Sunday, June 29, 2008

And there's more...

I've been writing a lot about the sexual depravity of our society this week. I thought the series of three would be the end (although I never imagined there would be a "series"), but there is more in the paper today. I have been following with some interest over the last few days the results of the government's investigation of the sexualisation of children.

One would have hoped that the government investigation would come back with some constructive recommendations to ensure that the media and marketers targetting children would be held to some standards regarding sexual content. However instead the investigation has come back and said that the media's self regulation is working well, and that it is really just the parents responsibility to monitor what their kids are watching.

That is insanely naive and selfish. No child is under their parents' 100% supervision and control 100% of the time. Bringing up kids is something that parents need to do in partnership with society. There are regulations around swimming pool fencing, because we already as a society recognise to a certain extent that parents can't watch their kids all of the time. And so we regulate to make the environment safe, so that together with parental supervision children are kept as safe as possible.

The impact of sexualised/pornographic images on young minds is as dangerous to young minds, as drowning is to young bodies. If children see these images before their parents have been able to explain sexuality to them in ways conducive to healthy development, then they have no frame of reference for filtering and making judgements on whether what they are seeing is appropriate.

The major argument behind not doing anything about removing sexualised/pornographic images from places where children might see them seems to be the "infringement" of adults so-called "right" to self expression. There seems to be a liberal contigent that just wants to do what they want to do, no matter who it hurts. There seems to have been a shift from the "I'm not hurting anybody" argument to the "who the hell cares who I am hurting, I'm having fun" as an attitude towards so-called "adult entertainment". This is the heights of selfishness.

I recently heard a speaker say that sexual abuse for children isn't just where they have been molested, but that exposure to sexualised/pornographic images has the same kind of impact on children. Yet of course, as a society we don't think it's as bad, especially if it was an "accidental" exposure, but the impact is as devastating. Before they have the capacity to understand what good God-given, marital sexuality looks like, their attitudes and understanding of sex is twisted into the warped mindset of the porn industry and its bedfellows. The thing about sexualised images that are targetted at children is that it's more insidious than direct abuse, a much larger number of children will have been impacted by that, than by direct abuse.

As our society continues to decline into all out sexual debauchery, the problem is only going to get worse. The devastation to the post-internet generations will be epidemic. This is why we have to fight every step of the way to make our society a safe place for children to grow up, letting them be kids, and not forcing them to deal with adult issues before they are pyschologically and spiritually ready. We also need to resource and train parents on how to talk to their children about sexuality, in a way that will lead to healthy marriages in their childrens' futures.

One of the difficulties in the Australian context is that we tend to be quite politically apathetic. As Christians I think we need to start getting really good at engaging with our political system to bring a prophetic voice to bear. If we do not proclaim God's will in this kind of situation then nobody else will. I'd urge you, find out who your local MP is both federally and state, and when issues like this come up, or the abortion and euthanasia ones in Victoria at the moment, write to your MP. Each letter/email they receive they view as representing the view of 100 people. We can make an impact by engaging in our political system.

God bless,

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