Pin-Ups and Beat Downs

consistencyDo you remember a few years ago when “Miss California” made national news when she failed to give a “politically correct” answer a question about homosexual marriage?  Because she stated that she believed marriage was to be between a man and a woman, she lost her chance at the title of “Miss USA,” but was hailed by conservatives as a paragon of virtue.

When this happened I wrote an article cautioning those who were ready to treat her as the new “pin-up” for morality. The reason for my caution was because I saw an inconsistency in holding up a women who parades herself in a bikini, to be scrutinized by onlookers, as a model for morality. But because she answered a question that fit one group’s agenda, other aspects of her life were overlooked. As circumstances had it, shortly after gaining national attention, several embarrassing photos of this young lady were published, and people had to take down their new “pin-up.”

Fast Forward…Just this past week, riots took place in the city of Baltimore.  One scene from those riots has been played on all the networks and has gone viral on the internet.  It is a short profanity laden video clip of a mother wildly flailing away at her son, smacking him in the face and head for his involvement in the riots. This mother has been interviewed by major networks on national television and praised her for her “beat down” of her son.  “We need more mother’s like her,” is what we’re being told. In fact, she’s even being called, “The Mother of the Year” in Baltimore.

Again, I offer words of caution.  While we need good mothers and fathers to hold up as role models, are we sure this woman’s actions are the model we want to extol?  Cursing at her son, wildly swinging and repeatedly hitting her sixteen-year-old son in the head and face?  Don’t be so anxious to see a parent take responsibility for her child that we endorse as virtuous what in reality is shameful.

These two examples should serve to remind us that we may have “blind spots.”  We may have an agenda we believe in so strongly that we latch onto the first thing we think might support it, only to later be forced to let it go. As a dog owner, I have had the experience of grilling out and accidentally dropping a hotdog.  Before I could retrieve it, my dog would spring into action and grab it, only to very quickly have to let go of it because it was so hot. I’m just saying we need to be more discerning that my pet. While we all have agendas that are important to us, we must be mindful of our blinds spots.

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Comments 4

  • Steve, I generally don’t comment publicly on these kinds of things, but since I wrote an article in the other direction on this one, I thought I might offer other food for thought. Let me begin by saying, I know your work and it is good; in fact, I re-published an article of yours this week in our bulletin. I appreciate that your positions are well thought out and considerate. Let me also say, that for anyone who would use these comments for division, there is NONE between my brother, Steve and me. Finally, I actually agree with your premise…all too often people rush into things (especially heroes) only to be disappointed and disillusioned.
    That being said, not all support of this woman was dogs chasing after dropped hot dogs. As you know, I use the blog as an opportunity to redirect attention from news stories in the world to Jesus. By its very nature, therefore, it uses the imperfect to present the perfect. I think we are all looking for glimpses of Jesus in this world. And when a woman, full of adrenaline, facing an angry mob, runs to save her child and pluck him out from disaster, I am not surprised that it is accompanied by foul language and physical discipline. The old adage is of the parent who grabs the child from the highway, beats their bottom and then asks if they are ok. Most of us, as parents, have done something similar. Does that make her a hero-mom? Not necessarily. Does it make her human? Yes, absolutely. The reason people are so enamored by this, and the reason that they are so drawn to her, is that it was the closest thing to a shining moment in an otherwise dark and terrible example what happens in a fallen world. And that is worth applauding as a move in the right direction.
    In the end, it was just one mom who cared enough to put her life on the line to pluck her son up from the precipice of destruction. Is she perfect? No. But I thought it was worth a shout-out this week.
    Again, love your work and all you do for the Kingdom. For your consideration,

  • Greg,
    I appreciate your feedback, and your caution (for the sake of readers). We’re good friends, and we know we can speak with each other without taking offense, but maybe not all the readers do. I haven’t read your article yet, so I’ll have to go check it out. But what yet reading it, I would guess that our difference is in a nuance of judgment, and nothing more. Whatever you wrote, I am sure you weren’t condone a mother slapping her teenage child in the face and cursing at him. And likewise, I’m not suggesting that she should not have acted with urgency and determination. Keep on writing!

  • Thanks, brother. And just remember, always…it is your fault I started a blog anyway 😉 blessings!

  • […] Pin-Ups and Beat Downs – “Do you remember a few years ago when “Miss California” made national news when she failed to give a “politically correct” answer a question about homosexual marriage…” […]

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