Saturday, September 07, 2013
When we lived in Halifax it was at the south end of the peninsula, a spot where we could hear the sound of fog horns coming from both directions and a ten-minute "portage", carrying our canoe to the Northwest Arm. We also lived very close to St. Mary's University, so close that we didn't need to attend games to be updated on the play-by-play announcements during games of the excellent football team.
I wonder if we were still there if we would have heard the misogynist chants of students during orientation week. Actually a group of supposed student leaders performed for 300 new arrivals. Apparently these "playful" chants have been going on for years but thanks to the internet they have now been shared with the world. Of course being "outed" has led to contrition on the part of the leaders, as well as carefully expressed horror on the part of the administration. It all sounds rather hollow, the sort of regret politicians throw our way when they have been caught being naughty. This is in the province where 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons took her own life after being mocked online following non-consensual sexual assault.
I should be outraged, but I am saddened and discouraged. Where have we come after decades of supposedly concerted effort to educate children and young men and women about respect for one another? It was the way I felt about the lewd display by Miley Cyrus a couple of weeks ago on a internationally broadcasted awards show watched by girls who remembered her as Hanna Montana. Student songs about non-consensual, underage sex are blasphemy, yet they would have gone on unabated without Youtube. Obviously no one felt compelled to keep Cyrus in check. It's all student fun and showbiz folks.
I have to wonder whether this education about equality will ever have traction without connection to a community which nurtures a moral and ethical foundation. After all, why is this wrong? Is there any "wrong" anymore?
We better keep praying folks. As people who uphold the dignity rooted in a relationship with Christ the life of congregations is as important as ever.