America, Something’s Wrong With Your Kids

DSC_3477 (Photo credit: dnhart)
Gossip Girl Season 4
Gossip Girl Season 4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Party

BYOB means ‘Bring your own Booze’, I learned five days ago as I was being invited to a new years’ eve party. I was just a little bit worried, but my friend assured me that it would be a perfectly fine party. So, I assumed that it was going to have 21+ year olds drinking alcohol in moderate amounts, while telling the rest of us that we couldn’t have any because it was against the law. There would be some dancing, I thought, some games and good conversation. (Don’t count it against me, ok. I’m relatively sheltered and by choice)

I should have seen the warning signs from the beginning. When my friend picked me up, she asked me why I wasn’t in my party clothes. I told her I was. At all the parties I have attended, Jeans and T-shirts were perfectly good attire (unless they were formal or costume parties). She told me that she would take me back home if there were no sober drivers, but she was sure there would be.

Drinking in Seoul
Drinking in Seoul (Photo credit: grahamhills)

The party began well enough. There were three of us excepting the hostess because the other guests were being fashionably late. We put out snacks and drinks, I started on a jigsaw puzzle and we introduced ourselves and made small talk. After that, the conversation took a disturbing turn. I found out that one of them had divorced parents and both their family lives were (to put it mildly) not very good. Then we started talking about sex and counting the number of boyfriends/girlfriends they had had. The girl had lost count, but the guys’ was in the high teens. I learned that the girl had once been pregnant – she wasn’t married or even in a long term relationship. They asked me if I had ever had a boyfriend. I responded in the negative. They asked if I had ever had sex. I responded with ‘I’ve never had a boyfriend. Do the math.’ They were incredulous; “You don’t have to have a boyfriend to have sex”. They assured me that this kind of talk was normal party conversation. I heard talk abotu who was a better kisser and that was when I knew. These were typical American teens/tweens. I withdrew subconsciously because these were the kind of people I usually stay away from. But the night wasn’t over.

Single Parents

More guests arrived and we turned on the music and began dancing. I danced for a little while, but I got cold so I huddled in a corner working on another jigsaw puzzle and listening. My friend picked the music. You wouldn’t have realized that she was Muslim with a very conservative Muslim boyfriend from listening to it. Call me prudish, but I’m not fond of filthy talk and songs with very explicit sexual suggestions especially if they involve fornication. I just focused on my puzzle and said nothing. I was ready to leave then, but I didn’t want to make anyone leave the party before the new year even arrived.

The new year soon came and my friend asked me if I wanted some wine “Just a little”, she said, “for the new year”. I politely declined. Neither of us are 21 yet (I’m 18, in fact) so I’m sure there was something wrong (or at least illegal) with her offering me alcohol. It’s a strange kind of Muslim, I think who doesn’t eat pork but drinks alcohol and has good friends who see nothing wrong with being drunk.

The rest of the party was manageable. Someone did an impression of drunken Irishmen. They complained that there wasn’t more alcohol. I finished my puzzle and excused myself; I needed to eat and contrary to popular belief, pop corn and chips aren’t food.

What’s Wrong With American Teenagers?

IMG_6449 (Photo credit: Rafael Praia)

So, why did the party disturb me? Besides coming across as rather shallow, the kids gave me an impression of America you see in shows like Gossip Girl, the OC and One Tree Hill: the image of promiscuous kids from dysfunctional homes whose lives are no more than the latest fashions, who’s dating who and who had sex with who, the kids who have one night stands and get pregnant with kids when they aren’t even grown up themselves. I felt sorry for them because I know firsthand the pain of coming from a broken family and I could see that in a few years, they would be the image of what’s not right in America: single parent homes and  divorce, for instance, and producing similarly broken children. It’s heartbreaking.

Those are kids whose parents, teachers, communities and churches have failed them. Isn’t someone supposed to teach kids that there are STDs? That they shouldn’t be putting themselves in positions where they would conceive children who they are in no position to care for? That unrestrained sexual activity puts them at risk for a lot of things? Don’t tell me about condoms and abortion. We all know that with the rate at which sexual activities are going on, they’re not going to take the appropriate measures. I’d rather they not get pregnant till they can  care for children than have them get pregnant and then get abortions. And even if birth control would fix it, there’s still the negative emotional effects. STDs are so prevalent among kids their age that it’s not even funny. (Think it’s because of a chronic shortage of condoms?) With everybody having sex with everybody else, how could it not be? If one girl has had five boyfriends who have also had five girlfriends each, how safe is she exactly? Isn’t the community supposed to keep kids safe?!

