Today’s Media: Righteous Indignation
Mr. Timothy Snyder, Media Production Coordinator, Christian Life Resources
Righteous indignation. You know the feeling. You find something so offensive you start to seethe inside. It’s a jumbled mix of emotions and souls are at stake. You hate the sin and at the same time feel compelled to speak the truth in love. When was the last time you felt like that?
Sometimes the things you see and hear on television make you feel that way. At least they used to, but you see and hear them so often that indignation becomes indifference. Casual sex, open homosexuality, graphic violence and foul language are the norm. These are typical of the content of many television programs (and commercials) and the constant bombardment can desensitize you.
An episode of ER featured a care-giver casually reminding a pregnant patient that she had to make a decision in regard to keeping the pregnancy (note that it was referred to as a “pregnancy” and not a child). Then there’s Will & Grace, in which homosexuality is an acceptable everyday occurrence. You need a scorecard to keep track of all the sins television depicts as good clean fun. Are you feeling indignant yet?
Our children can become desensitized too. Does what your child sees on television conflict with the values you’re trying to teach? We’re in a battle for the hearts and minds (with the emphasis on hearts) of our children and keeping the kids away from “adult” shows isn’t enough. Even children’s programs can be dangerous. Many children’s shows portray adults as incompetent buffoons and encourage a culture of disrespect. An episode of Sister, Sister on cable’s Disney Channel clearly conveyed a pro-gay message. The average American child sees 16,000 murders on television by age 18 (American Medical Association). Another disturbing stat is that the average child between ages 2 and 17 spends 3.5 hours per day watching television (Gentile and Walsh, 2002). Monitoring what your kids watch is literally a part-time job. Are you feeling indignant yet?
Indifference won’t cut it when our children’s spiritual lives are concerned. Take control of your children’s television habits (and your own). Make sure you know and approve what your kids are watching. Talk openly with them when they see or hear something that runs contrary to God’s Word. A little righteous indignation won’t hurt either.