaped to champion the rights of young women caught in the crossfire of war. In our slacktivism world, it’s encouraging to see a young person turn their empathy into action. It’s one thing to express outrage on social media, it’s quite another to go to work to end injustice. Whatever justice movement your teens are passionate about, help them mobilize their beliefs toward real change. Because “emotion without action is irrelevant.”

2. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

What it is: Releasing October 26 on Netflix, this sister show of Riverdale stars Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina in a dark spinoff from the original 1970’s Archie Comics character.

Why what you watch matters: It seems every TV reboot is more malevolent these days. Shipka even admits, “there’s something next level dark” about the show. This modern makeover has “tons of horror, the occult, and plenty of witchcraft.” Remember, there is a difference between gore and suspense. Research suggests students who prefer gory entertainment have reduced levels of empathy while students partial to suspenseful thrillers express higher than average levels of empathy and compassion. Which type shows are your teens watching and what conversations should you start with them based on their preference? Here’s an interesting video on the psychology of horror-based entertainment.

3. Debunking the Vaping Myth

What it is: A new study by the American Physiological Society significantly debunks the myth that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes.

Why you have to talk about it: FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says, “E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous–and dangerous–trend among teens.” Due in large part to the mythic narrative that vaping is safe. This recent research shows that not only vapor harms the lungs, but the added flavor in e-cigs exacerbates the detrimental impact of vaping. It’s a double whammy. Your teens probably believe e-cigs are safe and more significantly they may be drawn to them because vaping just looks cool. Here’re some great tips on how to talk with your kids about the dangers of vaping and smoking.

Should Your Family Celebrate Halloween?

Jamie Lee Curtis brings chills and thrills to a new generation with today’s release of the newest installment from the Halloween franchise. Over on Netflix, shows like Veronica, Creeped Out, and The Haunting of Hill House have teens and adults losing sleep from sheer viewing terror. Which should beg the questions: What’s with our culture’s obsession with death and darkness? Why are so many neighborhoods just as festively decorated for Halloween as they are for Christmas (Americans spent $9.1 billion on Halloween last year)? Why do we wait in line at haunted houses and pay for someone to scare us? It is a bit weird.

Making sense of your family’s response to and involvement in celebrating Halloween is complicated. As Christians, we are commanded to think on things that are good, beautiful, and true. How should we reconcile those precepts with our penchant for the macabre? Thankfully, we just released a Parent’s Guide to Halloween which gives you practical and theological guidance on how to navigate this holiday with your family. You just might be surprised by our suggestions!

Get your copy today! It will equip you with the questions, answers, and framework to think holistically and biblically about Halloween.

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