Uber Offended

Uber has done something that has the Internet really, really mad. Mad enough that the folks at Uber came out with an apology where they called what they did, “totally inappropriate.”

So what did they do?

Well, apparently it was Wife Appreciation Day in India earlier this week. So to celebrate the occasion and perhaps make a few extra bucks in the process, the company encouraged husbands to order UrberEATS and “let your wife take a day off from the kitchen.”

I’ll give you a few minutes to go burn something down in reaction to the horror of such a suggestion.

Here’s how stories like this work.

Someone does something that our culture finds offensive, which these days is pretty much anything. Someone from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive then sends out screenshots of the tweet so that other people who like being offended all of the time can get really upset and also burn things down, either digitally, literally or both.

So you have some girl with a screen name like @progressivechick99 tweeting out, “Oh, no they didn’t.” And then there’s the gender fluid fellow with a handle like @multiplegender2000 who posts a meme of some guy from some reality show no one ever watches making a ewww face. Finally, the person from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive writes a story with a headline like Twitter Slams Uber For Genocidal And Sexist Tweet, Nation Seeks Healing.

And then the offender, in this case Uber, apologizes.

As I write this, there is a hurricane aimed at the the Caribbean. A madman halfway around the world is threatening other countries with a nuclear bomb. Other madmen in D.C. are spending us into over 20 trillion dollars in debt. And the self-righteous gatekeepers on the Internet are upset because a private company encouraged husbands, not to kill their wives or run around on their wives but to take care of dinner one night for their wives.

If you’re not as culturally sensitive as these perpetually offended gatekeepers, Uber’s suggestion was supposed to make us all angry because women do so much more than cook meals in the kitchen. Also, men like to cook too. As do gender questioning non-binary girls who identify as boys on the third Tuesday of every month. I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

Have you ever watched a Netflix Original television show? These are sort of like the Wild West of television because they aren’t under the content restraints that shows on NBC or even FX are. Before I watch these shows I read up on them to see if they’re worth my time. More specifically, I read about the sexual content. I’ve noticed something in my research. A lot of the popular shows that are original to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are filled with nudity. More specifically, female nudity. So I pass on the latest binge-worthy show and turn a game on instead.

Now, our culture doesn’t find this ever present nudity offensive because it’s done by choice. The actresses want to do this. No one is making them.

Right.

Let the female lead on one of these shows refuse to do a nude scene and sit back and watch as her career spirals into the abyss. Within weeks of her decision, she’ll be off the show and making commercials for Crazy Pete’s Title Loans.

Do you see the hypocrisy?

Treating women as sexual objects is liberating. Cooking dinner for them is boorish.

When I came home from work for lunch one day this week, my wife and kids were in the backyard. When I walked back I saw my wife sanding a table she was restoring, my son painting another table, and my other son standing on the trampoline.

My wife asked if it was okay if we waited a few minutes for lunch so that she could get to a good stopping point in her project.

I told her not to worry about it. I guess you could say that I gave her the afternoon off. We also made plans for me to grill burgers that night. Bam! She had the night off too. Double score for her.

But after reading Twitter for a few minutes, I have discovered that I made a tremendous mistake. It was a bit cavemanish of me to do such a thing. The only thing I could have done that would have been worse was call an Uber to take us to Chick-fil-a. That would have broken the Internet.

Local Cult Leader Takes Wife To Hate-Filled Restaurant, Nation Seeks To Rebuild

Luckily, I don’t answer to the Internet. I’d much rather make my wife happy. And taking over for lunch and dinner that day made her happy. And get this. She really likes to cook!

I’ll wait again while you go burn something down and call the U.S. Department of Diversity Among Different Genders Understanding Meals In Togetherness (DADGUMIT) on me.

But later that night, while the Internet was raging about something else, I enjoyed a hamburger with my family that I made because I wanted my wife to take a break from cooking.

