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Welcome to the New Barbarism

OK. I like humor, and I think most people around me would say I can take a joke without being too uptight. But this video is way over the line. Sadly, I think this is yet another example of the results of loosing the moorings to any moral order in our culture. Welcome to the rise of the new barbarism, cloaked in humor.

Any parent knows the challenges of child-rearing. But the need here is not chloroform for the kids but a swift kick in the butt for the parents.

The video starts off humorously but begins descending into creepiness. Tired of tantrums? Then step up and provide serious, controlled discipline. (I wonder how many of the people who find this funny recoil at the thought of spanking). It’s interesting that they specifically refer to “embarrassing” tantrums. The concern is for how you look to others, not the training of kids. With all the reports of child abuse are we going to joke about putting a child’s foot in a garbage disposal? Children are “wallet-draining crap factories”? Chloroforming a girl on an awkward blind date? Really? It seems the guy’s point is to get away, but with sex trafficking such an issue, is this something to play with?

How about the parents who regretted almost immediately having their first child because she cried so much. Is this portrait of narcissistic parents who have now unwittingly killed their child- and are just happy she’s quiet- is this funny? What we laugh at may tell us more about ourselves than anything else.

Then, a man punching his wife (or “partner”?) in the stomach to end a pregnancy since children are so bad? Maybe if he’s put his remote down, get off his rear end and help things would be different. Then the closing scene seems to show an adult woman’s body being shut up in a car trunk.

I can’t find this humorous. I find it disgusting. But if sexual activity is all about personal, individual fulfilment then children can be seen as an unfortunate byproduct. If they are an unfortunate byproduct, then this video can be seen differently. Which is another way of saying that barbarism isn’t surprising or offensive to barbarians.

Jesus received children and blessed them (Matt 19:13-15; click for a great exposition of this text). The people of Jesus must show another way. Parenting is work- hard, yet rewarding, work. You ought not engage in sexual activity unless you are prepared to enter the realm of parenting. Yes, we will be tired, and, yes, children will misbehave. And we might joke about this and laugh at ourselves. But never in a way which demeans life. Joy will be found not in selfishness but in loving and caring for one another, including the little ones God gives us.

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