Warning: Explicit Post
Have you heard of the Assyrians? A lot of you probably remember learning how brutal of a society they were. Known for their horrid torture tactics, killing, and ruthless reputation, the Assyrian Empire has gone down in history. We’re talking cutting their victim’s stomachs open while living, putting a cat inside, and sewing them back up until they died from their guts being torn out. When we hear about this stuff we most likely think, thank God we aren’t that way. Could you imagine raising children in a society like that? Where torture, horror, fighting, killing, and gruesome acts were a part of every day life?
Now picture a society that pays money, gets together in a dark room full of strangers, and watches acts like this on a giant screen as entertainment. Most even eat a snack while they watch people being tortured, killed, or stalked. A lot of us would never associate ourselves with the type of people that would do atrocious and evil acts such as these. We just pay to watch them for fun while we munch on popcorn and candy.
Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.
Here’s the deal, desensitization is real. And it isn’t just my opinion that it’s ruining our children and adults. I’m sure you’ve heard “there is a war on our youth”, and many of you probably roll your eyes when you hear that, but it’s true. And we have the statistics to prove it.
An excerpt from Dr. Dobson’s book, Bringing Up Boys states, “Rabbi Daniel Lapin, president of Toward Tradition, said there was a time when boys in most American schools brought guns with them to their classrooms. They left them in the cloakrooms until the afternoon, when they retrieved them to go hunting. The firearms were not a problem. Now there is violence in almost every school, not because the guns have changed but because the boys have changed.” (Lapin, 2000)
Dr. Dobson continues, “Protecting the family from this culture of violence is very difficult for parents. It’s like trying to hold back the falling rain. Nevertheless, we must shield our kids from it as much as possible, especially when they are young. Four prestigious national organizations have linked violence in television, music, video games, and movies to an increasing violence among children. They are the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (Dobson, 2001) Their joining statements reads, in part, ‘[The] effects [of violence] are measurable and long lasting. Moreover, prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence in real life.’ (Associated Press, 2000) An even stronger statement was issued singly by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It was reported by Steve Rubenstein of The San Francisco Chronicle, who wrote, ‘Turn off the TV, moms and dads, the health of your little tyke is at stake. Children younger than 2 should not watch TV because it can interfere with ‘healthy brain growth’, according to a new policy issued this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics. ‘Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children younger than 2. Research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with [people] for healthy brain growth’, the policy stated.’ The report continued, ‘In previous issues of the association’s medical journal, Pediatrics, doctors have warned that TV viewing by children can lead to violent behavior, obesity, apathy, lower metabolism, decreased imagination, constipation…But this is the first time the association has called for an outright ban. The study also said that the average child is subjected to 14,000 sexual references on TV a year and is exposed to $2 billion worth of alcohol ads in other media annually.'” (Rubenstein, 1999)(And this was written 18 years ago.)
Dr. Dobson continues to state, “Common sense told us decades ago that regular viewing of graphic images of blood and gore were harmful to kids, but only recently has there been enough credible scientific evidence to prove it. Now the authorities on child development are in agreement. The entertainment industry has put our kids (and us) at risk.” (Dobson, 2001)
I’m about the farthest thing from hip, but I know ya’ll are probably aware of the new Joker movie that just came out. Here’s a little snippet from IMDb‘s parent guide:
- “A man is stabbed and killed with a pair of scissors, once in the neck and once in the eye. Very bloody and graphic, and possibly the most graphic scene of the movie.
- A man is shot in the face at close range. Blood and brain matter splatter the wall behind him.
- Scenes of strong violence include stabbings and shootings, with accompanying bloody injury detail.
- A woman is smothered to death with a pillow. Shocking.
- A man walks away from a room with bloody footprints, implying that he may have murdered a person in the room.
- People get shot in the face with guns, and blood spurts.
- A man violently chokes a man with his bare hands from outside a fence.
- A man’s head is slammed against a wall multiple times, leaving a splatter of blood on the wall. The bloody corpse is in clear view for the remainder of the scene.
- A man draws a smile on his face with his own blood.
- A man and a woman are shot dead in front of their child.”
Do me a favor. Pause, think of a loved one that is close to you. Think about your kid. Now think about them being on the receiving end of these acts and go read the list again.
Seriously. Do it.
Entertaining? Are you going to munch on popcorn while you picture that happening to your loved one or child?
This is reality ya’ll. This kind of stuff happens in real life to real people who have families and friends. And we are giving money to the people that create movies like this. We are putting visuals into our own minds and our children’s minds that won’t ever go away. All under the guise of ENTERTAINMENT.
I honestly feel it needs to be a requirement to have some knowledge of children’s neurological systems before we become parents. What we see with our eyes, what goes into our minds, these things literally affect our bodies in a lasting way. We’re talking hormones being released, neurons wiring together that later will fire together in such an instance we don’t even have time to cognitively understand what is going on, the actual physical structure of our brains change based off of what we see and take part in. It isn’t “no big deal” that our kids and ourselves are choosing to watch these things.
