April 21, 2021

The Problem With a The Hollywood Culture…

Mean Girls Cheerleaders…is that it doesn’t stay in Hollywood. There’s an expression that was more common when I was in high school and computers were just coming out. It was GIGO or Garbage In, Garbage Out.

For some time now parents and others have been repeatedly told that what their kids see and how they play have no impact on who they are or what they become. This philosophy is very pernicious– even seeping into our churches.

One of the things that I think shows this the most is the fact that parents have come around to the logic– for one reason or another– that “kids will be kids” and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t hope to have good teen years– because all teens are rebellious. You can’t have a good 2-year-old, because they all go through “the terrible twos.” If a child does not want to follow God after he gets out of a Christian school, it’s not the school’s fault.

I think this all boils down to how we, as parents, deal with the life that we’ve modeled for our children, how we’ve raised them, and what we allow them to spend their time with. Look at what this small community is going through:

The pictures posted on MySpace.com looked like the latest installment of “Girls Gone Wild.” In them, cheerleaders from McKinney North High School in Texas exhibited all variety of bawdy behavior. One shot showed a bikini-clad girl sharing a bottle of booze with a friend. Another featured a cheerleader and several other girls in risquĂ© poses offering glimpses of their panties. But the most infamous photo of all was taken in a Condoms To Go store. Five smiling cheerleaders dressed in uniform posed with large candles shaped like penises. At least one of them appeared to be simulating fellatio. “It would be an overstatement to describe any of the photographs as pornographic, but it would be an understatement to describe them as harmless high jinks,” wrote Harold Jones, a lawyer hired by the school district to investigate the incident. “Quite frankly, I personally found it ‘creepy’.”

All over the country, in big cities and small, parents are being confronted with children that are pushing their boundaries, becoming more and more obscene, and in the mean time parents want to find someone to blame– someone that isn’t themselves, or the school they like, or the practices that they have.

It would be easy to attack Hollywood– they are constantly putting out filth. But how are we controlling what our kids are being saturated in? Where are they deriving their values? What you watch, what you do– those things effect what your kid thinks about what is right and wrong.

So yes, the Hollywood culture doesn’t just stay in Hollywood– but you have the power to control what enters your home and what your kids think is right. Are you engaging your children or letting the other influences dictate who they will be?

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10 thoughts on “The Problem With a The Hollywood Culture…

  1. Oh Goodness. My husband and had this conversation last night…it is a conversation we often have!

    Our children are getting to the age that their “peers” are beginning to experience troubles that are obviously culture related. (When they are younger, it is easier to excuse.)

    Our children are home educated, and we are extremely careful about what we allow in our home. We just don’t feast on…junk! We don’t even (or should I say, especially?)do commercials. There are no television shows they regularly watch. Magazines, music, internet…all is filtered.

    But they do go to church. (It would be strange if the pastor’s kids didn’t go, wouldn’t it?)

    Plenty of the kids at church are going through “teen” difficulties. It is such a hard thing…because we want to/need to reach out and help these other kids, yet not allow the influences in. So, we are cautious, and try to minister together, rather than viewing our kids as the missionaries.

    My sister has told me for the past decade that there is no use having children, because it is impossible. Our world is too far gone, culture to pervasive. Obviously, that hasn’t changed our minds…for we believe that God’s desire is that WE bring the light to the culture, rather than be consumed BY it.

  2. For some time now parents and others have been repeatedly told that what their kids see and how they play have no impact on who they are or what they become.

    Nowhere is that more evident than in reports of school violence or school shootings. There have been a number of such incidents now in Canada and in the US, and what are we told about these violent young people? They are usually in Goth culture and they usually have a high affinity of horror movies; BUT THIS IS TOTALLY NOT TO BLAME, or so we are told.

    Absolute nonsense. You are absolutely correct Min, “garbage in, garbage out” is a proven concept. Christians, of all people, must come to accept this and be responsible parents. It is their responsibility to raise their children in the ways of the Lord, and to keep the devil… I mean Hollywood out.

    Good post, my friend…


  3. As I had found out, quite shockling so, is that there are kids in our church who are engaging in, well let’s just say, rather overt extra-curricular activities.