And my kids fell asleep in the middle of binge-watching The Andy Griffith Show on Netflix.

Man, we’re weird.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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The Offended Olympics

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There’s nothing like the Olympics to remind Americans of our favorite sport. No, it’s not swimming or gymnastics or track and field. It’s getting offended. And, so far, we’re leading in the medal count.

The good people at CNN were kind enough to remind us of the latest thing we’re supposed to be mad about. Women athletes, it appears, just aren’t being treated fairly by the sports media. No, Rowdy Gaines, NBC’s ultra enthusiastic swimming commentator, didn’t say that Katie Ledecky was a dumb broad who needed to get out of the pool and in the kitchen. But he did commit the sin of mentioning another swimmer’s husband and the role he played in helping her win a gold medal.

Gasp!

That swimmer’s husband, by the way, also happened to be her coach.

Double gasp!

Others are jumping in on the supposed injustices. Like when a gymnastics commentator dared to imagine that one of the young girls on the dominate US gymnastics team might be at a mall if it weren’t for the Olympics. The leftist, activist side of the Internet went nuts over the idea that a teenage girl might be at a mall. Here’s a tip, Mr. Gymnastics Commentator. The next time one of the girls on the gymnastics team wins gold, say something like this.

“Wow! What an accomplishment. And to think that she would be using her own bare, calloused, large hands to dig wells for orphaned transgendered penguins if it weren’t for the Olympics.”

One journalist committed the unpardonable sin of making the link between a female Olympic athlete and her NFL playing husband. How dare a writer even think about trying to make us connect with a female athlete who won a bronze medal in a sport which, until about three minutes ago, we didn’t even know existed by informing us that her husband plays for a team that even non-sports fans are vaguely familiar with?

All of this leads me to the following conclusion. We aren’t just watching the Olympics. We’re in the Olympics. The Offended Olympics. These games are different. Rather than jumping over hurdles, we have allowed our feelings to become hurdles that others must figure out how to navigate their way around. Oh, and our hurdles are connected to land mines so good luck. Instead of shooting at targets with bows or rifles, we set our digital aim on anyone who dares to question the narrative or break off from the reservation. Our dream team doesn’t have names like Kevin Durant or Gabby Douglas, athletes who excel to such a degree that they make other really good athletes look average. No, our dream team is made up of CNN and some blogger from the Huffington Post or Salon who in their continual victimhood make everyone else look like cavemen. Just as Durant and Douglas can be counted on to come through in the clutch, the members of this dream team can always be relied on to remind us of what should be offending us and of how evil we are for not already noticing.

Well, I’m sitting this Olympics out. Not the real Olympics. I’m still into those. I’m talking about the Offended Olympics. Sure, there are things I see that I don’t like. For example, on Monday night while watching the games with my wife and sons, there was a Nike commercial praising a transgendered athlete. Rather than starting up a boycott against Nike or going on a hunger strike until they release a new line of Bible-based footwear, I used it as a teaching opportunity to remind my boys that the world’s ways are not God’s ways and to encourage them to think critically rather than merely consume. I want them to be the type of men who question why it is that a gay man is validated by biology because, “he was born that way,” but a transgendered man is validated in his actions because he was born the wrong way.

But most people will continue to play the games. Rather than using their power to keep scrolling or change the channel or just forget about it, they’ll moan and ache and complain and fight until they get their way.

And then there will be no more games left to play and no words left to say. Sooner or later, everything will be too offensive.

In the Offended Olympics, everyone loses.

But hey, we all get gold medals.

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A Terribly Offensive Quote From Martin Luther King Jr.

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The original quote on the wall at the University of Oregon was taken down because it used the word men. My guess is that the offended party would rather it said people or womyn or anything other than the generic men.

So the school took it down. But they had a great idea for a replacement. It was a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Unless you like to spend your time wearing white hoods and sheets, you can’t find much to disagree with in these words.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Well, some students at the University of Oregon did.

