Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

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The devaluation of women

Here in Canada the media has paid considerable attention to a sordid case where a well-known media personality was charged with sexual assault. The charges outlined incidents of kinky and violent sex involving several women. Unfortunately things unravelled at the trial. Emails and other evidence indicated that the women were willing participants and that their initial statements to police were not fully truthful and had omitted many details. The accused could not be found guilty on such untrustworthy evidence, even though most of what was described undoubtedly did happen.

Why would seemingly successful young women willingly subject themselves to such degrading experiences? A story from California helps to explain where this begins. It tells about young teen girls who post nude photos of themselves on Facebook. Many of them admit they find it degrading, but the social pressures are so enormous that they dare not refuse to participate. Such refusal would cause them to be rejected and ostracized by their friends.

It seems to me that this is how the devaluing of women begins in our society. Surely a girl, and a woman, is more than the sum of her body parts. She is a person worthy of respect, she has a brain, and is a soul of such value in the eyes of God that she is worthy of the death of His Son to redeem her.

But who is telling girls and women about this? The schools take no such responsibility. Many churches have veered off on causes that seemed more important, and thus these churches became irrelevant to the real needs of people.

Eventually though, the devaluation of women in our society points to a catastrophic failure of the home. Not all homes, thankfully, but so many that the behaviour I have described seems to many young girls to be the norm. (Boys and men are being devalued too, but I want to focus on the girls in this post.)

The well-being of our society depends on having parents who believe they have the ability, the freedom and the duty to provide a safe haven for their children.  A place where girls are respected as persons of value, where they can talk freely of their fears, their struggles and the pressures they face outside the home. Parents that do not push their children to get out there and compete for attention, but help them think through what is really important in life. Parents who encourage their children to be kind and caring toward others and to develop the abilities and qualities that will make them useful citizens.

I’m afraid that being a Christian does not automatically make us superior parents. It is good and right to teach our children to love God and to understand the way of salvation so that they may respond when the Spirit calls. It is good to teach honesty and sound moral principles. But all that is not enough. We need to be examples of all that we teach and above all we need to listen to our children with patience and sympathy and let them know that we love them no matter what happens to them.

Social media vs girlfriend

We had been shopping in the city and our last stop was Walmart. By the time we were done there it was almost supper time. If we drove home, unloaded and put away the groceries and made supper it would be an hour and a half before we could eat. Not to mention that the cook was weary. So we decided to eat there. Chris went to McDonald’s and I went to the other end of Walmart to get my meal at Tim Horton’s, carried it back to McDonald’s and we sat down to eat together.

I noticed a young man at another table with an attractive young lady sitting across from him. Evidently they had finished eating and his attention was now fully engaged by electronic interaction with phantom people via words on a small screen, probably via Facebook or Twitter. He would type something, press send, then read something else and start typing again. This continued all the time that we sat there.

Meanwhile, the young lady was trying to engage him in conversation. He would look up,give a one word answer and return to his social media conversations. She got up and left for a few minutes, then returned. He was still completely engrossed in communication with people in cyberspace. She made a few more attempts to get his attention, then stood up, kissed him on the cheek and left.

All this time I am thinking, “What is wrong with this guy? Here is an attractive young lady just across the table from him who wants to get his attention — and he is more interested in engaging with people in  cyberspace that he might not even know.”

So who was the loser in this competition between the girlfriend and social media? I would have to say that it was the young man.

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