DSC_3245 (Photo credit: dnhart)

The vast majority of those kids leave church after high school. Well, why wouldn’t they? Have you seen the teenagers walking around? Do they look like Christians? I occasionally attend evangelism at the BSM and from a random sampling of the kids we meet, churches aren’t teaching Christianity. It’s a miracle if someone can explain the gospel to you and understand the words they speak.

Don’t take this as the words of someone who attended one party. what, with half of all marriages ending in divorce, what else should be expected?

I’ve known all these for a while. These people are in my classes and school clubs. I hear about them. That’s why I stay away from them. New Years’ eve just finally brought it home to me. I’d been trying to think the best of American youth. I’ve been trying to pretend that the majority of them are like my friends, not the people on TV. I’m done pretending. After graduation, I’m looking for jobs in the nearest country that isn’t western. I’d rather have the Taliban around me than broken people who think they’re just fine.

While Americans were busy, something happened to their kids.


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I’m Tracy

10 thoughts on “America, Something’s Wrong With Your Kids”

  1. I’d rather have the Taliban around me than broken people who think they’re just fine.

    So a theocratic tyranny that treats you as a male’s possession is preferable to being able to make bad decisions? What’s really broken here?

    1. Haven’t you been around high school kids recently? The divorce rate, the rate of depression, the percentage of children in dysfunctional homes and most of all, the fact that they think they’re fine. No girl who has had upwards of 10 boyfriends who have also had multiple sexual partners is safe, let alone okay.

      I spent my summer with my parents in the middle east. I know the situation in Northern Nigeria. I think I’d rather have that. I can’t stand seeing children hurt like this especially when they can’t see it.

      Do you know what my friend did when I expressed my concerns to her? She thought I was a horrible person for suggesting that putting yourself at risk for STDs and teenage pregnancy was unsafe. She thought that I should consider her friends’ situations. I can stand some things, but that… that just kills me.

    2. “So a theocratic tyranny that treats you as a male’s possession is preferable to being able to make bad decisions?”

      Now where did I say my problem is that people are free to make bad decisions and how would moving to the middle east change that?

  2. Now where did I say my problem is that people are free to make bad decisions…?

    You didn’t, Tracy. You said After graduation, I’m looking for jobs in the nearest country that isn’t western. I’d rather have the Taliban around me than broken people who think they’re just fine.

    This is the worst kind of moral pornography and hypocrisy you are practicing here. It shows your willingness to reject your own value as a human being and that is truly a moral obscenity. You need to spend some quality cranial time lodged in an activated paint shaker machine before giving voice to such a stupid preference.

    1. Oh, dear. I never said I wanted to reject my own value as a human being. I just know that I can do some good there. True, it won’t be the most comfortable experience for me – when I visited my parents I went about 3 months without going to church and it was horrible.

      By the way, I come from a 3rd world country and it never occurred to me that I wasn’t valuable as a human being. Care to share what’s going on in that mind of yours?

      1. I never said I wanted to reject my own value as a human being.

        See, this is why I have to take some time to explain that what you write has meaning beyond the direct quotations. And this meaning is dangerous to all of us.

        So, no, you didn’t write that specifically, but you’re willing to prefer the company of those who have already rejected your value as a human being. And that’s why the statement you made was both hypocritical and obscene: under the rule of the Taliban. This matters. Under them, you have no rights at all… including daring to speak your opinion because you’re only a woman and not equivalently human in rights with the man responsible for you. In fact, such utterances could endanger his honour, in which case you can be snuffed of your life by this male proprietor to the approval of those whose company you say you prefer. That’s why your preference is obscene.

        You see, Tracy, your rights are recognized only through ‘government’ law and, as any student of politics can show, they are all too soon rejected out of hand by those with whom you empower (by rejecting your own) with your faith-based obedience to their authority. The Taliban practices just such theocratic tyranny over millions of your sisters and cause demonstrable harm, suffering, and death to anyone who dares disagree with their authority to dictate to you that you are deserving of no rights. That’s one of the reasons why women – not men – have to wear body bags in public! And this is the company you say you prefer over those youth who have within their power to sometimes make bad decisions.

        So when you say to the US that there is something wrong with their kids because many of them make bad decisions, you do so out of a vast ignorance of what responsible behaviour (in terms of citizenship) means: having the freedom to learn how to handle autonomous responsibility. That meaning is something you seem unable and unwilling to grasp as vitally important in your haste to condemn the rights of others out of a sense of what pious behaviour should morally look like. The shortcut you prefer seems so attractive: to be told what to do and how to behave, which is nothing more than showing a preference for a perpetual state of submission, irresponsibility, and immaturity (in terms of citizenship).

