August 27, 2015
What would you think of handing your 14-year-old a novel described as “The Silence of the Lambs” for children?
“I Hunt Killers,” packaged and pitched as Young Adult fiction, is the tale of the teenage son of a serial murderer, trained by his old man to become an even more prolific killer. Reviewers exult in this book as a gore-fest spiced with warped comedy. Not too long ago, amazon.com offered it as a “Kids’ Daily Deal”—not that everybody writing Customer Reviews thought that was a good idea. But it does suggest that the book is very popular.
For the adults—well, people who are supposed to be adults—there’s a new movie out, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” about a sexual affair between a 15-year-old girl and a 35-year-old man. I believe this used to be known as statutory rape. Besides which, the guy is the girl’s mother’s boyfriend. Barf bag, please.
It’s a fact that our public schools and universities work tirelessly to pry students away from Christianity. Our education system purposely teaches “values” like “gender fluidity,” homosexual acting-out, abortion, and atheism.
But the schools’ efforts hardly amount to a hill of beans, compared to what we teach ourselves.
Our culture is what we live in, as fish live in water. Sociologists call a culture “a design for living.” Theologian Henry Van Til went farther, and defined culture as “religion externalized.”
Now that’s a scary thought.
portion of our popular culture consists of what we like to call “entertainment”—movies,
television, novels, stories, comic books, popular music, video games,
etc. We fill most of our leisure time with the consumption of “entertainment,”
hours of it every day.
What hardly anyone seems to realize is that, in doing this, in gulping down all this “entertainment,” we are educating ourselves: and this self-education is in terms of the popular culture, which is the content of the entertainment.
Ugh—we are teaching ourselves what?
It’s a vast curriculum. We learn a lot: that serial murders are hilarious; that sex with adults is part of growing up, ask any teen; but always we learn that there is no God and only a handful of fools believes in him, and no one with any sense would be caught dead praying to Him, and He has absolutely no relevance and no place in the real world. Our culture is teaching us that the only true belief is non-belief—although if you’re really smart, you will believe in Science. There is always Science.
A book or a movie doesn’t have to be out-and-out sleaze, in order to teach non-Christianity. For writing “The Graveyard Book,” Neil Gaiman won the John Newbery Medal in 2009 “for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” This really very clever story is about a baby boy who is adopted and raised by the ghosts in a graveyard, with a vampire as his guardian, to protect him from a serial killer. Question: are there more serial killers in children’s fiction than there are in real life? ‘Nother question: Do we really want our kids thinking about serial murderers? “The Graveyard Book” is well-written, pretty cool—and without the slightest shred of Godliness. Instead, it offers a peculiar theology of its own: no salvation, no damnation—you just become a ghost and remain a ghost for all eternity.
To protect our children or ourselves from story-telling is not realistic, and may not even be possible. “Entertainment” is everywhere, and story-telling, and the desire to be told stories, are part of human nature as created by God.
Nevertheless, there are things that can be done.
One, provide your children and yourself with a firm foundation in the Bible, accepting it as God’s word, altogether true. Truth is hard to come by, these days. But you can always find it in the Bible.
Two, the closer your family, the better—especially if you’re blessed with an extended family. Children need to spend more time with adults who love them—aunts and uncles, grandparents, older cousins. Your family is a shelter from the storm of dreck out there.
Three, discuss the “entertainment” you and your family consume. What does it mean? What is it teaching? What has it tried to slip past you?
Four, at all costs, pull your children out of public school and provide them with a Christian education—ideally at home, if you can swing it. At the very, very least, public school teaches children that their age-group peers are the most important people in their lives, with family members hardly on the chart. At their worst, what these schools teach is downright evil.
Five, if people resisted the lessons they learn from “entertainment” as stoutly as they resist the teachings of the Bible, we’d have nothing to worry about.
� 2015 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com