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Jes Suis Charlie Hebdo?

February 18, 2015

murica

Satirical art is meant to get people thinking. And a picture is worth a thousand words. But is an attack on someone’s identity taking free speech too far?

The murder of the Charlie Hebdo (CM) employees by two Muslim terrorists was reprehensible (an attack which came in response to the satirical cartoons placed on the cover of CM’s magazine mocking the Islamic religion’s founder, Mohammed). Despite the horror and unrighteous nature of the attack, we should probably ask ourselves, are there are times when our freedom of speech goes too far? If not, then why are we beginning to send people to jail for “hate speech?” Isn’t that keeping a double standard? Let’s examine this issue from both sides of the coin. Because the subject deserves a thorough investigation, this will be a longer than usual article, but hopefully an enjoyable and informative one (please like, comment, and share! Thanks!).

Western societies tolerate satirical art quite well. As Americans, we greatly value our freedom of speech and will gladly go to war to fight for everyone’s right to free speech. And I wholeheartedly agree, even if that means you will speak out against the things that I value or you hurt my feelings. Our Lord endowed us with these freedoms. It was with these freedoms in mind that our nation’s founding fathers wrote its foundational documents. For example, in the Declaration of Independence they said the following,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That is why constitutional rights should be protected even when it hurts us to hear such disrespectful things, things similar to those depicted in the cartoon, above. But it does makes one think, right? And thinking is something an educated public is supposed to do. Without education, there is no hope to maintain a free society. The repression of freedom in education and the lack of freedom in speech among Muslim societies sort of guarantees that their citizens will remain subjugated by the atrocities of Sharia Law. So, what may seem like hate speech to you may have a valuable point behind it. Never mind that it be a part of someone else’s religious or political beliefs; both of which are protected under the law. Let’s take the difference of opinion that exists about homosexuality in our society as one example.

Speaking Against Homosexuality: Homophobic Hate Speech or Reasonable Argument?

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One of the issues being debated within this topic is whether or not homosexuality is truly a genetic anomaly thereby making it deserving of protected status (against criticism or discrimination). However, for those who believe being gay is not genetic but a choice, they don’t feel it is within the government’s jurisdiction to legislate such protections (not that anyone should be treated hatefully… that IS within the government’s jurisdiction). However, many people believe that homosexuals are that way because they struggle with one or more of the following issues (in other words, they simply need a strategy to help them overcome this propensity). They may be dealing with:

  • A psychological problem (e.g., not having the attention desired from the same sex parent or or being sexually molested as a child);
  • A desire for attention (i.e., it is the newest fad so kids can now become popular, pitied, and supported while simultaneously sticking it to their parents. Lots of kids who would never have considered homosexuality are going this direction now for this very reason. Some people just need a soap box to stand on while they beat their drum in order to feel okay about who they are.);
  • Nowadays with all of the attention being dedicated to gay people in the media, kids are getting confused about their sexuality. Many assume they are gay simply because they are just fearful or socially awkward with the opposite sex or really admire someone of the same sex.
  • Pornography confuses people a great deal, too. Many who think they are gay have merely developed a perverted sexual appetite due to their exposure to pornography where homosexual interactions are common.
  • Because of today’s free attitude about sex (or shamelessness), possessing absolutely no moral restraints such as being restricting sex to marital relations only, many people get in bondage to homosexuality because they have allowed themselves to become a part of  experimental sexual experiences. In the past, social mores made all of this less likely to happen.

Had you ever considered any of those reasons before? Did you even know that there is absolutely no genetic proof that a person is born gay? Did reading my words enlighten you in ways that a biased media could not?

Are you even aware that there is an intentional campaign in the American media to promote homosexuality as a lifestyle to you and your children? Albeit, the purpose may have been a noble one (to enlighten people of the prejudice against gays in order to provide equal rights), that is essentially what it is doing. While treating everyone with respect is important, is it healthy for a society to promote this as an alternative lifestyle for all people to consider? That is essentially what the media is doing with it. But sadly, we are swallowing it, hook, line, and sinker. Why not, you may ask? That is a topic for another day (in a nutshell, it creates confusion with regard to one’s identity and creates a barrier to properly understanding the nature of God).

Yet, if my words were repressed by law (the way talking about the Bible in public schools has been despite it being the very foundation of Western Civilization), you may not have gotten the chance to hear any of what I had to say today because they would have prohibited me from discussing this topic.

