Monday, July 02, 2007

Speaking out

We spent Saturday enjoying Silver Dollar City with our friends Brent and Susan from Fort Worth, and the day could not have been more perfect. The morning crowds weren't too bad, the weather was nice until just before we were ready to leave, and the good folks who run the City gained my respect in a new way.

If you've ever been to SDC, you know that they pride themselves on being a family friendly place. They expect their guests to be attired properly and to behave themselves properly. There are signs near several rides that state the following: "Your photo will be taken on this ride. Guests who make obscene gestures at the camera will be asked to leave the park." The park information guide carries a similar warning concerning foul language. The message is clear: If you want to be uncouth, please don't do it at Silver Dollar City. It simply won't be tolerated.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I noticed a young woman behind me in the lunch line wearing a t-shirt with one of the most obscene messages I have ever seen.

Surely that doesn't say what I think it said. Trying not to be conspicuous, I peered cautiously once again at the message on the black shirt. Yes, it did.

My first reaction was disgust. What kind of person would use their body to advertise such a lewd, pornographic message? My second was embarrassment. What in heaven's name would I say if my seven-year-old daughter (who reads everything in sight) asked what it meant?

A righteous anger welled within me, and I called the indecent clothing to my husband's attention. I thought of the thousands of other parents in the park that day whose innocent children would be assaulted by this pornography. "What can be done?" I asked. He suggested that I find a security guard and see how he would like to handle the situation.

The manager of the restaurant was kind enough to call security for me, and within minutes a uniformed guard was on the scene thanking me for sharing my concerns and assuring me that she would not be allowed to remain in the park wearing the shirt.

The restaurant staff, trying to keep the situation as discrete as possible, allowed the woman to finish her meal and as she was leaving, the guard stopped her outside and led her away. I have no idea whether she was asked to leave the park or was allowed to turn her clothing inside out, but I am fairly certain that no more park patrons were subjected to her smutty message that day.

As I watched that misguided soul walk away, I thought about how radically parenthood has changed me. Ten years ago, would the same experience have disgusted me? Absolutely! But would it have moved me to action? Probably not. The responsibility I now have for the proper care and training of my three children (and the responsibility I feel to help protect the innocence of ALL children) is a powerful force. Channeled properly, it can be a force to help shape the future of our country and keep its values based on the truth of God's Word.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Go Sheryl!!!!!!!!!