If you track with the news, you’ve probably been seeing some of the many reports coming out of Panama City Beach, Florida about Spring Breakers gone wild. The latest is that a third young man has been arrested in the alleged gang rape of an intoxicated (or perhaps, drugged) 19-year-old girl on the beach during Spring Break.
That’s horrifying enough. What makes the story even worse is that hundreds of onlookers watched and did nothing. . . in broad daylight.
It’s a story reminiscent of the Kitty Genovese rape and murder back in 1964. . . except that occurred during a cultural era where there was extreme disbelief and outrage. In today’s world, what happened in Panama City might just be the result of vice becoming normalized. I wonder if the perpetrators even thought they might be doing something wrong.
The Today Show ran this news story on the incident this morning. . .
Should we be surprised? I don’t think so. This is certainly sad. . . very sad. . . but not surprising. We have raised a generation of kids on a steady diet of moral relativism, narcissism, and entitlement in a hyper-sexualized culture void of a shared moral compass. If you throw all of these ingredients into the devekopmental mixing bowl and let it all simmer and bake during childhood and adolescence. . . well, this is what will pop out of the oven.
We need to seek, know, tell, and trumpet the truth to adults and kids alike. If we don’t, we will continue to spiral down into moral oblivion and social anarchy. We want our kids to know and follow their Maker. We want them to flourish and embrace their full humanity. We don’t want them to fail.
A group of young adults failed miserably on the beach in Panama City. . . and they should be held accountable. Prior to that, they were horribly failed. . . and that needs to stop too.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading through the history of the Israelite Exodus. The Israelites were always wavering between going their way or choosing to go God’s way. Perhaps the words of Joshua to the Israelites are worth pondering here: “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15).
Yes, we too, are at a crossroads.