Beheadings, blasphemy at our children#039;s fingertips
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 20, 2007
I sat glued to the FOX News Channel the Friday night of Saddam Hussein's hanging, all the while waiting for any glimpse, any piece of footage from the actual event.
At the same time, I was amazed and was actually taken aback at the thought of how badly I wanted to see this gruesome act.
I have become, like a large majority of the rest of America (and the world), accustomed to instant grits, instant coffee, and the instant gratification of news and information.
Those of us who did not grow up in the “computer age” or with all of today's technological gadgets and toys, do not, I believe, completely understand the total impact the World Wide Web has had on our children. After all, they have grown up with a computer mouse in one hand and a GameBoy or a cell phone in the other.
Our young people have had access to information from all over the world, which, of course, in an educational sense, is a wonderful thing. However, let's be realistic. Unless they are completely supervised 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they are going to be able to find out how to make a pipe bomb, how to make meth, or how to commit the perfect suicide.
But, it's not just our kids who are exposed to so much evil and degradation on the Internet. Responsible, mature adults find themselves addicted to pornography sites, for example. What are we as a society to do?
I watched the video footage of U.S. contractor Nick Berg as he was beheaded in Iraq by five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks. And these Shiite extremists did not just chop off Berg's head in one fell swoop; I watched in horror as they literally sawed through his neck, a gruesome task that took about three to four minutes.
I wanted to see this; I wanted to see what had happened to one of our own. But it goes beyond that. Twenty years ago, I would not have had the opportunity to witness such an atrocity, but thanks to the Internet today, a five-year-old could watch it.
Also, 20 years ago, I would not have wanted to see such a sight; however, today, with all of these images at our very fingertips, the World Wide Web has offered to every man, woman and child world-wide access- to good and to evil.
It is a documented fact that the more exposed a person is to something, the less sensitive he or she is to it. Morally speaking, where does that leave our kids who see images and hear language that they probably would not have seen or heard anywhere else?
By the way, do you have a “soul you're not using? Then take the Blasphemy Challenge!” That's right. Participants are invited to commit the “so-called unforgivable sin-blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” All you have to do is videotape yourself taking the “Blasphemy Challenge,” then upload the recording to YouTube, and you will receive a free DVD of the documentary “The God Who Wasn't There.”
Do you want to know what's even more frightening? Over 400 people, most of them under the age of 18, have already done it.
The reality is that in today's society we ultimately cannot function without the computer and Internet services. But at what price is this costing us when it comes to the desensitization of our society to evil, much less to the moral development of our children?
Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email,: firstname.lastname@example.org.