Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Natalie Holloway and Common Sense

We've been hearing and seeing every little detail about Natalie Holloway's disappearance in Aruba and her likely demise. We don't hear about every little disappearance that takes place in New York City. So why are we hearing about Natalie Holloway? Is it because her parents failed to teach her who not to associate with for her own safety? Why, that's arrogant isn't it? Certainly "stranger danger" is good for preschoolers to learn, but a freshly graduated high-schooler? Actually, we are hearing about Natalie Holloway because of the movie-like dramatic flavor of the story. People in New York, or anywhere else in the US, who turn up missing are just not in the right location for a US national media blitz guaranteed to keep people at the edge of their sofas keenly tuned into the 24-hour news networks. People turn up missing all the time in one location or another because they hung out with the wrong crowd.

But it is because she lacked the discernment to stay away from bad people that keeps us glued to the news. "That could be my daughter," parents who grew up in the sexual revolution may say. "That could be my friend," a teenager who grew up in the postmodern US may say. How do we stay in safe company while not appearing to be arrogant or prejudiced? We may not be able to. We may have to tolerate the beratement of the politically correct who are prejudiced against even the appearance of prejudice according to their own perceptions.

Who knows the purposes for her choice of people with whom to keep company? I doubt it was to share the gospel so they may be miraculously transformed. Likely she had a very self-centered reason. So you can't chalk it up to a good missionary spirit. My point is to ask, when are we as a society going to get off the edge of the couch, turn off the TV and teach our kids some common sense and give them moral direction?

11 Comments:

Blogger jayp said...

are you insane. do you really think it is this girls fault for what happened to her. you are blaming the victom, let me guess you are a republican right, or no let me guess you are deeply religious person who hellbent on preaching if she was excanging bible verses this wouldnt have happened. lets no forget waco wayco david koresh. this could have been anyones child even yours.....

Tue Sep 27, 02:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jayp said...

are you insane. do you really think it is this girls fault for what happened to her. you are blaming the victom, let me guess you are a republican right, or no let me guess you are deeply religious person who's hellbent on preaching if she was exchanging bible verses this wouldnt have happened. lets not forget waco wayco david koresh. this could have been anyones child even yours.....

Tue Sep 27, 02:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

You open fallaciously with an ad hominem argument. Any thoughtful person would recognize that I don't intend to place the blame for her murder on her. However, she dramatically increased the liklihood for her demise by placing herself in a situation where she would be easy prey. In this I blame our society for disparaging good judgment in the general media. Tell me that's not clear in the text of the blog: "My point is to ask, when are we as a society going to get off the edge of the couch, turn off the TV and teach our kids some common sense and give them moral direction?"

As for the "moral direction", I would suggest that if we are to place ourselves in harm's way, it is a far better thing that we do so for the benefit of others than for our own sake.

Your comments suggest that you are Christophobic and prejudiced against people who have a perspective that disagrees with you. I don't know you from Adam, but I get the sense that you do things that you know are wrong. You don't have to admit them to me, because I don't need to know that I'm right. Look inside yourself and see for yourself that I'm telling you the truth. There is a better way. I know because I've taken that journey myself.

Tue Sep 27, 09:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with jim. of course there is nothing a helpless teenager can do if a gang of men attack her. but weren't the ones that abducted her the same folks that she'd been partying with for a week? she had the common i-feel-good-cuz-i'm-outta-high-school mentality on a senior trip in a foriegn country where she couldn't have been protected anyway. getting involved with the van der slootes just cut her days even shorter.

Wed Oct 19, 09:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger suz said...

My heart goes out to the Holloway family. What I don't understand is why 123 students and 6 chaparones in of all places, another country.. I have wondered all along why did her so called friends allow her to leave drunk with 3 men. We have not heard the whole story! Our problem as United States Citizens, (I love being an American!!) is we can not expect other countries to fall under our law when our citizens disapeer as America cannot fall under another country's law when one of their citizens disapear in the US. I don't want to sound insensitive but we have consequences to our actions. Casinos and bars for a week I guess I don't understand..

Sat Nov 05, 07:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger jayp said...

excuse me christophobi...i dont think so, born and raised catholic, catholic school education included.. I harldly think this mother did not warn her child of the criminally insane, pedophiles and likewise. We are talking about trusting someone probably because we want to think people are good. and personally im glad the media has kept it alive because it educates the couch potatoes we have become, how else would we become aware of this. and i thought aruba was a safe place no crime, i guess no crime reported... no crime exists..of course she wasnt
spreading gospel, she was a kid on a trip like many others like herself. im sorry if i sound thoughtless, thats exactly what i was thinking about your comments. sounds like a lot of blaming going around except i
dont detect any regading the evil ones who actually committed this deed.

Sun Dec 18, 03:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

On the contrary, jayp, the reason she should have known to stay away is precisely because of an apparent propensity for evil on the part of her captors (and possibly murderers). Their guilt is obvious. My purpose is not to belabor that point, but to take the occasion to make a statement about the dubious direction of our culture in general. Although I would hope that readers would take this personally in the sense that each should question his or her part in the decline of moral discernment, I sense that you have a personal stake in this matter - or one like it.

