Thursday, November 17, 2011

You Can Wait On The World To Change Or You Can Change The World

John Mayer’s song, “Waiting on the World to Change” managed to find its way into my head this morning. Sure, it’s a little outdated -- maybe even vintage by today’s standards -- but none the less, it’s stuck in my head.

When the song released in 2006, it caused some controversy. Some claimed it was a song about the apathy of our generation, while others argued that it was an anthem for the generation that would one day be in power.

In The Advocate, Mayer described the song this way, "It’s saying, ‘Well, I’ll just watch American Idol because I know that if I were engaged in changing anything for the better, or the better as I see it, it would go unnoticed or be completely ineffective.' A lot of people have that feeling."

He’s basically saying that it’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that we’re afraid and perhaps, by the time we are adults, we will be ready to be part of the solution. We will be bold enough to make a difference and finally have the tools to do great things.

But where does that leave us right now? Can we do anything worthwhile today?

Rachel, a 12 year-old girl from Florida thinks so. So much so, that she has worked for the past 3 years, raising over $250,000.00 and building 27 permanent homes for a community in Haiti. Check out the video by clicking here.

Rachel said, “Life is life. You can’t just say I’m going to make Haiti the best place in the world and it happens at the snap of a finger, you have to work at it. You have to make it happen.”

Rachel’s success was evident way before she received press coverage, newspaper articles and blogs written about her. Rachel is bold and not waiting for her “generation to rule the population.” She’s starting now. Her next project? Build a new school that was destroyed in the earthquake back in 2010, and guess what? She’s halfway there!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Is "The First Time" An Example of Soft-Child-Porn?

Glee -- Episode 3 of Season 5 -- "The First Time" part 3...

Over the past week, we have been inundated with pictures of Joe Paterno and the horrendous scandal at Penn State University. Everyone is outraged at the horrible sexual abuse Jerry Sandusky allegedly inflicted on kids under the age of 18. Why is everyone mad? Because the vast majority of American's, regardless of religious or political persuasion, agree that taking advantage of a minor is morally wrong.

Think about some of the laws that are currently in place to try and protect kids: child-pornography is not only immoral but it's also illegal. If you want to view a porn website you have to be older than 18. And if you want to get into a strip club or bar you have to have a valid ID proving you're an adult (even this was not out of bounds for the episode -- Blaine and Kurt receive fake ID's to go to a gay bar on diva night).

Yet the producers, directors, actors, and actresses of ‘Glee’ are representing underage sexuality on prime-time TV. Granted, the actors and actresses themselves are older than 18, but they are representing and targeting kids under 18 years old with the show and their marketing campaigns. Is this a form of child-pornography? Is it promoting soft-porn to those who are underage? Should Fox be held accountable for their representation of child-sex or are they simply utilizing their right to free speech? Something seems inconsistent here...

What do you think? You may comment below…

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Where Glee's "The First Time" Went Too Far

'Glee' -- Episode 3 of Season 5 -- "The First Time" -- Part 2

For any 'Glee' fans out there, we just want to clarify that this post is not about hating on 'Glee' -- it's about looking at the content of this week's episode and comparing it to truth and reality. Many of you have heard us say that "the issue is not unanswered questions, this issue is unquestioned answers -- the answers that our culture gives us that Glee gives us that we believe without questioning their validity." Today we are going to look at some of the unquestioned answers in episode 3 of season 5 of 'Glee' entitled "The First Time."

  1. Unquestioned answer #1: Artie says, “as a friend I support your strange aversion to fun…” Axis wants to know: "Really? Staying a virgin is a strange aversion to fun? Is sexuality just about fun and just about pleasure?"
  2. Unquestioned answer #2: Artie finishes off his monologue with, “How do you expect to convey the human experience…when you haven’t even opened yourself up to one of humanity’s basic and most primal ones?” Axis says: According to this logic, if Broadway was doing a production of The Lion King, the guy playing Simba would need to become a lion for a couple of weeks so that he can accurately convey the part. Does this sound right to you?
  3. Unquestioned answer #3: Sebastian hooks up Blaine and Kurt with some fake ID's so they can go to a "gay bar". Axis says: are fake ID's legal? Considering the definition of a "fake ID" includes falsifying information -- probably not!
  4. Unquestioned answer #4: Sexuality exists for two people who love each other. Axis says: Nope – sexuality exists for two married people who love each other – big difference.
The entire episode has two foundational wrong assumptions:

Wrong Assumption #1: sexuality is okay outside of marriage. Axis says: If you believe the Bible is accurate in what it teaches you understand that this assumption is false. In the second chapter of Genesis before the Fall, Adam and Eve are brought together by God and become one flesh. Sexuality is created by God for two people within a marriage relationship.

