In the ministry I am often asked, “What are you reading these days?” It is assumed (rightly so) that pastors ought to be readers. Whether it is periodicals, internet articles, or books, reading is a huge part of my life. But it ought to be a big part of every believer’s life.
I am mostly of the opinion that reading is virtuous and helpful in and of itself. Just the exercise of reading is good for your mental acuity and understanding of the world. So, whether it is a newspaper, magazine, history book, novel, etc., I pretty much encourage reading.
But sometimes…not so much.
A few weeks ago I was doing my annual shrub pruning day out in the yard. When I do yard work I wear radio headphones so I can not only protect my ears (such as when lawn mowers, weed whips, and blowers are being used), but so I can occupy my mind while doing otherwise “mindless” work. Do you know that to which I listen? I listen to National Public Radio. Now, that may surprise you because while NPR is supposed to stand for Nation Public Radio it really stands for National “Progressive” Radio. NPR is a bastion for liberal ideology and unashamed promotion of the same while feigning “objectivity”. “So,” you ask, “why do I listen to it?” Well, I want to be informed as to their rationale and how I can biblically answer so many of their positions.
As I was listening to NPR while pruning the shrubs, a past editor of Teen Vogue Magazine was being interviewed and receiving kudos from the host for her tenure at Teen Vogue that changed the magazine, whose target audience is predominantly early teens, from the traditional format that dealt with celebrity news, fashion, and issues of teen angst, to a liberal political machine that would indoctrinate young readers in a particular political worldview.
The very next day I saw an article from The Federalist decrying the latest iteration of Teen Vogue which is promoting, to young teen girls, prostitution as a legitimate career. You say, “Terry, surely not!” Listen to what the Federalist had to say:
On April 26, Teen Vogue posted an article titled “Why Sex Work is Real Work” by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng… the author explains why she believes sex work should be decriminalized. ‘The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support,’ Mofokeng said… This article reduces the work of a medical professional to that of a sex worker. In her piece, Mofokeng questions why having a medical degree to talk about sex-related problems differs from physically performing sexual acts. Both are a transfer of cash, therefore both ought to be legal.
With that line of logic, we should legalize all drugs because doctors give out drugs; therefore, crack dealers should be allowed to give out drugs. They’re both a transfer of cash, after all. Not only was the article tasteless, given the audience, but it also failed to talk about legitimate problems with consensual prostitution and closely-related sex trafficking: This article was a slap in the face to those young women who are trafficked and abused at skyrocketing rates. Between 2010 and 2015, there was an increase of reported child sex trafficking by 846 percent. In 2014, the Department of Justice reported that more than half of sex trafficking victims are 17 years old or younger. While Teen Vogue is pushing a sex liberation agenda on young women, they are bypassing the unfortunate truth that some of their readers may become victims of this industry.
This is, at best, shocking. A once respected and trusted magazine has now become a shill for a liberal agenda of encouraging young teen girls to seriously consider prostitution and the sex trade as a career.
So, my question is, “whatcha readin’?” More importantly, perhaps, is “what is your child reading?” If it is Teen Vogue, then they are being indoctrinated by a “rag” (slang for magazine) that is committed to winning your son or daughter over to the agenda of the sexual revolution; a revolution that knows no boundaries of sexual behavior.
But what else are your children reading/watching? Have you looked at today’s “Comic Books”? They call them “graphic novels” now. And yes, they are graphic with super sexualized super heroes and graphic violence. They are like many of the graphic video games kids play today, you know, the ones where our kids get to go on a killing spree replete with bloody gore and exploding bodies.
Reading is a great exercise… if we are reading the right things. I wonder how many Christians can consume many novels, magazine articles, and newspapers in a year… but have never read the entire Bible even once. Doesn’t that seem a bit out of balance to you? This is not a plea to read nothing but the Bible or related Christian literature. I myself read many historical books and biographies. But the content of what we read counts… especially in the formative teen years. One-day Teen Vogue, given this trajectory, might well include nude and pornographic pictures for our teens to consume. This is “progressive”?