Mark Easton with Ten Reasons To Cheer Our Teenagers
Reading the great British press, one might be forgiven for thinking that all our teenagers are binge-drinking, drug-addled, knife-wielding thugs ready to leap out and stab a granny for a fiver…
But I thought it might be timely to remind ourselves that youth doesn’t necessarily mean yob.
From the department of ‘oh really’, comes the news story, that when interviewed, the young people of Bognor Regis want a multiplex cinema. I link, because I’m as amazed there are young people in Bognor Regis as you are.
The Spectator has a harrowing article on paedophilia and child abuse. It’s worth reading not thinking “oh gosh, there are paedophiles everywhere” but just to realise how hidden paedophilia can be.
Child abuse, like domestic abuse, happens behind the most expensive, salubrious of doors and we need to face up to this. It was the complacent conviction that it could not happen in a nice middle-class suburb that meant Fritzel could go about his hideous double life in Austria with his family in the cellar, unnoticed for so long. At least Fritzel’s house looks like a grim prison-block that allows us to set him apart and view him as a freak. Took, on the other hand, lived in a beautiful, spacious home in Chelsea, surrounded by paintings and books, and was able to blind those around him with the sheer weight of his glamour and assured social status. Many paedophiles can. It is as if a man of intelligence and achievement cannot take the intellectual leap into such darkness. But he clearly can — and has.
The Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group has handed their annual report to the British government and among the many pieces of advice contained in it, they recommend altering broadcasting standards so that “positive sexual health messages, including the advertising of condoms, are communicated effectively before the 9pm broadcast watershed”. Guess which headline the papers ran with.
People writing news stories; as good scare mongering as it is, this still doesn’t mean you’re going to see adverts for condom’s before Blue Peter. Also, people writing government reports, you think the young people needing to use condoms are going to stop watching TV at 9pm?
The Guardian has an interview with David Cameron where he mentions Barack Obama’s recent comments about absent black fathers. In short he, in line with Obama says that absent fathers are a bad thing, and it seems to be a major problem among black young men. At the time of writing though, both are still despicable plagiarists as neither have acknowledged stealing their ideas off Chris Rock.
One of the least talked about devastations in masculine formation is the boy who was not rescued from the bosom of women and initiated into the world of men. Many fathers fail to initiate their sons into the masculine journey which has very damaging, long-term effects. Preachers and teachers must figure out a way to initiate these men into kingdom mission.
Preaching to Smothered Mama’s Boys
Going to visit stabbing victims is out (though was apparently never in), more community based solutions are in. On top of this, the Mirror reports everyone caught carrying a knife is going to have to do 300 hours community service in bright white jumpsuits on a Friday and a Saturday night. I’m not sure where they evidence their 30 week plan for no social life from, but I’m sure it’ll have a chance to roll out before someone changes their mind.
On Sunday Gene Robinson got heckled during his sermon. Questions over why the vicar of the church he spoke at thought it was a good idea to allow him to speak on unity and not being divisive when he’s appearing in the country to attend a conference he explicitly wasn’t invited to remain.
Alas, not from Sir Alan Sugar, but from Sir Alan Steer, a head teacher about to publish a report on tackling bullying:
Sir Alan [Steer] told the Guardian: “It’s connected to a violent sub-culture. But we bear some responsibility. Sometimes as adults we don’t model the behaviour we would want youngsters to follow. We live in a greedy culture, we are rude to each other in the street. Children follow that.”