Saturday, 20 May 2017

Sow the Wind: reap the whirlwind

Sow the wind: reap the whirlwind

This post's topic is out of sequence, but it is prompted by an article in The Australian Newspaper's “Weekend Magazine” I read this morning – and which I have reproduced below.

I have been introducing the premise that the old idolatrous religions are back with a vengeance in today's Western societies but all the more insidious for having dispensed with the graven images. Come to think of it who needs them when you have TV, glossy magazines and internet pornography! This post jumps ahead somewhat to look at what our re-imagined pagan religions are producing in the new generation of young adults.

Nikki Gemmel's article below draws on one incident, and I find myself agreeing with her sentiments throughout. However I think there are answers – starting with the uncomfortable recognition that as a society we have “sown the wind” and are starting to “reap the whirlwind” and even we can see that is a bad outcome. But there are solutions – if we are brave enough to go back and tackle the root causes.

Here is the article: ….

A crime we need to talk about

Where was the sense of morality, of compassion?

The Weekend Australian Magazine, May 20-21, 2017
Opinion: Nikki Gemmell
Imagine you’re a 15-year-old girl, with all the attendant insecurities and anxieties, especially about your body. You’re at a teenage party after Sydney’s Mardi Gras, which a lot of teenagers celebrate most gloriously now, loudly and proudly, straight and gay. But you drink yourself to oblivion; kids seem to be starting on this path earlier and more destructively than my generation ever did (and that’s saying a lot). And because you’re physically smaller, you cannot hold your alcohol like the boys can.
You have no recollection of what went on but the next day you’re texted about a video doing the rounds on Facebook. A mortifying, deeply humiliating video; and this is where I just want to wrap my arms around you. It’s a clip of you. Unconscious. Allegedly being raped by a 15-year-old boy, and filmed by another boy. Your alleged attacker goes to one of the nation’s most prestigious independent boys’ schools; you go to one of the nation’s most prestigious independent girls’ schools. The party was held at the house of a girl who goes to another prestigious girls’ school. God knows where any parents were, to help you, protect you.
This is Sydney now. The matter is wending its sorry way through the courts. We need to talk about this. Parents. Educators. Teenage girls. Teenage boys. When the story broke, I sat my 16-year-old son down and went through the issues concerning this desperate tale of now; talked through what he’d do if ever he saw a young woman in such a situation. Friend, stranger, whoever she was – he would help her, of course. Would recognise that someone was in a situation of extreme vulnerability and would not take advantage of that – he would assist her. It’s about integrity and dignity and responsibility.
He would also talk to the boys around him. Tell them to think about the repercussions for their schools and families – but most of all for themselves. Their future career prospects. And if convicted, their liberty, too.
Why would any young men see a situation like this as an opportunity? Why would they think they could so callously and easily and brutally exploit this girl’s sorry state? She made a mistake involving alcohol; haven’t we all at some point? She needed help. Where was the sense of morality here; of old-fashioned compassion for a fellow human being in an intensely vulnerable situation?
The principal of the girl’s school, Jenny Allum, has called for a national response to misogynistic attitudes fuelling violence against women. “I’m deeply outraged and angered for all of the young women who’ve had to fight off (sometimes unsuccessfully) unwanted advances, some becoming the victims of sexual assaults and other harrowing behaviours. It’s a gross violation of a person’s dignity and personhood. And, above all, it’s a crime.” And I say, let’s not blame the victim here. Please. As our society so often, inexplicably, does.
“Sexual assault is not a story of alcohol consumption or revealing fashions,” Allum says. “Nor is it a story of bravado. It is a story of violence and crime and must be afforded its due gravity.” She points to the old adage “It takes a village to raise a child” and ponders whether we’ve forgotten this in our fast-paced modern world. A world of accelerated adult-like behaviour at an increasingly young age; a world of recording devices at our fingertips.
To the young girl – I hope you’re OK. I hope you can find a way to move on from all this with courage and strength. And to the teenage school boys: well, you see a girl your age unconscious on the ground. What do you do? You help her. Just as you would a mate. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

Nikki is right: where was the sense of morality and compassion? Not just the (alleged) rapist, but next the boy who videoed it but did nothing to stop the attack, but there are more … this was a party were there not other boys and girls around? … why did none of them intervene? Nikki is also right in saying these were 15 and 16 year olds … where were the parents? Why were they drinking alcohol at all – let alone unsupervised!