You see, if we begin regulating what can and cannot be discussed in public, then all potentially enlightening conversations will be stifled for fear of being thrown in jail. Pretty soon, even preaching out in public, for example, will be banned. Actually, in some places it apparently already is and it appears to be a trend that is growing in popularity. That may not be a big loss to you, but your religious group or political organization may become the next target.

When that sort of thing is tolerated and becomes accepted on a wider scale, American citizens will be no better off than those living within Communistic societies or under fascist regimes. These are environments where people can be taken away without a fair trial or shot for speaking out against their government. It goes on every day in other nations. If you don’t believe me, do you remember how last fall (2014) 43 students speaking out against the local government in Mexico suddenly disappeared? That happened right in our own neighborhood.

The Consequences of Free Speech

Nevertheless, we really do need to be asking ourselves some very serious questions regarding how we allow people to speak about others, individually or as groups. For example, what sort of messages do we send to our children when shame, humiliate, or poke fun at one another or when we allow them to watch it on sitcoms where we, ourselves, laugh at television programs that do that?

It is likely that all of us have been guilty of doing this at one time or the other. That’s because it is considered a normal part of modern American or the Western lifestyle.

Why do we tolerate it?

Because it features very prominently within our entertainment system. Does that mean it is right? No.

Tocolumbine understand its damaging effects let’s consider for a moment the mass murders committed by young students within those now infamous school shootings. Everyone really wants to say that the perpetrators were mentally ill… and sure, that may be true. However, I feel by labeling them, it takes the pressure off of us to do anything about our own behavior. I don’t think they were all that different from us.

What does it take to Create a Killer?

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Columbine School Killers

An unintended consequence of our freedom of speech when poking fun at others is that people in society, particularly our kids may never feel safe showing their weaknesses or vulnerabilities to others. The world suddenly becomes an unfriendly if not a hostile place.

Ask yourself, do you really feel safe opening up to people? With the exception of the people who are close to you, do you feel you can really be you; sharing  your heart with others, your likes, your dreams, and maybe even exposing some of your weaknesses and vulnerabilities?  What about owning up to your mistakes (to those you have harmed/offended versus doing so long after the fact to other people who were were not involved)? You see? When I am speaking of our kids, I am also speaking of us, too.

When our kids learn that it isn’t safe to be human, they will stop being real. Consequently, they may completely lose their ability to trust. Or worse, yet, they may trust anyone who is willing to give them the attention they crave (often, attention will equal worth).

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John Maguire, a Canadian, went to Syria 4 months after becoming a Muslim in college.

This is likely why some youths, like John Maguire (right), are leaving the comforts of home here in the Americas, the UK, and Europe to join  the likes of the terrorist group, Isis. Maguire set off for Syria only four months after his conversion to Islam. Kipling Williams professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University said:

“Being excluded is painful because it threatens fundamental human needs, such as belonging and self-esteem,” Williams said. “Again and again research has found that strong, harmful reactions are possible even when ostracized by a stranger or for a short amount of time.”

More than 5,000 people have participated in studies using a computer game designed by Williams to show how just two or three minutes of ostracism can produce lingering negative feelings.

“How can it be that such a brief experience, even when being ignored and excluded by strangers with whom the individual will never have any face-to-face interaction, can have such a powerful effect?” he said. “The effect is consistent even though individuals’ personalities vary.”

CAPLOCK ME TO DEATH

People also vary in how they cope, which is the second stage of ostracism. Coping can mean the person tries to harder be included. For example, some of those who are ostracized may be more likely to engage in behaviors that increase their future inclusion by mimicking, complying, obeying orders, cooperating or expressing attraction.

“They will go to great lengths to enhance their sense of belonging and self-esteem,” Williams said.

If they feel there is little hope for re-inclusion or that they have little control over their lives, they may resort to provocative behavior and even aggression.

“At some point, they stop worrying about being liked, and they just want to be noticed,” Williams said.[2]

bullying1Both the young and old alike harbor old wounds from being ostracized, taunted, bullied, or just never quite learning how to fit in. That will often lead them to form the belief system that gives them their low self-esteem. Therefore, people, particularly the youth, tend to become obsessed with anything that they think will prop up their sense of worth.

call of dutyBoys, for example, often wish they could become a super hero because it would give them power to take control and gain them the respect and attention they may lack. While others might enjoy taking on a powerful identity in role playing video games where, again, they get to be in control. But this time they can exert the same sort of aggression and inflict similar pain upon their enemies that many of them feel they have felt after having been humiliated or rejected.

violent_video_gamesIt really doesn’t take long for that sort of pretending to become a reality within a young person’s heart. With that in mind, is it really any wonder that this well organized terrorist group with their “can do, take control” attitude, slick media campaign, and black masked uniforms is attracting some of the world’s youth?  Williams explained how this phenomenon is related to pain:

“However, if a person has been ostracized for a long time, they may not have the ability to continue coping as the pain lingers. Some people may give up,” Williams said.

