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"Teen Choice" Reflects Our Cultural Crossroads 08/24/2006

Jessica Simpson hosts the Teen Choice Awards.

I have released an article titled “We Have a Choice: Humility or Humiliation.” It is my sincere hope that every concerned, freedom-loving citizen will take this message to heart and pray.

My wife, Betty, and I were scanning the television Sunday evening and came across the Teen Choice Awards. We paused, curious to observe their “choices.” We were appalled as beautiful young people applauded some of the most suggestive, sexual and ridiculous forms of entertainment. The co-host, Jessica Simpson, embodied the stereotype of the “dumb blonde.”

Her father, who acts as her manager, is reportedly a former pastor. If Jessica were my daughter, I would have spent the evening weeping before God at the foolish and sensual antics. Sadly, her father appears to be exploiting his daughter, promoting her as a sex symbol and putting her in the worst possible light before the general public. She is obviously musically talented and capable of succeeding in life without the immodest behavior.

Then we noticed that when a rap artist performed and FOX bleeped entire phrases of the song, thousands of teens throughout the auditorium remained seated with little or no response. I hope that they were turned off by the crude behavior and lack of talent on display. Kids will be kids, but I want to believe that many of them have far better taste than what was represented on stage.

One very positive moment came when “Teen Courage Award” winner Jason McElwain took the stage. McElwain is an autistic high school student who served faithfully as his basketball team’s student manager. In the last few minutes of the final game of the season, the coach put McElwain on the court and this boy accomplished the amazing feat of hitting six consecutive three-point shots.

The kids cheered wildly and wept openly, as did McElwain’s parents and grandparents. The young man was hoisted up on his teammates’ shoulders before he read a statement. He expressed his gratitude first to God and then to all who believed in him and gave him an opportunity. He encouraged every person facing challenges in life.

It was easily the highlight of the evening and the teenagers seemed to recognize it. I felt a sense of hope that if people – even teenagers – are given the opportunity to make choices, many will choose that which is good, righteous and giving of life.

Overall, the Teen Choice Awards sunk to the lowest level of crass, crude and unworthy “entertainment.” Yet, there was one moment of redemption. My prayer is that a pattern will emerge, driven by the entertainment industry’s monetary measure, in which the public rejects that which is unwholesome and embraces that which is good.

Tom Cruise appears to be reaping the fruit of his foolishness, as Paramount Pictures’ recent decision may indicate. If more people will reject that which is morally bankrupt, then the popular culture will shift to that which is decent and uplifting.

We do have a choice. All of us must do our part to promote the right decisions.

Read James’ article "We Have A Choice."

Author: James Robison

Word Count: 518

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.