While the school was remodeling the campus building in which the words of Dr. King reside, some brought up the idea replacing the quote. And no, the members of the offended party did not like to spend their time wearing white hoods and sheets. They were more into rainbow colors.

Some students wondered aloud if the quote accurately represented them today seeing as how Dr. King had the nerve to not mention the LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ community in his stirring speech.

In the end, something unusual for a college campus happened. Common sense prevailed. The quote from Dr. King remained. But, according to those in the know, there was quite a battle to keep it there.

This little dust up can teach us a lot. Members of the LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ like to compare their movement to the one that Dr. King led all those years ago. Those who were offended by this quote did us a favor by showing us all just how different these two movements are.

Martin Luther King Jr. wanted his people treated fairly. The perpetually offended sexual progressives want to be treated as masters.

Dr. King taught that character matters. To the sexual progressives, nothing matters more than being treated as normal when acting on your feelings, no matter how bizarre those feelings might be.

Dr. King was willing to go to jail so that his children could live in a just world. The sexual progressives want everyone else to go to jail for not agreeing with them.

The line has to be drawn somewhere. You may be the most tolerant person alive, but at some point you have to say no. A friend was telling me of a conversation with a young student who had no problem with homosexuality. When he asked the student about transgenderism, the response was the same. No problem.

And then he asked the student about men being allowed to use women’s rest rooms.

The student, a female, suddenly had a problem.

What an intolerant, bigot she was.

Or maybe she was just a hypocrite.

Eventually, everything becomes too offensive and all statues and quotes have to be taken down, all books have to be burned and all speech must be policed. This is no way for a free people to live. Free people train themselves to deal with something that they may passionately disagree with but which does not directly harm them.

Dr. King fought so that all people could be judged by the content of their character.

But that’s not enough for today’s sexual progressive. They would rather be judged by their feelings and judge others by their own hurt feelings.

But this shouldn’t surprise us.

Being offended by a quote about character is quite natural for a people with no character.

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Ayesha Curry Versus The Foolishness Of Feminism

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Feminists directed their digital anger at Ayesha Curry earlier this week. Curry, the wife of last year’s NBA world champion and MVP, Stephen Curry, used her Twitter account to openly question current trends in clothing styles that involve wearing very little actual clothing. Curry said, “Everyone’s in to barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters.” The one who matters here of course is her husband, the aforementioned MVP and world champion.

She went on to say, “Just looking at the latest fashion trends. I’ll take classy over trendy any day of the week.”

Rather than celebrating Ayesha Curry’s sense of style, feminists and others who have made careers out of being offended and outraged about something new with each passing week accused her of being self-righteous, “slut shaming” and compared her to those who blame sexual assault crimes on the victims.

How tolerant of them.

In an article for ESPNw, (by the way, what is ESPNw?), Brande Victorian gave us this gem.

“The Currys are devout Christians. Rarely does an opportunity go by that the two don’t speak about their faith and how it shapes their day-to-day lives. Christian women are taught to be modest from the time they first set foot in a church, and part of that modesty is wrapped up in the underlying teaching that you are to glorify God with your body, which is only meant to be shared with your husband once you make a covenant before God. It may be an antiquated school of thought by today’s standards. It may even be heavily rooted in sexist patriarchy when you consider the authors of the Bible and the times in which its chapters were written.”

Allow me to translate.

The Currys are Christians. That means that they believe the Bible. And we all know that the Bible hates women because a lot of it was written by and about men. Gasp!

In just a few days, many of us will be celebrating an event that was first introduced to us from the Bible that Brande referred to as “antiquated school of thought” that is “heavily rooted in sexist patriarchy.” Maybe my male privilege is clouding my judgement here but what exactly is sexist about God, who could have came to earth any way he pleased, allowing himself to spend nine months in the womb of a teenage girl?

And what is sexist about women who no doubt were treated as second class citizens in Jesus’ day being some of his closest followers and the first to witness his empty tomb?