But Nikki does overlook one thing: they were celebrating the Sydney Gay Mardigras. Not to put too fine (or homophobic) a point on it: a lauding of sexual excess, licentiousness and self absorption. When our society not only tolerates but approves and positively parades these things we are certainly sowing seeds that will produce bitter fruit in the next generation. Societally we have attacked and dragged down the “old” Christian morality (and even the aspects of our former morality that pagans also adhered to!)

But not only have we demolished the old morality, we have tried to replace it with a new “Politically Correct” morality, which is no morality at all. Or rather is not a set of principles that can produce a happy, functional society. Some of these false morals are paraded in the words of the girl's school principal – and I heartily dis-agree with her sentiments!

a) “ Sexual assault is not a story of alcohol consumption or revealing fashions” Really? You have got to be kidding! One cannot be blind to the fact that historically alcohol and debauchery have been portrayed as closely linked. This one was clearly a story of alcohol consumption! And likely the boy – though this is no excuse – was very drunk as well. Revealing fashions, may have played no part here, but none the less this argument is part of a feminist humbug that does a great disservice to women!

Part of the feminist streak of the new morality is that women can be as provocative as they like and expect there to be no unwanted consequences. This is just dogma denying reality!

We live in a fallen world. We are all sinners. Of course the anti-Christian new religion wants to deny this …. Once we admit we are all sinners, we need a Saviour – someone who can blot out our sins and reconcile us to God … someone just like … well, Jesus! But denying fallen human nature leads to trouble.

In the physical world there are predictable cause & effect couples. For instance we train our children not to speed up fire-lighting by pouring petrol on the glowing coals – it is almost certain to blow up in their faces. Now of course we say that humans have “choice”. True, but fallen human nature often gives in to temptation and makes a bad – sinful or even criminal - choices. So there are things it is unwise to do – for our safety and unkind to do – for the weak-willed who may give in to temptation and suffer the consequences.

So the feminist cry: “I can wear whatever I like” reminds of that of the Corinthians quoted – and answered by Paul “'Everything is permissible' you say – but not everything is beneficial … everyone should seek not their own good but the good of others.”

Teenage girls in particular I suspect have little notion what effect revealing clothing or sexualised actions can have of hormone super-charged teenage boys! It is up to parents and other more mature heads to help keep them safe. The feminist assertion that they should wear anything is a cruel and wicked lie!

As an example, many years ago one of our daughters was in that young teenage group. She came out of her room one time to go to a party dressed in one of her younger sister's outfits which on her was most unsuitable! Her mother's admonitions were rebuffed, but her older brother won the day with: “So who are you going to have sex with tonight?” which produced a furious denial to which he answered: “Well if you are not going to have sex with anyone, don't get their hopes up by dressing like that!” She emerged from her room a little later much more suitably attired.

b) Making men act like whimps. There is a concerted push to de-masculinise boys. No toy guns. No books on heroic sacrifice in war, or what used to be termed chivalry. Now it is quite right to try to prevent domestic violence. They are just going about it the wrong way! It is not men's natural strength or propensity for aggression that is the problem – indeed they have evolved that way for good reason! It is turning this aggression against the very people they should be using it to protect that is wicked – and wicked it certainly is! I will not pursue that further here except to say – as Nikki did to her son – that a real man would come to the defence of a woman – yes possibly utilising all his strength and aggressive tendencies!

c) Nikki is right about the absence of compassion too. But this is a virtue encouraged by Christianity, but diminished by the idolisation of “self” and the primacy of “what I want” that has been relentlessly pushed by the new religion and which resonates with fallen human nature. I am glad Nikki hates the result when she sees it, but we need to go back to the root causes.

This has made for a rather long post – my apologies for that – but this article is just one warning of how socially dysfunctional the destruction of Christian faith and values is.

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