I am a wife, a mom, and a passionate advocate of kindness, forgiveness, and love. In short, I am basically a “calm mom”. I am so pro-peace that for decades I even wondered why Jesus threw over those tables at the temple (see: The New Testament). What about the peace Jesus? But I am a little angry right now and am looking forward to future Jesus overthrowing more than tables when He comes again. Today I am talking about the hypocrisy of the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
What a confusing world we now live in, especially for our teenagers. We encourage young men to stay away from the drug of pornography, then we show up on television and phones with dealers. We tell young women we want them to be empowered, and then we send them role models with stripper poles and a carefully chosen subtext: “Men have the power. You want to get along in this world? Focus on Sex. Let Yourself be Manipulated, Used, and Disempowered.” Then at the end of this Halftime show we add little girls in pure white clothes to try to legitimize what just happened. We wonder why so many women have eating disorders, why so many men have soul crushing pornography addictions, why children are sexually abused, and why sexual trafficking just keeps getting worse? The Super Bowl and sexual trafficking are terrifyingly linked: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/super-bowl-sex-trafficking_n_2607871
When are we going to Connect All The Dots?
We are a better country than this. America was not founded on weakness. The pilgrims were not wimps. Our Revolutionary forefathers were not spineless. Our immigrants, whom we welcomed to Ellis Island, were not lacking in grit and determination.
We need that bravery, that fortitude, and that courage again. We need, (referencing the Hans Christian Andersen tale), to stand up to the Emperor and tell him that he is not wearing any clothes. But then as now, people pretend not to see inappropriate nakedness (and carefully chosen camera angles, etc.) around them. They want to be liked. I have heard from many people (men and women) that they were uncomfortable with the Halftime Show, but they didn’t say anything. Basically, they wanted to “go along to get along”. Gah! If there is one thing I wish I could teach all children and young adults it is this: When your spirit feels uncomfortable about something, if it feels “off”, if it feels unsafe-remove yourself from the situation immediately. Other people told me that when they felt uncomfortable, they did turn off the TV.
I applaud you from all the bleachers!!!
We have to learn to recognize this feeling of discomfort, and act on it. This feeling is a warning from heaven. We need to follow our moral compass and encourage others to do the same. Who knows how many innocent children and teens we could save from future #metoomovements? Who knows how many we could re-direct away from the plague of pornography, whose mission is to destroy the family?
16 states now call pornography a public health crisis. We could use fewer triggers for our young boys. Pastors have said that pornography is the number one thing that boys come to access help with as they try to move past it. They come broken and emotional. They often say it started with unfortunate media choices that are accepted, even applauded in our world. If boys and men are trying to move past issues, they don’t need close up shots of “barely there” sisters standing in their way. It feels mean.
We are Americans. We lead the world. Let’s lead!! We were built on integrity, decency, and morality. Our ancestors, many of whom gave up everything to come here, are still watching us. They helped create the country we now cherish. Can we show our thanks by increasing our grit, determination and decency? We can!
Of course we want women to be physically strong! I love that Jennifer Lopez is 50 and athletic. But as one friend of my friends brilliantly said “If they hadn’t worn such sexual outfits, could they have done the same routines and showcased their athletic ability and… nail all those dance moves?? Imagine if these women were wearing athletic clothes that did not emphasize their female organs. What message would be thinking instead?”
I also adore the wondrous cultural diversity in our world. I was a little girl who cried the first time I heard “It’s a Small World After All” and saw those dolls from all of those countries. I love Zumba and other Latin inspired dances! But things can be taken too far. There is a huge problem in Latin America with machismo. One (of dozens of examples) of the pernicious nature of this problem is that women have been beaten in the streets in Latin America, often with no repercussions for the men. Latin American women come in last in the respect for women department. (https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/10/14/356111652/survey-latin-america-ranks-last-in-respect-for-women Life often imitates art. If their art stayed on the more respectful end of things, would their society be more encouraged in that direction?
And of course physical intimacy, in the right setting, is awesome! There is a time and a place for all of these feelings and the expressions of them. God gave us intimacy to enjoy and treasure. But there is a reason it’s called “intimacy”. It’s intimate, private, beautiful, even sacred. As Muhammed Ali once wisely said to his daughter:
“Everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down and in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get them.
Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.’”
Franklin Graham said: “I don’t expect the world to act like the church, but our country has had a sense of moral decency on prime time television in order to protect children. We see that disappearing before our eyes. It was demonstrated tonight in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show—with millions of children watching. This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay. With the exploitation of women on the rise worldwide, instead of lowering the standard, we as a society should be raising it. I’m disappointed in Pepsi and the NFL.”
I’m not saying we need to turn over any (TV) tables. But we can definitely turn off the TV. We can turn from away from half truth cocktails laced with soul poison. We can take stands in our homes and communities. We can listen to that still small voice inside of each of us. It knows the way, and the way to get away…
Let’s do better America. Like Lady Liberty, let’s hold up our lights! Let’s speak up about those things that do not honor the God who created us. Let’s do it for Him, for our families, and for our highest and best selves.