And what is so sexist about God using a harlot (that’s the “antiquated” word for prostitute) by the name of Rahab to rescue his people and that same woman being a part of the genealogy of Jesus?

I think I know.

Mary, Rahab and the other women of the Bible never danced around like Beyoncé does. Well, maybe Rahab did but you get my point. They weren’t liberated. They got help from men. On the playgrounds when I was a kid the favoritism of one gender over the other resulted in a made-up disease called cooties. Now it has resulted in a made-up liberation movement known as feminism.

In the world of feminism, clothing is not a reflection of a person’s character. It’s just a fashion choice. That argument falls all to pieces of course when some guy decides to wear cut off jean shorts, Crocs and a Hillary for Prison shirt to the next Planned Parenthood black tie affair.

Clothing really can reflect a person’s character. If you walk outside with hardly anything on, it doesn’t matter what you tell yourself, you are telling the world to look at your “good stuff.” And there is nothing at all classy about that. Parents, remember that the next time you send your daughter off to the mall in short shorts with something stupid like “Too cute” written on the back of them.

Some are sure to take that to mean that I’m blaming rape on the victims. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rapists are monsters. But feminists are often naive. And the two do not make for a good combination.

The world has enough half naked women in it. But there will never be enough women who go against the trendy yet still somehow antiquated ways of the world by sharing their minds and their talents, not their bodies, with the outside world.

But even for those who choose to go that way, there is still hope. Unlike most of the rest of the world, God’s love for you is based on his grace and not your body. Grace means that he offers true liberation by forgiving you of your sins, setting you free from the pressure to fit into some skirt and giving you a new identity in him.

If you don’t believe me, just find one of those “antiquated” books we call the Bible and read about how God rescued and worked through one of Jesus’ ancestors, a girl named Rahab.

And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? James 2:25 (ESV)

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Public Restrooms And The Most Easily Offended Group In The Country

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The LGBT crowd has officially become the most easily offended group in the country. Last week, they were offended by Roland Emmerich’s new movie Stonewall because the gays depicted in it were too white. This week, Matt Damon was the one doing all of the offending when he suggested that gay actors not make such a big deal about coming out of the closet. Damon had to go on TV and talk to Ellen to clear things up. I think that the conversation went something like this.

Damon: “Forgive me, Ellen. I have offended gay actors.”

Ellen: “Go to two Elton John concerts and watch the Bravo channel for 3 hours and you shall be forgiven.”

Finally, former baseball star Lance Berkman is being called a bully. He recently spoke out against Proposition 1, a Houston city ordinance allowing transgendered individuals to use whatever bathroom they want. Berkman had the nerve to suggest that he didn’t want his four daughters sharing bathrooms, showers and locker rooms with men. Oh the nerve! What kind of a close-minded freak wouldn’t want his daughters in a stall next to a man in a dress?

I don’t understand the fascination with people wanting to be in bathrooms that they were not designed to be in.

I spent a short amount of time in high school working as a janitor. One of the places that I had to clean was a warehouse. In that warehouse, there were two bathrooms, one for the men and one for the women. Guess which bathroom was dirtier. I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with lemons. Fellas, you’re not missing anything. Stick to your own restroom.

If you’ve ever been to a movie or a sporting event, there’s something that I’m sure you have noticed on your way to the parking lot. There is always a bathroom line that has at least 4,289 people in it. That would be the line for the ladies room. Ladies, can you imagine how much worse your line will get when you add in a dozen or so men wearing dresses?

There is another interesting phenomenon when it comes to ladies and their restrooms. When a large group is eating together in a public place and one woman has to go to the restroom, every other woman at the table goes with her. Guys, they do this so they can talk about how much real food they’re going to eat when they get home and so they can make fun of that thing hanging from your nose without hurting your feelings. Ladies, how would you feel if the next time you were at Applebee’s and you and all of your girlfriends made a run for the restroom, the guy with the thing hanging from his nose got up and followed you in?