Got a few minutes? Check out the very public and attainable United States Patent 6506148, which states, “Computer monotors and TV monitors can be made to emit weak low-frequency electromagnetic fields merely by pulsing the intensity of displayed images. Experiments have shown that the 1/2 Hz sensory resonance can be excited in this manner in a subject near the monitor. The 2.4 Hz sensory resonance can also be excited in this fashion. Hence, a TV monitor or computer monitor can be used to manipulate the nervous system of nearby people.”
Ya’ll this isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s science. And there are a lot of people who have studied the brain, criminal behavior, and health for a long time that have a problem with the absolute crapshoot of a situation ourselves and our children are in.
So there’s a ridiculously brief overview of this issue that has nothing to do with faith, the Bible, or “Christianity”. Whether you claim the name of Christ or not, all of that information regarding health and the neurological and physical effects directly apply to you and your kids. But here’s the kicker, for those of us that identify with being Christ followers, WHAT ARE WE DOING?
And trust me, this isn’t meant as an attack. Your girl here was never into horror, but my favorite movie used to be The Departed, and my favorite TV show was The Blacklist. I am first hand aware how desensitization can twist the sheer reality of things we find acceptable and are numb to that I honestly believe the Holy Spirit attempts to convict us about.
The problem is we spend more time being entertained by what the world deems acceptable than we do in the Word and its commandments (or even Scientific Studies and their warnings rather if you want to take faith out of the whole equation).
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” -Phillipians 4:8
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:1-2
I remember when I was younger and thought people that didn’t watch certain TV shows or movies were “sheltered” or “extreme”.
Does everyone have the same convictions? No. But am I in a completely different place than I was a few years ago? Yes. That isn’t because I’m more “religious” than I used to be. It isn’t because I’m better than others. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. He brings us along, He perfects our priorities, He changes the desires of our heart to be more in tune with what God’s desires are for us.
Have you grown in the last year? Are you doing the same things, watching the same things, listening to the same things, and participating in the same things you did last year? I remember hearing Chuck Swindoll say something to the effect of not being the same person you were last year and partaking in the same things, because if you are, you’re not letting the Holy Spirit work in your life, and if you call yourself a Christ follower that’s a scary place to be.
So I honestly am here praying and pleading that you consider whether or not you’ve been complacent. And I am doing the same. And let’s remember that the children God blesses us with are a BIG responsibility. We are to guide and disciple them. To set boundaries to protect their little neurological systems at the least.
Those of us that have chosen to follow Christ are called to be different. If the only thing different about you is that you attend church or youth group there’s a problem.
If you aren’t a follower of Christ, I pray you get that calling to become one. He offers Salvation from a sinful, mundane life, grace absolutely abounding, and eternal life. You are more than just a body, and your soul has to be somewhere for eternity. And from a physical and neurological standpoint, you are doing yourself, your children, and society absolutely no favors entertaining yourself with the stuff mentioned above.
If you are a follower of Christ, I hope this post speaks to you. I truly hope you have some quiet time with your Maker today and ask Him what He thinks of what you fill your mind with for fun. Does it line up with the Word? If He were sitting here having a discussion with you do you think He’d approve and be pleased? And if your answer is that you don’t feel like it’s a big deal, why would He design your body to react so negatively to it? Christ followers back in the day had to watch their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ be tortured and killed. Do you think for a second they would watch those kinds of acts as “entertainment”? Do the mass killings in the Colosseum ring a bell? Have you ever thought when reading the stories of that place being packed out with people watching and yelling and cheering, “what the heck? Who would do that! Who would partake in that?!” Yet we will watch it on TV? Are we immune to desensitization more than they were then?
We are given this vapor of a life, and when we die (which we all will), whether we chose to follow Christ or not, we will answer for our choices. Please don’t become numb to thinking those choices don’t matter just because they’re a societal norm. Satan is the great deceiver. The Bible is pretty crystal clear on what to dwell on. Remember, if the only thing different about you is that you attend Church, you’re definitely not listening to the Holy Spirit, “and that’s a scary place to be”.
Please, let’s stop harming ourselves and more importantly, our children. Take a look at society, take a look at the entertainment industry and what is being pushed out and see if they don’t correlate. These “weekend” and “veg out” choices have long lasting physical and neurological effects on our children and those living around them.
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Rabbi Daniel Lapin (March 2000). Family Research Council Washington Briefing.
Dobson, D. J. (2001). Bringing up boys: practical advice and encouragement for those shaping the next generation of men. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Associated Press (26 July 2000). Media Tied to Violence Among Kids.
Steve Rubenstein (4 August 1999). “Doctors Advise TV Blackout for Little Kids,” San Francisco Chronicle.