Jarring New York Times Article Proves Why Families Must Practice Media Discernment

Photo courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Jarring New York Times Article Proves Why Families Must Practice Media Discernment

By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor

Many of the details in a recent article published in the New York Times are too graphic to repeat.

Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance painstakingly reported how tech giants, including Microsoft, Facebook, DropBox, Amazon, and more, are allowing sexually explicit images of minors to flood the internet, continuing the devastating cycle of sexual abuse against children and teenagers.

The technology to stop these atrocities exists, but tech companies are slow to implement it.

“On the one hand, there is an important imperative to protect personal information,” Sujit Raman, an associate deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, told The Times. “On the other hand, there is so much stuff on the internet that is very damaging.”

Keller and Dance’s interactive report allows users to see how tech companies could stop child pornography or sexually explicit images from circulating around the Web. Please be advised that the article contains many graphic details that are not appropriate for everyone.

However, the technology only treats one symptom of a sexually depraved culture. To truly deliver society from the brutal harm of experiencing sexuality outside of God’s design, families must practice big-picture media discernment.

Parents are often sensitive about what television shows their children watch, what music they listen to, what words they choose to use. While it is critical that parents understand their child’s developmental stage and the content appropriate for that level, parents must also practice discernment for themselves.

Too often, adults fail to limit their own media activities. One R-rated movie for sexuality or nudity here, one commercial with scantily clad women there. By routinely consuming this kind of media, we lower our guard and give Satan an opportunity to desensitize our spirits.

God’s Word tells us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NIV).

This is just one reason Movieguide® created an analysis and ratings system. We must consume content that edifies our souls and creates an environment where our families can thrive. Furthermore, time and again, Movieguide®’s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry proves that movies with more family content outperform their counterparts in the box office.

We must practice discernment in all our activities to wage spiritual war on the root of evil in our society.  We especially must stand boldly against sexual immorality in our media, from social platforms to videos to movies.

When we fail to stand for righteousness in our entertainment options, we facilitate the opportunity for the culture to descend further into depravity. The lives of our children are at stake.

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