“The third stage is called resignation. This is when people who have been ostracized are less helpful and more aggressive to others in general,” he said. “It also increases anger and sadness, and long-term ostracism can result in alienation, depression, helplessness and feelings of unworthiness.”

Williams is trying to better understand how ostracized individuals may be attracted to extreme groups and what might be the reactions of ostracized groups.

“These groups provide members with a sense of belonging, self-worth and control, but they can fuel narrowness, radicalism and intolerance, and perhaps a propensity toward hostility and violence toward others,” he said. “When a person feels ostracized they feel out of control, and aggressive behavior is one way to restore that control. When these individuals come together in a group there can be negative consequences.

So is it any wonder why a Muslim youth who got his identity, sense of belonging, and worth from his extremist religion might react to the satirical cartoons of Charlie Hebdo in such a murderous fashion? No. Not at all.

Females, on the other hand, tend to focus more upon their appearance and their ability to attract the attention of the opposite sex (although males will do this, as well). Consequently, girls may develop an obsession with applying makeup, buying clothes, and following the celebrities that they wish they could be like. All of this get way out of balance if decide they will go to any lengths to change their appearance, even if that means they must undergo lots of cosmetic procedures. Another extreme women take is when they believe that guys who want to go to bed with them means they have value so they never set up any boundaries with any man who approaches them for sex. When, in truth, men believe the opposite to be true. Rather than seeing the relationship going somewhere permanent, in their minds a girl who does not value herself enough to put up boundaries is disposable; to be used and discarded.

Eventually, people living from an identity of shame will add other things to the list that signify worth to them; their achievements, their careers, the amount of money they have, the size of house, the type of car, or other objects they have, and so on.

Lost Relationships

BLack of Intimacyesides finding themselves in bondage to the endless cycle of maintaining their self-image, another consequence of hiding behind masks is losing one’s ability to be truly intimate and authentic with others.

Someone I knew provided me with the perfect example of this. One of my family members witnessed a strange phenomenon when he taught English overseas in South Korea. He couldn’t help but notice how students who reached the sixth grade would suddenly go through some sort of transformation. These delightful, open faced children who had been so easy to relate to had, at one time seemed quite happy, loving and even confident. Then all of a sudden they changed. They became the direct opposite from their former selves.

ImproveSelfEsteem_thumbThe way everything was described to me, it was as if a heavy, dark cloud was hanging over them. It became obvious from their frowning faces that they were uncomfortably self-conscious. They often walked with their shoulders slumped. Instead of looking up at the teacher in excited anticipation of the interaction, they continually kept their heads down in what seemed to be a sign that they were doomed to live in an endless state of shame. Essentially, they had become prisoners in their own skin.

I Miss you 보고싶다 kdrama 2012 episode 1 김소현 Kim So HyunYou see, when children must protect themselves against the sort of free-for-all shaming that goes on across all segments of society, they feel compelled to don masks of pride. Consequently, they will hide that part of themselves that they deem to be weak or whatever part of them that they have somehow judged to be unworthy of acceptance; unworthy in a world obsessed with power and people whose primary focus is the lust of the eyes, pride of life, and desires of the body.

This can lead to difficulties getting along with others or maintaining relationships. For example, when long-held relationships with close family members and friends begin reminding people of their weaknesses and stirring up old wounds, some feel compelled to abandon these relationships altogether; that, or keep them at a very safe distance.

This tends to happen when people grow older and finally realize that their friends and family members are human, too (i.e., weak, vulnerable, imperfect). When these folks can’t hold up to the standards they have implemented in their own lives to insulate themselves from their pain and shame, that is when their love is likely to grow cold and they often “trade up” for a new family and set of friends, as Maguire did when he left his family behind for his Muslim brothers in Syria.

Although very few people will end up becoming mass murderers, through actions like these, they inadvertently become murderers nonetheless. In fact, shame and death perpetuate even more shame and death. It is an endless cycle.