Wrong Assumption #2: sexuality is simple. Axis says: It’s not just a matter of making a decision of whether you love someone or not. Having sex affects the entire person – it affects someone physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

At Axis, we believe a correct view of sexuality is important because it affects the entire person. When the Bible talks about a husband and wife "becoming one flesh" it's talking about two people dying to themselves and becoming one person. Sexuality is very powerful because it connects people physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Biblically sex is meant for marriage, and is considered morally wrong outside of that boundary. But personally, when two people become intimate on that level and then break-up, the damage is also much deeper.

The biggest problem with this episode of 'Glee' is the fact that it devalues sex. By talking about it as the "basic primal experience," an opportunity for fun, and something that everyone does -- it makes it sound like sex isn't really that big of a deal. Even when the show talks about waiting, it's not because of ethics or morals, it's because of selfish reasons. In fact, this episode of 'Glee' makes sex seem a lot like ice-cream. If you want a treat -- go for it. If you don't want to get fat -- wait. In both cases sex becomes something we consume rather than the most beautiful part of a marriage relationship. It becomes all about "I instead of all about "us."

Do you agree? You may comment below...

Tomorrow we will take one more look at this episode, don't miss it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Did This Week's Episode of 'Glee' Take Teen Sexuality Too Far?

Let’s face it – TV shows need ratings and nothing boosts ratings more than controversy. Sure there might be some negative backlash, but the “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” philosophy seems to work for companies like MTV and shows like Fox’s ‘Glee’. Most people think news organizations exaggerate information anyway, so when a story comes out like, “Straight, Gay Couples Lose Virginity on ‘Glee’ Episode, Spark Controversy” a lot of us think they are just trying to find a story and that it probably wasn’t that bad. If you are a fan of the show you might find yourself saying things like; “they unfairly represented the show”, “they just don’t understand the symbolism”, or maybe the one most of us use regularly “it really wasn’t that bad.”

The celebration, support, and approval of teen sexuality in this week’s episode of ‘Glee’ was really that bad. For many fan’s of the show this blog might seem to be unfair, but this blog is not about hating on ‘Glee’. It’s about looking at content and deciding how it measures up with truth and reality. For anyone who missed the episode, here is a summary:


Losing my virginity was a great experience for me because it was with someone I loved.” This quote from Tina sums up this week’s ‘Glee’ episode. So far, episode 3 of season 5 has caused more controversy than any other episode. Why? Because all 42 minutes are dedicated to celebrating, supporting, and approving of teen sexuality.

The theme of the episode is a high school production of West Side Story. Artie, the student director, begins the episode by challenging the two main stars Blaine and Rachel with their virginity. It just so happens that both stars are virgins, and are waiting for the “right time.” Artie replies, “as your friend I support your strange aversion to fun, but as your director I’m concerned…how do you expect to convey the human experience to an audience when you haven’t even opened yourself up to one of humanity’s basic and most primal ones.”

As a result, both stars begin the process of giving away “something that no one else will ever get (Rachel).” At first, they both are considering sex for the wrong motives – to become better actors. Rachel even gets caught putting her acting before her boyfriend Finn, and it causes a small rift in their relationship. Luckily, Rachel has friends that are “experienced” and can help her through the rough patch in their relationship. Unfortunately, neither Blaine nor Rachel get a chance to have sex before their performance, and that’s when Rachel says one of the most telling lines of the day: “The audience is smart! The only sensible solution is to cancel the show.” The story ends with Blaine and Rachel both learning that they have been selfish, and that their boyfriends are all that matter. In the end they give away their virginity, and the audience is left with the call to celebrate the consummation of their relationships.

There was almost a redeeming part in the episode, when Quinn, the girl with the most “experience” in the group asks, “Do you want my advice? Just wait – look what happened to me…I’m not just talking about getting pregnant – I’m talking about losing something you can never get back. It changes you. It makes everything more complicated.” But even in this dialogue there’s a problem: waiting is not about right vs. wrong, Quinn's reason for waiting is still all about her.

The reasons she gives for waiting are: you might get pregnant and be inconvenienced. You might lose something you can never get back. You will change. You will have a complicated life. That seems to be the problem with the entire episode. Sexuality is reduced to the pursuit of selfish pleasure.

This leads us to a very important question: is sexuality all about us and finding pleasure? Find out what Axis thinks about this episode tomorrow, but for now we'd like to know what you think. Please comment below...

*image from "The First Time" espisode: