Three Things This Week
1. Chance the Rapper’s Big Night
What it is: The 23-year-old indie rapper made Grammy history Sunday night, taking home awards for Best New Artist, Rap Album, and Rap Performance.
Why it’s important: Chance brought Jesus to the Grammy’s. Accepting the award for best new artist, Chance proclaimed, “Glory be to God. I claim this victory in the name of the Lord.” However, Chance’s life is a messy mix of the holy and the profane. According to one music insider, “What Chance is doing is real and raw. It’s not for your kids youth group, but it’s powerful stuff”. He appears to have a prophetic voice, but his lyrics are vulgar and indecent. Ask your teens these questions about Chance and his music: What is good? What is harmful? What is missing or incoherent about his faith and his actions and why does it matter?
What it is: On Monday Playboy announced the return of nudity to its magazine, prompting the #NakedIsNormal hashtag which also coincided with Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition release.
Why it’s important: A generation ago, Playboy and SI’s swimsuit edition were gateway drugs to a burgeoning porn industry. But unlike 25 years ago, today’s teens don’t have to go to the nearest convenience store to purchase illicit material; it’s in their pockets. PornHub reports 23 billion visits to its site, and over 91 bilion videos viewed in 2016, that’s 12.5 videos viewed for every person on earth. So the question isn’t whether or not your teen will see porn, it’s what will you do when you find out? The most important thing your child should know is that you are safe, that Mom and Dad are safe people to talk to about sexual temptations. Read this article to learn more about how to react when your children admit to watching porn.
3. Ashton Kutcher Goes to Washington
What it is: Actor and activist Ashton Kutcher gave an emotional plea to Congress addressing the global issue of sex trafficking.
Why it’s important: As Co-Founder of Thorn, a company that builds software to fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children, Kutcher and his team are digital defenders of children by combating predatory online behavior, rescuing victims, and protecting vulnerable children by leveraging new innovations in technology. Watch his speech to Congress and get involved with your teen by joining the fight against human trafficking in your community and online.
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The LEGO Batman Movie
Every week, our team wades through the good and bad of culture to keep you abreast of what’s going on in your teen’s world. Sadly, much of what passes as entertainment is a debased version of reality. Even animated children’s films can contain subversive or dangerous content.
Luckily, The LEGO Batman Movie is an exception to the rule. In fact, the film was hilarious without resorting to crudeness, cleverly ironic, and positive without being cheesy. It even dares to be one of the few films that questions the anti-hero stereotype, suggesting that superheroes are no different from the villains they defeat if their lives are also marked by isolation, self-centeredness, a disregard for the law, and an inability to feel empathy.
But best of all, the movie is extremely pro-community and pro-family. Batman learns that everyone—including those who are considered “super”—needs community, family, and to be vulnerable. We highly recommend seeing the film as a family, taking the time to discuss its ideas afterward. Some great questions to ask are:
– Why did you like the movie so much? (Get them to really think about it)
– Do you think Batman belonged in Phantom Zone? Why/why not?
– Why did Batman avoid talking about his family with Alfred? Why do you think it’s easier for us to ignore our feelings than to talk about them?
– Why did the Joker care so much about what Batman thought of him?
– Have you ever felt like you had to do everything yourself or don’t have someone safe to talk to?
– How can we, as a family, better support and be there for each other?
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