Sometimes at my church, I have to go through the building and turn out all of the lights after everyone else is gone. I’ve noticed a few things about the ladies room. First, it’s much cleaner than that one I had to clean at that warehouse all of those years ago and second, there’s a table in there. A table. Men don’t usually have tables in their restrooms. That’s because someone would eventually put the transmission from a ’89 Buick on it. Men are notorious for putting random things on empty tables. Ladies, do you want the transmission from an ’89 Buick on the table in your restrooms? Of course not. You want baskets full of potpourri on that table. Well, if you want to keep it that way, keep the men out of your restrooms.

Females, you of all people, should be the most opposed to the blurring of bathroom borders.

But really, we should all be against it. That’s because no matter how hard our cultures tries to change it, there really is a difference between men and women. Nowhere is that more evident than in our restrooms.

And I think we should keep it that way.

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The Fraternity of Dunces

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It was called a “heartwarming reaction.”

A father took his four-year-old son to the toy store to return a duplicate gift. The boy could pick any toy that he wanted. Star Wars Legos. A football. Perhaps a dump truck.

The boy chose a Little Mermaid doll.

Out of the toy store and back in the car, dad pulled out his camera phone to assess the situation.

He couldn’t have been more proud of his son. Or himself.

“I let my  boys choose their life. Choose your expression. Choose what your into. Choose your sexuality.”

The two boys in the car with dad let out loud cheers.

And then dad gave the world this line.

“Choose whatever.”

Choose whatever.

 

I guess that you could say that this is our culture’s new motto. Choose to sleep with whatever you want, whenever you want. Choose to be whatever race that you want. Choose to be whatever gender you want. Choose to kill your baby if you don’t want it.

Whatever.

Kids do not need to choose whatever. What they need is loving leadership. A kid who chooses whatever will pee in his neighbor’s window air conditioning unit. And you can be certain that the neighbor won’t be quite as tolerant as that heartwarming dad.

More than the so-called freedom of choosing whatever, kids need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. They need to be taught the difference between life and death. And yes, no matter what our friends at Target may say, they need to be taught that their is a difference between men and women. In short, they need you to clear up any confusion they may have about sexuality.

At some point in the history of parenting, we adopted the approach of, “Well, the kid is into it so why fight it.” This lack of parental leadership and teaching is a big reason why so many of our kids are growing up to be sexually confused. Or curious. Or whatever the label is. Look, everything is a medical condition. There are commercials on TV for conditions you’ve never heard of that can be cured by drugs you can’t pronounce with a host of side effects that you don’t want. But there is one condition that never gets any attention.

Bad parenting.

Bad parenting doesn’t always manifest itself in abuse and neglect. Sometimes it shows up in millions of affirmations that come with absolutely zero direction or correction.

A funny thing happened after I watched that heartwarming video about the dad who has decided to let his four-year-old choose his sexuality. I got in my truck and heard a story on the news about a fraternity at Old Dominion University that has gotten into trouble. I know, I know. It’s hard to imagine a fraternity doing something stupid but just stay with me on this one.

As freshmen and their families arrived on campus and made their way by the Sigma Nu house, they were greeted by three signs.

“Rowdy and fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time…”

“Freshman daughter drop off…”

“Go ahead and drop mom off too…”

The man reading the story on the radio gave a one word commentary.

“Idiots.”

Now, I agree with him but one thing has been left out of our collective outrage at this fraternity of dunces. Fraternity chapters and university presidents are falling all over themselves to tell us that none of this represents their institution. But no one is asking why this is happening.

Maybe it has something to do with a generation of parents who have told their kids, “Choose what you’re into. Choose your sexuality. Choose whatever.”

Sometimes choosing whatever looks like a little boy with a girl’s doll.

Sometimes it’s another group of little boys trying to woo mom and her daughter into their fraternity clubhouse.

