Monday, May 12, 2014

Protecting children from TV

A concerned parent writes Billy Graham curious if they are doing the right thing by limiting what TV they let their children watch...
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Our children get upset at us because we won’t let them watch some of the TV programs their friends do. Are we just being narrow-minded? We’re appalled at some of the things their friends watch, and yet their parents don’t seem to care. — S.J.
Is SJ being narrow-minded? Well, it's really hard to say... SJ doesn't say which shows they are disallowing, so it's quite difficult to pass judgement as to whether SJ is being reasonable or unreasonable. 
DEAR S.J.: No, you aren’t being narrow-minded (although some people may label you as such). One of the responsibilities God gives us as parents is to guard our children from harm, including moral and spiritual harm.
But our responsibility isn’t just to keep them from harm. It’s also to help them develop their inner moral character, including their ability to decide what’s right and wrong and learn to make wise choices as they grow older.
Good character doesn’t just happen, nor do children have a natural instinct to do what’s right and avoid what’s wrong. They have to learn them, and their parents should be their main teachers.
The Bible says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
But what if parents neglect that responsibility or don’t even care? What if they allow the media to become their child’s main teacher about right and wrong? We may think it doesn’t matter, but it does.
Know what your children watch, and be wise in what you permit them to do. When you have to say “no” to them, explain why. Above all, make Christ and his word the foundation of your lives.
Let his joy fill your home, and encourage your children to give their lives to Christ. And remember the Bible’s admonition: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure … think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

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 Okay... So Billy thinks that SJ is doing the right thing even though he isn't told what shows are being censored, but thinks that the Bible is just great for kids? Am I missing something here? Okay, some TV shows do contain language, violence and suggestive themes that may be inappropriate for young children. If that makes the shows in question a no-no for kids, then in the case, the Bible is very very bad for them as well.

After all, the Bible promotes the slaughter of cities of people that believe differently. It glorifies a worldwide genocide (Genesis). It's pages depict children and babies being dashed to pieces and pregnant women torn open (Hosea, 2 Kings, Psalms), children being torn to pieces by bears(2 Kings), commands the stoning of disobedient children to death (Deuteronomy), actually cooking and eating children (2 Kings), incest (Genesis) and parents willingly handing their daughters over to be raped (Genesis). Want more? How about this suggestive talk in Ezekiel? "There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses." 

What about slavery? Is that a good topic for kids? Because the Bible justifies the enslavement of other peoples, as well as beating them (so long as you don't beat them too much... how generous). Forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy)? What could be a better bed-time story! Jesus saying to hate your family and love him more than any other (Luke)? Talk about good old family values... Scary and terrible monsters? They're in there too. And then there's the Bible's big story that we are all born as terrible broken people and that if we don't kiss God's behind and hold Jesus' hand, we are cursed to be terribly burned and tortured for all of eternity. Ah, what kid wouldn't love reading that just before bed? 

Oh, and I almost forgot... There's the get out of jail free card that the Bible teaches that you get if you are Jesus' BFF. Believe in him and you are set for Heaven no matter what you do in life. So is that really a teaching conducive to good behavior. Hey, it's easier to just ask forgiveness than ask permission...

-Brain Hulk

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