I have often been heard over the years encouraging Christians to ‘shout back at the telly’, an idea which I first heard from a friend called Dave Roberts. When someone says something stupid, mindless, or just plain wrong, don’t let them get away with it – shout back at them. Tell them what you think, or even what God might think. Although I strongly suspect that the idiots the other side of the screen can’t actually hear you, we have found it an important family activity to encourage critical thinking, rather than just sucking in what the media spits out at us. Come to think of it, I have on a couple of occasions had people shouting back at my preaching, but of course that’s different.
Well, I had a massive rant-back whilst watching the news tonight, national and local, about a couple of young children who had been starved or beaten to death by their parents. Apparently if you’re going to get murdered, the most likely time statistically is in your first year, so most of my readers are probably going to be OK from here on. But one child per week is killed by its own parents, usually its mother, per week in the UK. And for that we can congratulate ourselves, because it isn’t as bad as in some other countries.
Of course the news article was all about the failure of social services, police and other agencies to pick up on the signs and prevent these tragic deaths. There was much beating of breasts, and an overuse of the word ‘unacceptable’. But no-one seemed to see the unquestioned assumption underneath this story, or to grieve at its meaning: we are fully used to living in a society where it is the job of social services to protect us from our own mothers. Of course it is tragic when a baby is murdered, but even more so because social workers didn’t stop it from happening. What have we become?
So my advice is for us all to vote back the Tories, the party of traditional family values, into power next time, as they continue to make a stand for the strengthening of marriage and stable family life, where children are born into families with two married parents who love each other and their kids.
Lord, have mercy.