In an election deemed one of the nastiest in recent times, our children heard hateful things said about women. CNN analyst and Marxist Van Jones expressed anguished concern on national TV: “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us.” It is easy to conclude that Trump, the new President-Elect, is responsible for this negative effect on children, since it is his words that are quoted. But I wonder if others also contribute to filling our children’s ears with things they need not hear.
In private, salacious talk about sex is apparently common, especially among men. My secular golfing buddies assure me that they hear plenty of it. Like all of us, Mr. Trump is responsible for every word he speaks, whether in private or in public. But the press also controls what our children hear. By choosing to play Trump’s lurid private sound bite day after day on prime time, do they not bear part of the blame? Do they measure how their coverage affects the lives of children?
Journalism was meant to speak honestly, neutrally and with decorum to the public, in an attempt to allow informed choice in matters of politics. Yet we have seen “neutral” journalists, called “the Fourth Estate” for their important role in society, seek approval from the Clinton campaign before publishing their articles. Debate questions were leaked to Hillary from “unbiased” journalists, and a network like Fox News feels compelled to “take sides,” since the reporting seems so biased. One must never justify Trump’s scandalous speech, but in the past, salacious, private talk did not necessarily find its way verbatim onto the evening news, so our children were protected. Had smartphone videos been possible in the era of the womanizing Kennedy brothers, imagine what we would have heard and seen! We would probably no longer be calling that period “Camelot.”
In 2016, the media went out of its way to make Trump’s behavior seem exceptional, as a political ploy to keep him out of office. The hypocrisy is dense. Had Hillary won, the press would have had a far worse sexually-obsessed ex-president back in the White House, the site of his earlier despicable crimes. Arkansas state troopers overseeing the then governor Clinton testified to having known of over a hundred affairs Clinton had during his time as governor. Ultimately, it is not only Trump, the Clintons and the media that bear the blame for saying or doing things we would rather our children not hear or see. Our entire culture is guilty!
In each iteration of one of the greatest Hollywood hits of a past generation, Agent 007 (James Bond) treats women as mere sexual objects. Our Hollywood entertainers and popular journalists have made totally banal a constant pornographic vision of sex. During the elections, Lady Gaga publicly offered free oral sex to any who voted for Hillary. Miley Cyrus was twerking in the White House (at the invitation of First Lady Michelle Obama), using in her lyrics the very same uncouth terms employed by Trump! Our popular newspapers, websites, teenage girl magazines and unfiltered pornographic web sites all contribute to the degeneration of sex into exhibitionism. Alas, we can no longer protect our children from sexual squalor in society!
The only way we can begin to protect them is through genuine personal confession. What if our private conversations were broadcast over CNN in prime time? We all bear responsibility for the legacy we leave. We must pray for our current President, our President-Elect, our elected officials and our nation as a whole. May we repent, seek forgiveness through Christ from a holy God, and speak truth at all times, in purity and love, using our tongues to encourage and build others up. Only then can we hold our heads high before our children.
How many people might follow suit should President-Elect Trump address the nation, confessing and repenting of any wrong attitudes he has had and any unseemly act he has committed to dehumanize women? Donald Trump would do well to follow his Vice-President-Elect, Mike Pence, who has publicly declared without fear, that he is first and foremost a Christian and that the USA must turn to God again in repentance. He even quoted II Chronicle 7:14: If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Maybe a revival would break out!