Sun Dec 18, 08:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jayp said...

you know something jim i dont know you either, but what im trying to say first i want to make this clear, no i do not do things that i know are wrong, thats what i mean you are judging people like natalie and her parents and others like myself... i love people and i have faith in mankind and that there are still good people in this world, and its not up to them to judge others, but to just do the best you can with what you thave, and to be kind. yes i have a stake in matters like these, i am a mother of two sons, one in canada as we speak, and i have warned him about the many evils of the world, but that isnt going to insure he is protected from all of them, and people can only do so much to prevent these things, and i pray to god only that he wouldnt fall victom to them, because evil does exist but we as mothers and fathers can not predict or prevent them we can only hope they are safe after we have tought them all we know. sometimes we will be in harms way no matter what we think we cannot control our own destiny all of the time. people have to live people have to travel we cant live in a bubble. we are always at risk of danger every day no matter where or when. i am not prejudiced against people who disagree with my point of view, people make mistakes in life we cant blame them for that we should have empathy for them. isnt that what god teaches? we dont have total control over these things and the truth jim is neither do you, or i. so, be safe if you can in a world of many evils and threats.you can be sure i wont judge you if you arent... im done

Sat Dec 31, 09:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

There is a difference between individuals and a corporate entity. In this case, I am making an argument that the corporate entity known as Western Culture has drifted in a bad direction. This bad direction is causing individuals to make bad decisions that once were not typically made. The point is that people fail to judge wisely in a particular respect. You write:

"i am not prejudiced against people who disagree with my point of view, people make mistakes in life we cant blame them for that we should have empathy for them. isnt that what god teaches?"

Actually, it's not what God teaches. On oe hand God teaches us not to be judgmental (Matt 7:1-2). On the other hand, God teaches us to judge "righteously" (John 7:24). (Because of modern connotations, I would use the word "wisely" instead, with qualification.) What has happened is that western society is led by the forces that influence popular opinion to confuse wise judgment as judgmentalism. This for the sake of effectively getting those who judge wisely off the proverbial backs of those who wish to do evil. The irony is that we tend to be judgmental anyway even as we deny our judgmentalism. For example, you wrote in your first post the following:

"...let me guess you are a republican right, or no let me guess you are deeply religious person who's hellbent on preaching..."

Nevertheless, you write in your most recent comment:

"i am not prejudiced against people who disagree with my point of view, people make mistakes in life we cant blame them for that we should have empathy for them."

There is disparity between these two comments. As it is, I am registered as a Republican, although I don't always vote for Republicans. I am conservative both politically and theologically. I don't disparage those who hold views other than my own. (Two of my posts clarify this further: Love Those Who Hate and Understanding the Other Side) That doesn't mean that I can't voice my own understanding. Oddly, those who disagree with me often do so vehemently (like in your first post) claiming that it is I who causes strife in my "errant" view (not that you necessarily did this).

My point in all this is that we cannot allow the admonition not to be judgemental keep us from judging wisely. The difference is a good topic for another post.

Sun Jan 01, 04:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jayp said...

jim, im sorry if i came off as being extreme, it just hit me that way i was raised with religion and parents who were old school, and i dont know i sometimes find it ironic that the only ones on this earth that should be forgiving if anyone would be the ones with a god or higher belief. And i get scared when the same people get rigid and judge, and i felt that you were being unkind, so i lashed out maybe i misunderstood but it just didnt feel right, didnt god forgive those who killed his own son? Im confused...and this poor girl made a mistake and its too late to change that so cant we just give her that, she probably already paid with her life. And those verses you quoted dont they contradict each other? dont judge but judge righteously, explain to me what does that mean,judge righteously. sorry i guessed republican.. by the way i am an independent voter not that it should matter but sometimes it does define some of our opinions. I dont know where this worlds going, maybe im wrong and maybe we can just agree to disagree.. peace jim

Tue Jan 03, 08:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

It's okay. I do understand why you say what you do. I just have to wonder if Natalie wasn't first victimized by her own society - not in an overt way, but by steeping her in the inanity of our over-politicized culture (this is the irony of the title of my own blog) that would rob her of certain wisdom in favor of political correctness. My hope is that we should regain some wisdom and prevent the next girl from suffering the same senseless fate.

You wonder if the two verses I referenced contradict each other. They do appear to, but if you look at the context for each one and trace the same teaching as Paul elaborated on them in his letters, you find that there is an important distinction.

Judgmentalism is wrong, as evidenced by the Pharisees of Christ's day, because the motive is to condemn outright without recognizing one's own fault. Every admonition in the Bible not to judge comes with some statement about reciprocal judgment. This doesn't mean never to judge, but when we do we must judge as deserving judgment ourselves.

Wise judgment has the motive of restoration. Paul instructs the Corinthians to put an adulterous fellow out from among them. The reason he gives in 1Cor 5:5 is so that this fellow may be "saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." (NASB) He wrote this just after writing 1Cor 4:5. The difference between the two can be discerned from his teaching of wisdom in 1Cor 3:18-21, which he indicates that the Corinthians were not doing (1Cor 5:2).

As for myself, I've been worthy of the judgment of that fellow Paul recommended be thrown out of the fellowship. God has forgiven me much. Would that I could prevent others from making the same mistakes.

Tue Jan 03, 09:50:00 PM GMT-5  

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