Committing Soul Murder

authentic-self-soul-made-visible2Did you know that shaming, humiliating or rejecting someone is the same thing as committing psychological murder? Social psychologists call this “soul murder” (e.g., Alice Miller; John Bradshaw). So it stands to reason why some may be pushing to outlaw this form of social violence through the implementation of hate crime laws and by launching campaigns against bullying. Might it make people think twice before insulting others through satire or comedy? Hopefully, but probably not.

Although the phrase was coined by scientists in the last century, soul murder is also spoken of in the Bible.

For example, Jesus said to call someone is a fool or to taunt them by calling them the name “Raca,” an Aramaic word that depicts someone as empty headed and shows utter contempt for that person, that puts the offender’s soul in danger of hell fire.

Why would that be?

Based upon the comparison Jesus made, doing so would be tantamount to committing murder. (It is always nice when science finally catches up to the Bible. This has been happening a lot lately… in several areas of discipline.) Here is more proof of this claim.

The Purdue professor cited earlier conducted research into how the brain reacts to or registers emotional pain. He explained:

“Being excluded or ostracized is an invisible form of bullying that doesn’t leave bruises, and therefore we often underestimate its impact,” said Kipling D. Williams, a professor of psychological sciences. “Being excluded by high school friends, office colleagues, or even spouses or family members can be excruciating. And because ostracism is experienced in three stages, the life of those painful feelings can be extended for the long term.

“When a person is ostracized, the brain’s dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which registers physical pain, also feels this social injury,” Williams said.[1]

In other words, our emotional pain feels the same to us as our physical pain. There is speculation that it may even hurt worse. Consequently, when someone perceives he is in danger of suffering an injury, it isn’t that much of a stretch to justify their angry reaction. They are merely reacting in the same defensive manner they might if their bodies were being attacked and their lives were at stake. To read more about this phenomenon, see my earlier article entitled “The Link Between Defensiveness and Shame – Part I.”

At this juncture, it is important for me to clarify one thing. I have not been talking about the sort of shame everyone ought to have for doing something wrong. That is a healthy, necessary form of shame. I am talking about another type of shame, toxic shame.

What is Toxic Shame?

Toxic shame is the sort of shame that promotes soul murder. In some respects it is a mocking, taunting kind of shame. In others, it is the act of being cut out of someone’s life. Sometimes our shame is real and sometimes it is imagined (it is what we believe about ourselves). It doesn’t have to come at the hands of a disapproving or abusive person. It can come as the result of some sort of traumatic accident, the death of a family member, or a decision we made on our own.

Toxic shame can also be used as a manipulative device by people who want to pressure others into conforming to their wishes. Peer pressure is one example of this.

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Peer pressure doesn’t just happen to children. It often comes through satirical cartoons, comedy routines, and other forms of media. Husbands and wives often use it against one another to get their way. It is world’s way of insuring conformity.

On the other hand, healthy shame teaches people to respect the rights of others. If handled properly, allowing our children to experience shame for their actions can promote a sense of humility and spirituality within them while developing greater sensitivity for others. Nevertheless, just as our Lord came to heal us of our toxic shame, He also came to relieve us from the burden of guilt that so often weighs us down after having committed a transgression against others, ourselves, or God.

The Long Term Psychological Effects of Toxic Shame

Besides creating something akin to physical pain in people, how else can toxic shame or soul murder manifest itself on a psychological level?

becoming_authentic_selfAs I mentioned earlier, when it is not safe to be ourselves, we will choose to become someone else; hence, our authentic self will die, or more accurately, we will choose to bury it. The thing is, we will never be rid of it. It is still there holding all the wounds of the past.

The wounds from this sort of shame can trap adults in a perpetual cycle of immaturity, often at the age when the wounds first occurred. In other words, when society tolerates the shaming of others, this tends to create childish BABY BOTTLElittle monsters that hide inside of most of us until a wound or hot button is touched upon. Anger and rage are often the result. That is because it has reminded us of our shame; or the part of our soul that we murdered in favor of a more powerful or more acceptable persona.

Temper TantrumsPeople who do not have control over their rage or anger can be set free from this and other manifestations when they heal their old wounds and reverse the lies believed about their self-concept through a program that promotes mind renewal. The Church, by in large, is going to be helpful, here, unless they don’t know what that is. Emotional healing is really the key component in any program hoping to see lasting transformation. But  few in the Church know how to do this. Contact me for more coaching services, training in this method or check out my book, mentioned at the end of this article or to the right of my blog site.

