Monday, May 11, 2009

Of bakeries, burglars and Congress' bad bills

Posted: May 11, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009

Last week all over the Internet news and in the inbox at my website were reports about a bakery in Croatia that used a life-size photo of me to ward off burglars who were weekly ransacking the business. The message under my photo in the store's window says, "This shop is under the protection of Chuck Norris."

First, I am very honored to help reduce crime anywhere on the planet, even from a photo. (How we all wish it were always that easy!) But it's not just pastries I want to protect, but the posterity or upcoming generations of America and the world.

I'm a parent and grandparent, and, like you, I'm very concerned about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit and belong. Consider the world we have handed down to them. How do we expect future generations to be or act when they are raised in a culture that is hedonistic, self-centered, greedy, disconnected from its founders, void of moral absolutes, irreligious, with a diminishing regard for human life and value? Often being abandoned by parents, shunned by peers, and shaped by super-peers (as psychologists now call the media), I believe they face some of the greatest and most unique challenges faced by youth in any generation.

Consider these statistics that speak of the obstacles that confront them from infancy through the teenage years. In 2007, MySpace found more than 29,000 registered sex offenders on its site. Teenage pregnancies in the U.S. (52.1 for every 1,000 of those ages 15-19) are the highest in the developed world (four times the European Union average). Every day 6,000 students drop out of the approximately 94,000 public schools in America. Approximately 25 percent of kids are overweight or obese, and most parents don't even know it. According to the Barna Research Group, 30 percent of parents say it is a "major challenge" to help their children become more spiritual. Juvenile violent crime has increased 48 percent in just the last 11 years. (I've counted at least 14 different murderous gun sprees at academic settings across our nation just since 2000, resulting in at least 60 fatalities and dozens more wounded.) The FBI estimates more than 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today, ranging from 9 to 19 years of age, with the average age being 11." Need I say more?

Our Founding Fathers simply never could have imagined such rampant degradation and utter disarray among younger generations. Proof of that is seen in Ben Franklin's 1787 pamphlet, "Information to those who would remove to America," which was a guide for Europeans who were considering relocation to America. In it Ben exclaimed, "Hence bad examples [of] youth are more rare in America, which must be comfortable consideration to parents." Can you picture a politician saying that today, "bad examples of youth are more rare in America"? He or she would become the ridicule of pundits and politicians alike.

One way we can fight right now for our founders' America is by joining the several hundred thousand Americans who have already voiced their opposition of the passage of S. 909 in the Senate, formally known as H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, in the House, because in the end it could not only criminalize opinions (an unconstitutional act) but also provide elevated protection to pedophiles. Is that how we want our government protecting our children and the Constitution? You can voice your opposition to all 100 senators by clicking here.

I've felt honored to be reconnected to the younger generations through the Chuck Norris fact proliferation. I hear from thousands every year, listen to their concerns, and do my best to carry their concerns to appropriate parties to implement change.

It doesn't take a sociologist to realize the next generation of young people (to bear the baton of America) is wearing unique and heavy burdens. They are called the Millennials – 47 million young adults between the ages of 18 and 29.

These are young people who have grown up with technology. They use it for everything from listening to music, to getting jobs, to ordering everything they need, to dating and communicating with everyone they know and want to know. They are tired of wars, rumors of wars, and America's mentality that it must save the world. They prefer to feed the poor and encourage the downtrodden. They believe that charity begins at home. (The Lord knows we have millions of people in America that need our assistance.) Their primary fight is socially conscious service. To them, government is some gargantuan gargoyle that is spiraling out of control.

The Millennials have so much to offer our world. If we're going to win our culture wars, we need the Millennials to do it. If we are going to reawaken and restore America, we need the Millennials' help. There is no way around it. We need to re-engage with our young people, and them with us, to build a brighter future and better tomorrow.

Whether at work, in a college classroom, or a community event, can you identify someone to whom you can reach out and begin to build that generational bridge?

If you think protecting a bakery in Croatia is impressive, try protecting a youth in America from the onslaught of our cultural maladies. If you do, it's you who will be the superhero.


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