An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
More interesting studies Sexualization of young girls cause them future problems. Another big "Well DUH!" Once again the psychological sciences are playing catch up with common sense. I have not had time to read the full report or the "What parents can do" section at the APA, but really now...do we have to?
Turn the damn media off. I'm sorry to cuss but this is just asinine. Do you REALLY think it would do any good to have a sit down with junior and explaining to him that girls are more than objects or explaining to our 11 year old daughters that they shouldn't worry so much about their weight and THEN let them going on watching the crap that is vomited out on TV or the fecal matter masquerading as art or music? How about what they must endure in school? If you really want to protect your girls, you are going to have to remove them to some degree from the influence of pop culture. A nice bastion of moral values within which they have been brought up might also help...DUH! Somehow I doubt the APA is going to save our girls.
Nothing should surprise us about today's youth. Our PC "I'm okay, you're okay" indoctrination appears to be raising a generation of narcissists. Heck I began seeing this in my own generation (Yep, I'm part of it!) and now we see it coming to fruition. Kids who can do no wrong and IF they do we either diagnose it as a disease or we push the blame upon society and throw money at it. We are moving further and further away from the notion of personal responsibility...rather we continue to hurl ourselves toward an all encompassing spirit of entitlement. When things don't work out I think one symptom of this narcissism can rear its ugly head: high school shooting rampages and kids building bombs in their garages why Mom and Dad apparently ignore them trusting that the government school will make fine upstanding citizens of them.
We are beginning to reap what we have sowed. We are trusting in a secular, a VERY secular society to teach our children morality...a baseless morality. Sex education from the government? Sex, that thing we are NOW trying to tell our daughters is special, sacred, and not represented properly by the media? Schools will follow APA guidelines, but it will be too late...already the kids (being smart as they are) are seeing the hollowness of PC morality. How can schools compete with the sexual morality and images one can find on MTV, in the Fashion Magazines, in the public lives of people like Anna Nicole and Brittany Spears, in the fun to be had by presidents with young interns (no harm no foul), etc etc etc. Why should such a study surprise us? Do what feels good...deny any wrong doing...if that fails blame substances, genetics, or society. Do it....we'll believe you and we'll buy your book after you go on Oprah.
It may take a village, but a village full of moral idiocy? Better move.
Well said. I fear so much for my seven year old daughter. Every day I see the love in her eyes and I realize how much she adores me and I remember that the decisions I make will have long-term consequences for her. Such a responsibility. Trying to be an adequate father has made me a much better man.
I of course also realize that the love we have for our children is the love God has for us. Just as we want to save them and keep them safe, He wants the same for us.
You repeatedly ask, "Why should [any of this] surprise us?" Well, it doesn't. It's just the World being itself. Does it surprise you?
Yes, we can turn off the media, at least to some extent, but that's not the solution, because it isn't the same as purifying our hearts through ascetic effort. We can rail against the Bad People Who Are Bad Examples, but that's not the solution. We can advocate good ol' American Traditional Family Values, conservative political agendas, and the "Back to Nature" mythology, but none of these are solutions either, because moralism is a false religion and nature is fallen, so why go "back" to it? We're already there.
You see, this is what brought on the social upheaval of the '60's. Young people kept asking for the basis of all the mores and their parents' chortling about being a "nice" boy or girl, and what they got was moralism, which is (at best) a form of godliness without power. If moralism is all we've got to give, forget it, because all that yields is yet another generation split between Pharisaism and antinomiananism.
The Church doesn't exist to fix the world. The activist approach is barren, or monks and nuns would be carrying signs and blabbing about "values" on talk radio and TV. The Church exists to fix US, and if the world gets better as an indirect result, great. But even if it doesn't --- and it probably won't, to any lasting degree --- the object of things remains the same. It is a transfigured human race in a transfigured cosmos, in that order. One person at a time.
I agree with you Patrick. However, I would just caution that we are not all monks and nuns and neither can we live as they do...meaning that we STILL must deal on a social and political level with this world. (for example, if you are a property owner you will then find yourself dealing with political issue.)
As you well note, recognizing bad examples and turning the media off is not THE "solution" however they certainly are an important part of raising children IN this world.
I guess I don't see this as an either-or proposition. If "getting back to nature" or "simplicity" feeds your soul and brings forth good fruit (as I believe it can) then why bother NOT engaging that? Monks and nuns ESCAPE...how is that necessarily different? If a conservative or liberal political agenda is a good thing and will do good for people...why NOT support it? Debate it? Discuss it? Must we dismiss land usage regulations no matter how it may effect our everyday lives simply because in the grand scheme of salvation it really doesn't matter?
I think one can wholly support a political agenda (I certainly have MANY I support) and yet always be cognizant of the fact that THAT is no more a means to truly redeeming the world than taking my garbage out or deciding where to put the hogs. They can be important.
Surely you are not advocating being completely apolitical? You are not encouraging us to avoid voting? Surely we are not condemned to some notion of falsity or idolatry if we vote our conscience and that happens to fall in line with ANY particular political agenda, right?
Politics will not save us...but then again in the truest sense of the word, neither will the cancer research we do here...but I think I'll keep on it.
I sense your "issue" Patrick - you feel many (perhaps including me) have made an idol of conservative politics. I don't think that is the case. My idolatry typically doesn't extend much further than my skin.
You're right, it's not either/or. I suppose it's a question of emphasis. Apolitical? No. I vote my conscience, and then I pretty much forget about it, except for joining in the prayers of the Church for civil authorities, Armed Forces, etc. I don't want to talk about political issues very much, because I find them to be basically insoluble as political issues, and also because it bores me to the point of insanity. But I agree that that's just me. Forgive me for being judgemental. I didn't mean to be.
I suppose I'm a bit sensitized about what can come across as Negation As Solution, especially during Great Lent. I think we do ourselves a great disservice by thinking of Lent as that time during which we "give up" stuff. For one thing, so often what we so charmingly agree to give up for Lent should be given up for life. Moreover, as I see it, it's not about giving stuff up as much as it's about making room for other stuff that matters --- again, for life, not just for Lent. This is what monasticism at its best does as a continuing lifestyle, and we can learn how to do so from them in a manner appropriate to our calling.
I can now see that much of my paranoia is rooted in my upbringing as a baby boomer (I'm 55). The uncritical, not-always-tacit linkage between conservative politics, American foreign policy, Christianity, and family values characterized the 50's and the early 60's. When I discovered that the linkage was based on crap, it nearly killed me. Literally. I'll try to adjust for this paranoia in the future.
Well I think your "paranoia" is completely understandable, Patrick. I too have seen politics raised up beside the cross in many of my evangelical experiences. It was...and is sickening.
All of the world is left behind - in a real way - when we enter into the Divine Liturgy. One of many things that has made Orthodoxy so appealing to me...a democrat to my left, a republican to my right...doesn't matter at the chalice.
Arguing over politics might be akin to playing chess, albeit with potentially real consequences. I admit (and repent) of enjoying debates too much...like forking an opponent on the board, it just feels too good.
In any event, I take your caution to heart. I do far more good in the world with the time I spend with my kids than I do in the voting booth. And it's nice to see science confirming that in these articles...even if they have trouble vocalizing it.