Besides flying into a rage, which can end in physical violence for some, there are many other detrimental effects and reactions to emotional pain that could become strongholds in our lives which will need mind renewal and the healing of the heart. For example, when the wounds of shame begin to manifest, episodes of depression and anxiety often result. All of this, along with other techniques at distracting ourselves such as keeping busy all the time, engaging in obsessive behaviors or comforting ourselves with substances, are subconscious ways we try to head off the approaching pain that rising the the surface. These habits often take people down the slippery slope to destruction (poor health, alcoholism, relationship troubles, difficulty raising kids, maintaining a job, or engaging in daily upkeep).

The next two scripture verses will demonstrate the amazing psychological benefits that are hidden within the Bible. Why anyone would be offended by the Bible doesn’t make much sense when you consider all of its benefits. The first was a verse quoted from the Old Testament by Jesus Christ at the announcement of the start of His public ministry (see Luke 7). He said His reading of this verse from Isaiah 61 on that day was the fulfillment of that particular prophecy. In a nutshell, here is what Jesus is all about:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.

From the perspective of a sociologist or psychologist the New Testament, where the life and ministry of Jesus was highlighted, is full of restorative help to the broken and the self-absorbed members of our society. When one keeps in mind the tendency of society to shame others, includes most of us to some degree or the other.

The apostle, John, explains how the love in our hearts can grows cold when our focus becomes about gaining positions of pride:

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God [to love Him, ourselves, and others] lives forever. I John 2:15-17 (brackets mine)

In other words, if the world is where our greatest treasures are laid up (in an effort to prop our self-esteems up or to comfort our pain), our hearts will eventually grow cold and our lives made empty. Additionally, they will become wrapped up in their base human nature (instincts, basic needs), less likely to be able to reach for the higher pursuits of Truth, Love, and Peace.

Ripe for the Picking

Twain QuoteAs we have just seen by the examples given of young men going off to fight for ISIS and young women giving themselves over to any man who comes along, when we are dominated by our need to please others or to be somebody, we are as they say, ripe for the picking. When we depend on others for our self-esteem or when our self-esteem is based on what we do and not for who we really are, we will develop blind spots. Therefore, we may easily be lead astray. We might be taken by whatever propaganda campaign the media or government wants to promote (hence the need for education and critical thinking skills in addition to healed hearts).

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But on a more personal level, we could find ourselves being manipulated by those who are closest to us, particularly if we deem them worthy enough to please.

Male Equality

This would be especially harmful to if their intentions were malicious or their motives selfish. That means we would have lost our independent, critical thinking skills, at least in this particular area of our lives. Consequently, we could easily be lead into bondage or death.

man with dummyAllowing the opinions someone has of us to determine our sense of worth for us is not only dangerous but it is what Scripture calls immature. We are easily swayed, tossed to and fro from forces outside of our own will. Here is one example given by the apostle, Paul, regarding how lacking a sure foundation within ourselves will cause us to be easily manipulated by religious leaders causing us to buy into false teaching/doctrine:

. . .that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ. . . Ephesians 4:14-15.

(This is also referring to a lack of biblical knowledge, too.)

As God Sees YouIf nothing else, whether you believe in Christ or not, you will have to admit that the Church does many good things to promote healthy societies. The goal of the Church is to promote maturity in individuals and to keep people consciously aware of and ever endeavoring to reach the higher principles of life; love, patience, loving kindness, peace. Treating one’s fellow man with respect and valuing his freedom of choice is a big part of that, too. It is a tragedy when we see people coming out of some churches who do not possess such values, but then again, there is the fact that people don’t often stick with the program presented to them or they could also be “in process” of being transformed into Christ’s likeness. Then again, sometimes, not always, the church may be off kilter. That may be because it doesn’t line up with the Bible in some way or because it is being run by someone put in office who is immature or deceptive.

So back to the subject matter at hand. Does our society, with its freedom of speech, tolerance for mocking, a media and art forms that offend could these cause the psychological harm that promote such immaturity? Yes. It certainly could; especially now that society has totally lost its sense of decorum and foundational respect for others.

And what are the consequences of living in such a society?

What all of this equates to is that our citizens of the Western world may lack the confidence (self-esteem, psychological strength) to stand up against the status quo (even when they know the score and aren’t in a state of perpetual blindness by their own desire to fit in).

The problem with this?

That is how societies are able to bring someone like Hitler into power. Being compelled to conform to the world in order to gain a sense of self-esteem is not only bondage for the individual but it turns citizens into something akin to a mindless drone (sheeple).

