America has become a weird hodgepodge of morality defined by illogical standards. I saw a strange episode recently that highlighted this. I don't even know if I can tell it without gettin' crazy, anticipatin' love and music...er...wait...
I meant without passion. Boston showed up in my mind.
During the course of my pastoral duty, I was having lunch with some elementary students. I always LOVE these times. Kids say the darndest things, so talking with them is a joy. They also have a beautiful, simplistic faith that seems to energize my oft-complicated view of things and remind me to simply trust and obey. (I think this is an unusual case of digress to progress...little to do with the story, but good to remember!)
So, that's the scene. Me. Lunch room. Kids. Gettin' it.
It was in a smaller school, the kind with the gym / lunch room combo that is a curtain pull away from being an auditorium. A gym class was happening on the other side of the big curtain, right beside us. Music was playing and directions were being shouted. We Will Rock You by Queen began to play. My first thought was, Dang, we did gym to no music and these kids are jammin' out! Hmmm...I do remember listening to The Sound of Music once while we did a cake walk. Wow.
Then, I began to look around and notice children all over the cafeteria KNEW THE SONG. What? This is Justin Bieber / Hannah Montana territory. They know Queen? Have I been transported to Backyonderland? Children not only knew the song, but they were singing and dancing! Even short adults are tall in elementary school, so it was easy to look over the whole crowd. I noticed it right away; it was like the first few kernels of corn beginning to pop, then more as students spun, snapped, clapped and boogied in their seats.
Then it hit me...THIS is allowed in school, but prayer, the Bible and faith is not? Hunh? What? See...what had happened was...
Did I mention "Hunh?"
I love rock-n-roll. I know many people would automatically grade me a pagan for that admission, but, pfffttt... I do really like it. I like Queen. Don't believe me? Check out my iPod. You'll see. Still, I don't hold Queen up as any sort of example for morality. Their lead singer was a homosexual. Sure, he was an awesome singer, maybe one of the best rock singers of all time. I'm not here to drag that guy down or run his name through the mud. He's deceased. It's unproductive. I know America's morality-nouveau equals homosexual equals cool. However, as antiquated as He might be, God still calls it sin. I'm not even here to debate that. The thing that hit me is that we have so promoted this stuff in schools that kids KNOW it and RESPOND to it at the drop of the hat.
Don't get me wrong, I KNOW that a child's morality and education MUST BE THE PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY. Not only do I know it's not the school's job to raise my children, but even if I didn't think the system was broke, I wouldn't want them to. That's my job.
I'm just saying...
Its' a strange place, both in time and geography, where we can't talk about Jesus in the public schools, but Freddie Mercury is "normal". Did I miss something? Okay, maybe it's just time. Maybe time fixes morality in such a way that 30 years down the road everything is noble. Maybe they'll beebop to Marilyn Manson in a few years. Sure. That must be it. Just more time and Jesus will be cool again, right?
I guess Elvis' gyrating hips would not be much of a stir anymore. But, that Jesus still is unsafe and controversial. The nerve of Him!
It's not the music. It's not Freddie. It's not even the issue of homosexuality. It's the illogical way we seem to go at things in America. YOU -- yes, YOU, Mr. Government -- can decide what is cool for my kids to hear in school, and THIS is what you chose? THIS is what we got in the trade when we (The Church) silently let you begin to dictate too much of what's good and right? Really? How did you arrive at that decision? What criteria did you use?
Don't worry. This is not a public outcry. I'm not worried. I am thoughtful. I will teach my children. I will obey the Lord and shape their moral compass according to Him. I will teach them to love all kinds of good things; maybe even a few Queen songs, with a discerning ear / mind, of course.
It's our own fault anyway. Kids don't beebop, boogie, clap or sing in church either. Perhaps our worldliness is more contagious than our godliness...