        By all means go work in non secular countries and find out for yourself what it feels like to be identified not by your intelligence, abilities, accomplishments, and quality of character, but defined and framed in all ways by the kind of gonads you possess and the man’s tribal name that identifies you. Then come back and let us now how we’re the ones in need of fixing.

      2. Gosh, aren’t we worlds apart. So, a desire to live a non western country implies a desire to be.treated.cruelly?

        Have I mentioned that I do come from a non and that I spent the summer in the middle east, so I do know what I’m talking about? People who choose to live in those places aren’t stupid. They just have higher priorities than their own comfort. It seems that your view of non-western countries is that your life is completely dictated by others. Pray, tell, how many such countries have you lived in? And what makes you think that having people around you who want to dictate your choices means that you will do what they want you to do?

        I have no problem with people making choices. I’m simply of the mind that the whole going to hell and looking for and making choices about which hell bound ships I prefer.

        I understand that my words connote something different to you than they do to me. Well, read my words and stop telling me what I mean. I’ve seen the seen the secular world and I’ve seen the non-secular. The difference is not.freedom and bondage. The difference is that between widespread stupidity and substantially more sane people. (Not in everyplace of.course. I hear that some western countries are quite sane)

      3. I appreciate your concern, Tildeb, I really do. You think that living a non-western country will hurt me. I’ll be treated as if I’m of no value and not allowed to make my own decisions, etc. So, let me set your mind at rest.

        Firstly, the the people around me who affirmation and worth I desire are my family. I’m not planning to convert to Islam and move to Saudi Arabia. I’m planning to join my parents in Oman, or Qatar or Nigeria – wherever they happen to be at the time. And my parents don’t think I’m worthless.

        Secondly, your view of non-western countries is probably mainly from what you’ve heard, not experienced. The chief difference that draws me to one and not the other is the difference in what everyone believes is morally right. Back home in Nigeria, for instance, the government has billboards telling people that AIDS is real and to keep themselves to one sexual partner in a long term relationship. In the US, people act like it’s perfectly okay if young girls are having sex with a good number of people. I think that’s crazy. I don’t like living in a place where those around me seem mad.

        Take the worst case scenario – I move with my parents to Saudi Arabia
        1. I won’t be able to go to church or bring in a Bible
        2. I won’t be able to safely tell others about Christianity.
        3. I won’t be able to publicly celebrate Christian holidays
        4. I’ll have to wear a burqa or niqab in public.
        5. Contact with males will be restricted

        But not being in a Muslim family, I’ll be safe from an awful lot.
        1. If I get raped, my family isn’t going to turn me in and have me stoned.
        2. I’m not going to marry a Muslim man so I can get treated terribly.
        3. The way I am treated and valued will depend on those I surround myself with. I’m introverted. When I was in Oman, the only people I met were my parents, my parents friends and the cab drivers. Only the third group were Muslims.

        Like I said, I’m not planning to move to Saudi Arabia, but if I did, the most difficult part will be not being able to go to church and talk about Christianity freely. Still, that’s why being there would be a good idea. It’s in the places where it is banned that there are people willing to hear the gospel. I have no intention of letting my choices in life be determined by a fear of risks. I’m not hoping to live forever here.

        Oman has beautiful scenery by the way and there, like in most (if not all places not Saudi Arabia), I don’t have to wear a headscarf if I don’t want to.

      4. I’m simply of the mind that the whole world. (sic) is going to hell

        See? It is statements like that that show a remarkable naivety about the real world, not understand the real problems we have, and have given up the desire (and ability) to act responsibly to make it a better place for our involvement in it. You’re ready to give up and live inside the delusion that there is another world waiting. In the meantime, you assume it is doomed, you’ve already helped to further all of the problems by accepting that assumption as true. It’s not. The problem here is you.

        As for me, it doesn’t really matter to affect my opinions one iota but I’ve traveled the world, lived on four continents, gone to school in three, and have a rather extensive education. I’ve lived in, worked at, and traveled under totalitarian states, theocracies, and secular countries. There is no comparison to the quality of life and opportunity for each individual lucky enough to be able to do all three under a secular constitutional government. And, in case you were wondering, I have a spouse and a (large, extended) family and I’ve learned that their lives hold the greatest opportunity in the West. If we’re not part of finding better ways to live, then we need to at least get out of the way of people who are.

  3. It is a myth that people are free to choose. The Bible says that those who sin are a slave to sin, and unfortunately all have sinned. But Jesus came to pay the ransom for our sins and to free the captives. Our only hope is in Jesus. Great article Tracy. Insightful and enlightening.

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