Posters for Spotless Bride

It is this need to base one’s self-esteem and self-concept upon what others think of them that dooms them to be trapped to forever live in a perpetual state of immaturity, easily wounded and often self-righteous. That is why the apostle, Paul, tells us the following:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . Romans 12:2

i-have-this-weird-self-esteem-issueThose with low self-esteems, for example, are more likely to harden their hearts by developing an arrogant and self-righteous attitude. They are also more likely to become overly sensitive when something that was said or done touches upon a wound that reminds them of the shame and humiliation they felt after realizing a certain part of themselves did not properly conform to the world (or whatever behavior they perceived to be acceptable to those they wanted to please) and was, therefore, unworthy. Consequently, people tend to end up searching incessantly for a sense of identity that they can finally align themselves with that will successfully insulate their hearts from their inner pain… the pain of being who they have wrongly deemed themselves to be (e.g., I am a mistake, I am flawed, I am not good enough, etc…) that is, UNLESS they can save face and conform with something more acceptable, worthy or powerful.

Parents need to be trained to recognize the damage that can be done by the assault being perpetuated against their children’s self-esteem on a daily basis so that they can teach their children of their true value and remind them who they really are. If they don’t, their children are more likely to grow up with hard hearts. With love growing cold, they could grow callous, jaded, and pretty soon your softhearted, sweet child may join in with the rest of the crowd and begin mocking those who are weaker or not like the group. In today’s world, though, this could very easily get them killed if, God forbid, one of their classmates goes to school seeking a way to make a statement to the world about the misery they have endured at the hands of their peers. Then again, your child’s heart could become so wounded by the teasing of others, growing so hard and cold that he or she could become the next mass murderer at school.

Shaming others changes and shapes human identity unlike anything else can. That is why shaming others promotes the vicious cycle we call sin. It is what has made our whole society broken and emotionally ill to one degree or the other. The only solution to this problem is the grace provided to us by the precious Blood of Christ.

The sad reality behind all of this, though, is that this incessant shaming and humiliation that children and adults tend to foist upon their peers is done in an effort to, at best, feel like they fit in or, at worst, to feel superior to them in order to salvage whatever self-esteem they can in a desperate effort to ameliorate their own sense of shame.

Should Societies Tolerate Satire?

In light of these facts, should we really be tolerating satirical cartoons or other forms of similar entertainment or art? I’d love to have you sound in with your thoughts. Here are a few of mine.

Restricting the degree of freedom we allow people to have when speaking to or about others does impose upon our freedoms, but might that be a necessary evil if we ever hope to heal the suffering that arises from the injuries that this sort of onslaught to the human identity can cause? Possibly. But that is likely to never happen.

violators_baptizedCan you imagine how our already over burdened legal system would crumble under the sheer number of cases that would be brought to the table if they tried to regulate such behavior? Every time someone felt insulted, they’d be dragging people to court. But that is why churches are so valuable to society. They teach us to “do unto others as we would have others do unto us.”

So just as the Church seems to be falling out of popularity in American or Western Society, “going out of business” so to speak, the people who turn Christians into the demented villains or clowns in their stories or make them the butt of their jokes, might want to reconsider the alternative. Either that or they need to batten down their hatches and take cover because love has already begun to run cold and the atrocities are only increasing.

1950s_family_lifeConversely, consider this. During that golden age in America before the Bible and prayer had been taken out of the schools, the Church and its ministers were held in high esteem and our society thrived. The Bible and prayer were taken out of the schools and governmental meetings fifty plus years ago despite being a part of daily life in both for 300 years. Up until that point in time, American citizens could orig_old_hands_on_bibleanever have dreamed of a time when we’d have the problem we now face with drugs, alcoholism, unwed mothers, divorce, crime, and rampant selfishness. Why? That is what happens when people lose their moral compass and “other” focus. Love grows cold when people are allowed to disrespect one another.

If something about this article has peaked your interest or you recognize the need for healing of the wounds in your own life, I would like to invite you to keep learning about this topic through the articles on this blog. Or better yet, you may want to buy my book to learn the deeper psychological aspects of the effect your wounds and the wounds of others may be having on others and upon the world. The book is called, Accelerated Transformation: Maturity, Intimacy, and Unity through Emotional Healing. It can be found at my website, http://thespotlessbride.come.

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SOURCE

1) Sciencedaily.com (6-6-2011). “Pain of Ostrascism can be Long Lasting. Featured research from Purdue University. “Retrieved on 2-10-2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510151216.htm

2) Ibid.

© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos not owned by author).

*Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

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