And sometimes it’s a man mutilating himself because he doesn’t want to identify as a man anymore.

I know that the Choose Whatever Approach seems fun, loving and liberating, especially in regards to sexuality. But here’s the thing. Sex education abhors a vacuum. Mom and dad, if you’re not teaching your kid about sexuality, someone will.

It could be the coach who lost the teacher lottery and had to use his extra planning period to show kids how to put condoms on bananas.

It could be the television.

And it could be some sex-obsessed child predator and his fraternity buddies.

Either way, it won’t be pretty if you just sit back and do whatever while your kid chooses for himself. Without you actually doing the job of a parent, you can be sure that your child will become a card carrying member of the fraternity of dunces.

Contrary to the politically correct norms of our day, men and women are different. And if parents want to do what they can to prepare their children for the Legion of sexual philosophies that will come their way, they will take the time and trouble to teach them those differences.

The dad in that heartwarming video finally wrapped things up by giving his kids a promise.

“You have my promise forever to love you and accept you no matter what life you choose.”

On the surface, that looks loving. In reality, it’s quite far from love. Love isn’t a pass for parents to sit by passively while those under their care choose whatever.

Love does.

Love steps in.

Love corrects.

Love instructs.

And after all of that, if your child still chooses to rebel against what you taught, love is what keeps you there with arms opened when he comes back, heartbroken from the consequences of choosing whatever.

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Cheap And Easy Places To Take Your Kids

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The family vacation is important. It’s good to get away as a family to rest and make new memories. But you can only take so many family vacations in a year. Well, unless you happen to be an elected federal official but that’s for another post. What about the rest of us? Are there any places for normal parents to take their kids on a random Tuesday in the middle of July?

You bet! And there are added benefits to these destinations. Along with being cheap and easy, they just might help your kids along in their process of growing into adulthood.

1. The Backyard

I’ll never forget the time when my mother threw me out of the house. I was probably six-years-old and I was most definitely devastated. My mom didn’t care. Well, she cared. That was her whole reason for throwing me out. She just didn’t care that I was devastated.

I was spending too much time inside. And by inside, I mean following my mother around everywhere she went. Maybe she needed her space. Maybe she was thinking of my future. I don’t care. I’m just really glad that my mom threw me out of the house with very simple instructions.

“Stay outside until I tell you to come in. And get dirty. You’re a boy. It’s what your supposed to do.”

This parenting technique has fallen out of style. Progressives tell us that boys should never be told that, gasp!, there is a difference between the sexes. Safety Nazis remind us of all of the toxins that are in our mud. The self-esteem gurus preach a gospel of affirmation at all costs.

And just look at all the wonderful places these new and improved parenting techniques have taken us.

They’ve left us with a generation of kids with clean fingernails, confusion about their sexuality and fear about all of the terrible things that might happen to them.

Parents who care about the long term well-being of their children will take them on a trip outside, drop them off and go back inside without them. The kids will be fine. If you don’t trust me, just check in on them from afar every so often. That’s why the kitchen window was invented. And remember this, the broken bones, twisted ankles and scraped knees that may accompany your child’s otherwise unaccompanied trip to the backyard are not near as bad for him as the smooth skin that comes from an entire childhood spent in front of a television.

2. The Bathroom

Every kid needs to be taken to the bathroom. And I don’t just mean when nature calls. I mean taken to the bathroom. As in, “If you don’t straighten up, we’re going to the bathroom.”

There aren’t enough trips to the bathroom these days. We’ve all been in a restaurant with our significant other, finally able to enjoy a quiet meal together that neither one of us had to cook. Everything is perfect. The service is friendly and prompt. The food is delicious. And they even let you throw your peanut shells on the floor. You know, one of those classy places.

But  there’s one problem. The kid sitting behind you can’t stay quiet. He’s screaming like he just sliced his finger open with that dull knife they bring out with the complimentary bread. Nothing his parents/handlers try seems to work. Realizing this, his parents/handlers give up. This would all be quite understandable if the upset child were 6-months-old. But this kid is ten.