    A few hours in church are not going to undue what these kids see and hear every single day. It has to start at home. God has to be the priority and we need to use Jesus Christ as their prime example, which I tend to do a lot. They need structure and they have to have boundaries. Kids crave stability, not chaos.

    There was an episode on Wife swap, and a mother of a 12-year-old girl allowed her daughter to expose herself on my-space! Also, she had no curfew, and was basically allowed to do what she wanted. And the dad, well, dominated by a strong-willed woman, stayed quiet and obtuse. Rather pathetic. She felt her kids should have freedom. This little 12-year-old girl looked like she was 18 and behaved as one. The son, however, was in martial arts and was quite mature. Structure and discipline what a difference that makes.

  4. It is as if the organized forces of evil were on the go. Everywhere we look – there is something perverse, obscene, filthy. But, mind you, this is not the way unbelievers see it. For them it is just entertainment and good time. And I know, I was an unbeliever not so long ago.
    How do the Bible call it? Sinfulness of sin. And spiritual blindness.
    We have to protect our children. At the same time, we have to expose them wisely, so that they KNOW what is out there and why it is wrong. Biblical ground and wise leadership. I do not believe in separation, since it is impossible, unless you join Amish people…
    We are commanded to be in the world, but not of it.

  5. Rand, whilst I believe that “garbage in/garbage out” is indeed to blame for a great deal of moral malaise, and the internalised attitudes of our popular culture, I think that there is a danger that we find correlation where there may be none, and find causality where there is only correlation.

    Are most school shooters into Goth culture? I am not convinced. But even if there is a correlation between goth culture and school shooters, it does not actually follow that one causes the other. This is perhaps what people are saying when you hear that goth culture etc. is not to blame. The question of what is to blame is probably not as simplistic as we would like to think.

    For instance, student on student shootings are a distinctively American phenomenon, even though Goth culture and watching horror movies happens worldwide. The largest school massacre in American history, of course, happened in the 1940s and was related to a man being disgruntled with taxation which bankrupted him. (This was a bombing though, rather than a shooting).

  6. Would it be too bold as a parent to just not allow television at all? I’m not a parent so I don’t know if this would be doable at all, but don’t watch television myself. This isn’t to say that television is the root of all evil, but at least one way to monitor it. I find that often what my friend’s kids are learning are within the classroom, so do you resort to homeschooling? Just some initial thoughts…

  7. To follow up on those initial thoughts…we have not had television in our home since 1999 and even when we did our young children never watched it alone. Our children have been in public school. I am currently home schooling again after three years with the public school. My thoughts and observances…my children changed and not usually for the better while in public school. These are children that have a close-knit family, church is our life and we run a pretty strict home. But even then I noticed changes in many areas. Rebellion was a big one and language. Children pick up what they are around. Just as simple as that. Some may act out more than others, but it affects them all. I can’t even imagine the child that spends most of his day in school, to come home to an empty house while he/she sits in front of the computer or t.v. watching whatever happens to be on. My husband and I were both from Christian families and we went to public school. But, we both had to make daily decisions to keep from getting involved in what was going on around us. Today, I don’t see many parents even training their children to have the coping capabilities they are going to need to get them through life. I see this and I pray about it. I can’t change anthing that is going on outside of my family, but I can sure try to do my part from INSIDE my family.

  8. We have a t.v. but can’t get any channels. (It just struck me that we use the word “channel” rightly so, but right then it impressed on me the use of the word as in “channeling a spirit”. What are we channeling?) This Christmas while I was at my parent’s and last week when we had to seek refuge at my sister’s, I was able to view the “wonderful” world of direct tv. Words can’t ever describe some of what is on there, available at the click of a button. It made me result in our decision not to get it for our own home. I am weak and made of flesh, so I don’t need the temptation–or the waste of time, mainly. But I don’t want my kids to be able to “channel” the spirit of the age so easily.

  9. Leigh Ann, great analogy, and so true. I, too, am weak…I’d probably be hooked on a home decor show or a cooking show in a minute if we had cable. Thankfully we are rural, and only get a couple channels clearly enough to watch. PBS and CBS. We do movies much more often than TV, and that can be addicting as well.

    Enjoyed this post, MIn, and all the comments. 🙂

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