Month: May 2017

Protesting Vice President Pence

Another week, another protest.  Another week and we will see support for the protest and support against it.  If you thought the anger would end after the election, you were wrong.  Even if Hillary had been elected, the anger and protests would have continued and it may have been worse.

There are three ways to react to a situation, movement or belief.   We can protest, support or be  apathetic.  When we join a side, it is very difficult to see the other side.  It goes both ways – that’s why there is very little agreement in today’s political state.  All of us are seeing events from “our” side and “our” side only.

Let’s take the Mike Pence speech at Notre Dame.  Students walked out quietly to protest his speech.  Some of us (me included) blasted them for being snowflakes or hater tots.  My side said they were “disrespectful”.    The other side declared this a “peaceful protest” and supported the student’s free speech.  In their opinion the students carried out a protest in the correct way.  President Obama addressed ND students in 2009 and was heckled by anti-abortion activists.  Were they disrespectful or were they correct in what they did?  Were they disrespectful or exercising free speech?

Who is right and who is wrong?  Maybe both and maybe neither.  All of us vote by our heart, beliefs, opinions and values.  Opinions change and in time, history’s opinion will change as well.

Let’s look at the most famous situation that ended in support and protest:

On a Sunday before Passover, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem.  Crowds gathered to cheer Jesus as he rode into the city.   A week later the crowds yelled for Jesus to be crucified.  We have always wondered if some of the same people cheered one week and turned the next week.   Beside the amazing turn of events in one week, there were two other issues going on:  People on the ground at that point really didn’t know what was going on (for real).  Many of those cheering in the first week had false expectations that Jesus was coming to be a king and that he was going to free the Jews from Rome.    They were cheering but for the wrong reason.   A week later the people were paid or told by their leaders that Jesus was a fake and needed to be killed.   Those people thought they were right as well.   What’s even more amazing is that another group of people sat at home on both of those occasions and were apathetic or ignorant to the whole situation!

If social media and 24 hour news were present in Jerusalem during that week, the city may have been destroyed by protests.   On the other hand, the end results probably wouldn’t have changed.  There would still  be people who thought Jesus was going to save the Jews from Rome and those who wanted him crucified.  The only difference would be the amount of hatred, yelling and name calling between the two sides.

Screaming on social media would not have saved Jesus from the cross.  The 24 hour media could not have rushed the Crucifixion before God’s timing.

So what is the answer?  We study.  We learn.  We try to be as educated on issues as we can.  We have civil debates to compare ideas.  We love through differences and we show grace and tolerance.  What we don’t do is share hate for hate.  We don’t ridicule.  We don’t denigrate the other side.  We never strike out in violence.   I have to confess that I fail at this often.  I get too angry and judgmental.   I post nasty comments.  Friends point it out and I confess and delete and try to do better.   Tomorrow is another day.  I hope I do better but I won’t promise!  Sorry for my offenses and for keeping me in check.

Matthew 26

 

13ReasonsWhy

I didn’t want to write this.  There are plenty of other sites to read about this show.  But I’m not getting anything done so I guess I need to get this out of the way.  I’m not going to take time to summarize or comment on filming etc.  You can read other posts for all of that.

There are two sides quickly emerging on this show:  Those who are adamantly against it on one side and millions of high school girls (and maybe boys) on the other who have watched it and probably read the book and experience some form of it every day.

I’m going to point out my 13  issues with the show but don’t stop until you get to the end.

  1. The “F” word is used 258 times.  I don’t know if that is 100% accurate.  It feels like it was said 5 million times to me.  If you don’t hang around high schoolers its not the “F” word that we grew up.  Our “F” word was really bad.  Today it is just a word that comes out with every other word.

2. Gay issues.  Regardless of how you feel on this subject it’s here now.  Our generation didn’t discuss it past “ewww”.  This generation is bombarded with it and they need to make decisions on it.  This show has at least 6 people dealing with it and everyone else around them needs to deal with it too.

3.  No communication with parents.  Zero.  Not one kid in this show has an honest life giving relationship with their parents.  Is this realistic?  If it is realistic we are doomed.  I didn’t count how many times parents said to their children: “You’re a good kid”.   Yeah parents – your kid is good,  it’s everyone else’s kids that are “bad”.

4.  No honest supportive relationships with friends.  At best they are superficial.  At worst they are selfish, hateful, confused and abusive.  The relationships are a means to an end and everyone is fighting to get to the top.   What is the top by the way?

5.  Pre-marital sex.  Pretty similar to the “F” word – there’s a lot of it and “everyone” is doing it.  No signs of birth control.  No signs of protection from disease.  No healthy relationships – it’s just jump in the bed.

6.  Rape.  Not one rape but two.  It’s graphic and it’s brutal and it makes your stomach turn.

7.  Drugs.  This is not a druggy show.  There is some drug usage but that isn’t the main point.  In some ways the issues would be easier to accept if drugs were the starting problem.

8.  Alcohol.  What ever was missed in the way of drug usage, alcohol took its place.  There was more drinking in this series than I have done in my lifetime.   Add this to the previous 7 points and it makes life a drunk driving exercise.

9.  There is N0 God in this show.   Hear me out – there is nothing close to spiritual enlightenment beyond the spirits in the bottle.    Some critics see this as the main reason not to watch this.  I see it as a reality in many teens lives.  Maybe it is the worst point in all of this mess.  Maybe it is the cause for all the other ones.  There is no Truth and there are no Absolutes.

10. Jealousy and hatred.  Yes.  A lot of it.

11. Lack of understanding from adults.  Same goes with the audience.  The response I get from teenagers about this are totally different from responses I get from adults.  Teenagers simply say “Yes it happens”.  Adults try to explain everything going on so they can understand it.

12.  Lies.  I told my kids “if you do something wrong at least admit it.  If you lie about it, it only makes it much worse.”  Yes.  There is a lot of lying with everyone in this show.

13.  Violence.  Slapping, hitting, hitting again, threats, oh and more hitting.  I guess everyone is angry about the first 12 items on the list.

Oh, I forgot.  The big issue in this show is a teen suicide.  This time it is not romanticized or just spoken about.  This is HD living color, brutal, ugly, screaming, bloody suicide.  Let me put it this way – I covered my eyes.  I couldn’t watch.  I probably should have cried.  I was already depressed from watching the show – this just put me over the edge.

Friends have said to me, “how can you watch that?”  You see if you don’t know me I was one of the parents in episode 13.  My wife walked into our son hanging by a wire.  My wife was the one yelling to me to come.  I was the one picking him up telling him to come back saying “No no no no”.  One critic of the show makes a point that his neighbor did this at age 16 so he understands.  No you don’t.  I had friends that committed suicide.  It’s awful.  But there is no comparison to picking up a dead child that seemed fine a minute ago. By choice they are now dead.   There is no way to understand.   Their battles are done, yours are just beginning.

In one minute you are angry about water running over the tub into the hallway.  The next you are facing a life devastation that you will never fully recover from.  How do you reconcile that in your mind?

Here is a good place to breathe….

I am not a psychologist.  I am not running stats on whether this show is helping or hurting the teenagers.  I can say if you are a parent you might want to watch this.  It is awful and it is depressing and it will make you feel terrible.  Do it anyway.  You may even want to watch it with your teenager.

Hug your children today and do your best to fight or understand all 14 of these issues.  It’s that important.