While said parents/handlers enjoy their meal in relative comfort, as if this drama is no different from any other night of the week for them, you are left with a wasted date, a to-go bag and peanut shells in your hair.

All of this would have been solved with a quick trip to the bathroom. Parents who love their kids, as well as their fellow restaurant patrons, will care enough to privately and sternly correct their child in the restroom.

We didn’t do many family vacations when I was a kid. They didn’t usually fit into my single mother’s budget. But there was always time for those cheap and easy trips that helped to shape me.

One Friday night my mother was helping to serve food at our church. A kid a few years older than me walked in to tell a joke to all of the nice church ladies in the kitchen. It was a  dirty joke. Filthy is probably a better description. Eddie Murphy would have blushed. The kid’s mother asked him where he heard that joke from. The kid said my name. He wasn’t lying.

My mother took me to the bathroom.

I never told that joke again.

Strong Rock, Bad Dreams

A little girl’s dreams have been crushed. There’s no doubt about that. The only question is, who did the crushing? Popular opinion is that it’s all the fault of a school. A Christian school, mind you.

Maddy Paige was a starting defensive tackle last year for a recreational football team. Next year she wants to play for her school, Strong Rock Christian School. The private institution has a policy prohibiting girls from playing on all boys teams. As a result, everyone who is everyone is mad at the school.

Sexism is alive and well down in Locust Grove, Georgia!

The Bible Thumpers are at it again!

And so on and so forth with all of the expected moans and groans.

What do we want? 

Seventh grade girls to play football!

When do we want it?

Now!

But no one wants to look beneath the rhetoric, at the core, where the real problem rests. Isn’t that where one can usually find the painful truth? Maybe that’s why so many people prefer the surface arguments. They’re not nearly as painful as the truth. On the surface, I can play the victim. It’s beneath the surface where we find the real culprit. And we may not like what we find. Hooray for the surface!

The school isn’t the problem here. Yes, I know. They’re the ones crushing a young girl’s dreams. But is it the job of an educational institution to inspire kids to follow their dreams? Absolutely not. An educational institution, as well as a family institution, at least the good ones, the ones that care to look beneath the surface, see that their responsibility is to give guidance, not continual and groundless affirmation. Not all dreams are worth following.

Parents and teachers are there to narrow down dreams for kids and help them to see which ones are worth following. So in a very real sense, parents and teachers are supposed to crush dreams. Gasp! But the fact that nobody wants to be a dream crusher is why so many young adults find themselves in a quarter-life crisis. All of their lives they’ve been told by parents and teachers that they can do anything they want to do and nothing can stand in their way, even gender or a lack of talent. As a result, they end up following their dreams, however wild and irresponsible they may be, only to see them crushed by the hard realities of life. Better to have a wild and crazy dream crushed at 10 than 25.

As you might expect, Paige’s mother is furious with Strong Rock’s dream-crushing policy.

“What they’ve done here is they’ve taken Maddy – they let her have that cake, then they took it from her and they smashed it.”

Fair enough. But wouldn’t it have been easier if mom and dad had done the smashing long ago. Or perhaps, I don’t know, not even let her have the cake to begin with? Maybe a different piece of cake?

Look Maddy, football is for boys. That doesn’t mean that boys are better than girls or that God loves boys more than girls. He just created them to have different roles. It’s sort of like the Trinity. The Father, Son and Spirit each have different roles but they are still equally God. Hey look, a softball!

Oh, but I can hear the arguments already.

Do you honestly expect a parent to talk to a sixth grader about the Trinity?!

No. But it would be nice. Besides, if we think that our little ones are old enough and responsible enough to be activists, maybe they can handle a little theology better than we might expect.

And that’s another thing that’s lost in cases like this. The child. Parents have to know that this cannot end well for the child, whether it’s in the seventh grade or in the NFL. Strong Rock said that Maddy’s presence on the middle school team “may” cause boys to have impure thoughts.

