In the Age of Super Bowl Stripper Poles, Our Kids Must Be Prepared to Answer this Question
The 2020 Super Bowl halftime show was probably the most controversial halftime performance since Janet Jackson’s 2004 “wardrobe malfunction.” Secular sources praised J Lo and Shakira’s performance as an incredible show from "powerful, sexy women,” while Christian sources chastised the NFL for blatantly exposing children to soft porn.
The chasm between these two responses stems from an underlying worldview question that we must prepare our children to answer: What does it mean to be human? This question seems simple enough, but how our children answer it may be the difference between them viewing stripper poles as symbols of empowerment or as objects of enslavement.
Our Culture’s View of Humans
For almost two hundred years, our culture has bought into the lie that humans are accidentally evolved animals. This belief may not appear to have any connection with the Super Bowl halftime show. But take a minute to think about it. If humans are the accidental product of blind, unguided evolution, that means we are only physical beings. No part of us is metaphysical (spiritual). No souls. No minds. Just flesh and bone. The implication is clear - our bodies are the best thing about us because our bodies are all we have to offer. Therefore, when we use our bodies in ways that draw sexual attention, we are empowering ourselves, using the best thing we have to pull ourselves above the crowd. Survival of the fittest, you see.
Our Culture's View of Sex
Tying in with our culture's view on the body, the idea of sex itself is seen merely as physical. Just as our bodies no longer exist as holy vessles, having sex has become an idol of self-gratifying pleasure, as opposed to a sacred act of worship between a man and a woman. The Super Bowl halftime show was a public display of the sexually liberated woman--a highly coveted ideology of feminity. The sexually liberated woman rejects sex as a sacred act, and celebrates the hypersexualization of the female body.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, for over two thousand years, Christianity has taught that humans are image-bearers of the Holy God. The Bible claims that we are both physical and spiritual beings, body and soul. As God’s image-bearers, the purpose of this body-soul duality is to glorify God through loving Him and loving others. This means the best thing we have to offer is ourselves, our complete selves, in loving service to God. Therefore, when we use our bodies to draw sexual attention, we are not living in line with reality. We are believing the lie that our bodies are the best thing we have to offer, and we are failing to fulfill our God-given purpose. According to the Christian worldview, stripper poles are objects of enslavement that hide our true identity and purpose.
We can expect our culture to continue the downward spiral of deception, confusing objects of enslavement for objects of empowerment. However, as Christian parents, educators, and church leaders, we can be proactive in helping our children unmask the false assumptions of our culture. Let’s equip them to understand how the biblical view of humanity aligns with reality in a way that our culture’s view does not.
(For a systematic guide to helping your children see that the biblical view of humanity lines up with reality, check out Unit 4 of Foundation Comparative Worldview Curriculum. Or, click here to request a free sample lesson.)
About Elizabeth Urbanowicz
Elizabeth Urbanowicz is a follower of Jesus who is passionate about equipping kids to understand the truth of the Christian worldview. Elizabeth holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Gordon College, an M.S.Ed. in Education from Northern Illinois University, and an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Elizabeth spent the first decade of her professional career teaching elementary students at a Christian school. Elizabeth now works full time on developing comparative worldview and apologetics resources for children. Her goal is to prepare the next generation to be lifelong critical thinkers and, most importantly, lifelong disciples of Jesus.