BBC Radio 4:Rev Dr Michael Banner - 07/11/2017

发表时间:2017-11-09内容来源:VOA英语学习网

Good morning.

Police forces in England and Wales yesterday released data showing that the number of sexting cases involving children has more than doubled in two years – with 6,238 incidents recorded in 2016-7. That’s 17 every day. Children as young as ten, but more usually at around 14, are quite regularly it seems, texting explicit images of themselves to their friends. Sharing and possessing these images is, of course, a criminal offence, but for fear of stigmatizing young children and landing them with a criminal record, the police are thankfully exercising some discretion – and only investigating further when they suspect that there may be coercion, exploitation or blackmail.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that our children find it difficult to navigate their way around the issues of sex and relationships, given that the grown ups are evidently finding it difficult too – from Hollywood to the House of Commons, we are beset with stories of, at best, inept fumblings, or at worst, aggressive abuse, with, let’s face it, men generally being the usual perpetrators.

Where has it all gone wrong? Many myths of human origins imagine a Golden Age when things were very different – and in the story of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve wander around in unclothed innocence, with nothing to hide or fear from one another. Of course, it doesn’t last – and Adam and Eve are very soon covering up with their home-made fig leaf clothing. But this very first exercise in fashion is obviously something of a failure, since only a few verses later, God, without even bothering to comment, himself provides them with another set of clothes made from skins.

Put to one side the idea that may have been foisted on you at Sunday school that this is prehistoric reportage, and you can ask the pertinent question - what does this parable of God putting Adam and Eve’s fashion venture to rights, reclothing them, signify? Well human clothes obviously fail to restore the innocence of Eden or to save us from our vulnerabilities – and for an obvious reason. We cover up, to be sure, but culturally speaking, clothes of human manufacture have always been used, by men and women, to assert power and status, to get ourselves noticed, to win esteem, make ourselves attractive. And the same can be said of childhood sexting – for all its suggestion of careless bravado, it actually speaks of competitiveness and deep insecurity.

There is, of course, no easy way back to the good-natured camaraderie of that mythical garden – but I hope my children will hold on to the fact that they were indeed clothed, re-clothed, by God on the day of their baptisms, when they were given Christian names as we call them – the names of those who are owned and called by Christ, and as such have no need to prove their worth. But all parents need to find a way to ensure that their children have such a sense of worth and self-esteem, so as to be at least relatively immune to the competitive games we humans play in our relationships.

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