May?

May!

Seventh grade boys have impure thoughts looking at a can opener. Imagine what happens to the minds of those little seventh grade boys when they are told to wrap their arms around young Maddy’s waist or push her in the chest. Go ahead. Imagine. I can guarantee you that a group of seventh grade boys already are imagining. And that’s the thing that no one wants to talk about. When it comes to the blurring of gender lines, imaginations are given the opportunity to become actions.

In our culture we are quick to make accusations about sexism. And institutions usually, over time, cave to those accusations. That’s why there are women in our military fighting side by side with men on the front lines.

But we can’t have our cake and eat it too, to borrow a phrase from Maddy’s mother.

We cannot then be surprised when the real sexism takes place. The sexism that leads to a powerful man raping a woman under his command while on the field of battle. Or the sexism that takes place when a seventh grade boy with a wild imagination and a camera phone spends the better part of the afternoon tackling a girl.

Maddy says that Strong Rock Christian School has taken away her dreams. Maybe so. But maybe, in taking away those dreams, Strong Rock Christian School is protecting something that is much more precious to Maddy.

Her innocence.

Sadly, Perfectly Normal

I convinced myself that the old lady was afraid.

It was early in the morning and we were both at a walking track in our community.  I had just finished my workout and was waiting for the guy in charge of the Navy SEALs to parachute in and ask me the secret to my superhuman strength.  He didn’t show up so I figured it was time to head home.

That’s when I noticed the older lady.

I was dressed in dark colors and headed straight for her.  There was no one else around.  Why would there be?  It was very cold outside and the sun had just come up.  Just me and her.  She and I.

I wanted to send her some sort of non-verbal message to let her know that I wasn’t a crazed maniac, hanging out at the park all night and waiting to assault old ladies.  But how is that done?  Should I skip towards her?  I’m pretty sure that violent attackers never skip.  That would send the message to her, right?  I didn’t skip.

As I got closer, I kept my head down to avoid making creepy, prolonged eye-contact.  But finally, our paths crossed and it was time to let this lady know that I was as harmless as Willard Scott.

“Good morning, ma’am!”

I made sure to sound extra happy and, well, Willard Scott-ly when I said that.

Her eyes locked in on me and she laughed as she spoke.

“You gonna freeze yo bud-on-yas off in them short britches.”

Now I was the one that was scared.

Should I thank her for the warning or call the police?

And what exactly are bud-on-yas?

This woman was nearly twice my age.  We grew up in completely different worlds.  She was raised during a time when women wore clothes in public.  A time when it was safe to interact with strangers, even if those strangers were members of the opposite sex.  I grew up in a time when women were pushing for the freedom to take off more of their clothes on television.  A time when we all started becoming a little more suspicious, even afraid, of one another.

Today, women have very legitimate reasons to be afraid of a young man they have never seen before.  Most likely, this man has been raised on a steady diet of films where scantily clad young women get tortured.  This sometimes does not bode well for those women wishing to remain fully clad.

And even the most well-intentioned men have reasons to fear that a completely harmless comment might be taken as an innuendo for something not so harmless.  Along with that there is the threat of being accused of some sort of sexual advance that was never made.

As a result, most of us have stopped talking to each other and have instead settled for a safer world where we can comment, like and make friends without all of the fear.  Our new and ever-increasing sexual freedoms have given us a lot of resources for personal entertainment.  But they have also taken a lot away.  Things like eye contact, friendly greetings and innocence.

The worst form of slavery is the kind where the slaves are convinced that they are free.

I walked back to my truck, wondering what bud-on-yas were.  I noticed that another woman was parked right next to me.  She was closer to my age.  But this woman didn’t get out and make some comment about it being cold.  She stayed in her car, with her head down, waiting for me to drive off in my truck before she got out.

And sadly, that seemed perfectly normal.