General Updates

Alright, getting a private area on Squarespace is going to be more complicated than I originally thought so as of right now that option is out. I may try to do some sort of email list/newsletter thing in the near future, but until then I will have to keep on editing myself. Just a word about that. I am not editing myself just because I am afraid that I might get into trouble, but because I don’t think it is fair to complain about people in the open like this just because I have a forum to do so. There are some things that I would like to say that I think would help other youth pastors, but that would be hurtful to the people who are involved. It isn’t fair to them.

Case in point: I don’t know when I became the point man for the “Let’s not air hump on stage at a school function” movement, but apparently people are bringing their own baggage here. I have tried to make several responses in the comments section, but I wanted to bring all of the relevant facts and general observations here in one place.

  • I was never writing to criticize the performance by the Show Choir.
  • I do think that the sound in the city auditorium is atrocious and I will have a hard time paying money for another event in that room until they get it fixed, but that in no way says that I have a problem with the Show Choir or all of their hard work.
  • I wasn’t even writing to complain about the vulgar dance that was performed at the Show Choir concert. I was writing to say that somehow I had become someone who writes letters of complaint to people and I couldn’t believe that I had become that person.
  • Please do not comment about me or who you feel I am from only reading one post on this blog.
  • I really like dancing. In fact I actually have dances at my church. I even started a hip-hop style dance team at my church. I really like performance and live show. I know how hard they are to pull together. I just don’t appreciate simulated sex acts when I am at a school function.
  • I like teenagers, but they make some real dumb decisions sometimes
  • I think that teenagers are stupid (as are guys and most Christians–I fall into both of these camps) Those of you who actually read through this will see that my whole life is dealing with teenagers so a comment like “Teenagers are stupid” must mean something other that what you apparently took it to mean which is “I hate teenagers” (I do hate teenagers, but not because they are stupid.)(See there is that fancy wit again getting me in trouble)
  • Teenagers don’t always make the best decisions so it is up to the adults in their lives to help them out.
  • As adults we must be responsible for the things that we are in charge of. If I were in charge of the event on Friday and a student had deliberately tricked me into putting him on stage so he could push the boundaries as far as this student did I would have immediately stood up and apologized for his actions.
  • As an adult I am the one responsible. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years it is that people will respond better if you take responsibility and not simply try to cover things up.
  • In that vein: My name is Shane. I am the big guy who brings candy to the school every week because I love teenagers. My name is on everything that I say here.
  • If you want to call me closed minded or question my motives then at least have the courage to sign your name. If you don’t want your name out where the world can see it then at least have the courage to send me an email and let me know who you are.
  • This wasn’t about a difference of opinion about styles. This wasn’t about what the show choir did or about me not liking a particular dance. This was about a young man thinking it was funny to be vulgar. I can’t say whether or not his teacher knew about it before hand, but no matter what she is responsible. If she had immediately stood up and said, “Thank you for that performance, but I don’t think it was appropriate for the audience we have here tonight. I want to say that I am sorry to all of you who may have been offended” my post would have been applauding her for her courage. Instead here I am 3 days later trying to defend why I think school functions shouldn’t be PG-13. It is all just a bit ridiculous.
  • Let me close by saying this. All of you who put time and effort into practicing your Show Choir routine should be reaping the praises of your audience. Instead, one student trying to be funny and show off took that away from you. Instead of complaining about the people who paid money to support you why not complain about the guy who took your show from you.

8 thoughts on “General Updates

  • May 11, 2006 at 2:29 PM

    Spoken like a true close minded person. You speak of yourself as an "open minded" person, who loves/hates teenagers (Make Up Your Mind On This Point). But judging from these posts you are nothing of the sort. As EHS student’s who attended the show, we believe that it was appropriate in it’s context. The Show’s theme was American Pop Forever, showcasing music through the decades. In the 50’s the music and dancing was seen vulgar, in the 60’s the music and dancing was seen vile, in the 70’s the music was seen unappropriate. Music with each generation is viewed this way. The dancing from the boy’s preformance, was just displaying our decade. With that being stated you should already be able to decide for yourself when buying the ticket, wether or not you would have liked to attend.

  • May 11, 2006 at 4:56 PM

    I understand that I can stay away from places that I find offensive. That is the nature of the world. But my contention has always been that as a "school" function that is inappropriate. There is no way that I could have known that such a dance would have been presented. There is no way that parents of young children could have known.

    You have every right to dance as you see fit. And yes there have always been tension between what generations felt was appropriate, but part of maturity is understanding that. Part of making good decisions is undestanding that actions have consequences and that everyone doesn’t see the world as you do.

    I seriously doubt if the purpose of that Show Choir performance was to educate old people about how teens are dancing. I doubt the point was to make "close-minded" people like me see that what you are doing is valid.

    After the fact I have heard many people try to justify in glowing terms something that was meant as a joke, but went too far.

    Again, I understand why a teenager would think that it was funny and appropriate. What I don’t understand is where were the adults who are supposed to know better. Think about how different this week would have been for those people who were in the show choir after performing such a great show if that dance had been left out. That is what an adults should have thought about.

  • May 11, 2006 at 5:41 PM

    Let me just start by saying, Shane, I’m sorry to have to post about this topic, and further beat this horse that’s been dead for a while now, and that you’re trying to bury. However, it seems to me that if there is still such a lively debate going on, then maybe it should still be discussed. I’m not sure if it’s guilty consciences with people, or just strong differences of opinion, but you’ve apparently hit a hot button. With that being said, I just wanted to chime in on the Vest / Vaughn post, that it somehow took two people to come up with.

    First, it just seems ironic to me how people continue to call you, in this case, the "true close minded person". All I’ve seen was you stating your opinion about behavior that you felt was inappropriate. They are not open at all to you feeling a certain way about someone’s actions at a school function, but you’re the close minded one. (Their post was spoken like true hypocrites.)

    Second, they insist on you making up your mind on whether you love or hate teenagers. Apparently these kids have never heard of a love / hate relationship, or, for that matter, never owned a cell phone. Maybe we’re just being too open minded on this one, to believe that it is indeed possible to love something (or someone), then turn around and hate it (or them). I won’t even get into how it’s occasionally possible to both love and hate something or someone at the same time, because that would totally blow their so called "open" little minds. You live, you learn.

    Keep up the good work, and keep stirring the pot.

  • May 11, 2006 at 10:44 PM

    I have thought long and hard about a repsonse to your criticisms of the EHS show choir performance. I feel no need for name calling or trying to belittle those who think differently from me or insult those people who also felt compelled to respond. I would like to ask you if you have once given thought to the accusations and "what-ifs" that you presented in terms of the actual flesh and blood person against whom you have directed your comments. Did it ever occur to you that it was not an approved act? Have you found out any of the facts before you placed blame? Have you spoken to the choral director herself? Do you know anything about her other than what you have been told? Do you believe everything that you are told? Have you ever not foreseen something bad that happened until it was too late? Have you never made a mistake in judgement by trusting someone who you had no reason to mistrust? Have you never realized in hindsight that a situation could have been handled differently? Have you bothered to find out before being so critical whether the issue was being addressed and how?
    First of all, I don’t know what stations you watch on television (you mentioned MTV). I have basic cable but I can assure you that I have seen dancing far worse than what that teenaged student performed shown on network television and if you think that children and adults don’t see and hear on a daily basis things far worse then I don’t think that you are living in the present day real world. I think it is sad that such a world exists but it does. Also, if you don’t think that what goes on in teenagers everyday lives whether in school or on television is not a bombardment of bad language and immorality, then you are very naive.
    However, my point is that this one five (or fewer)minute incident has been blown way out of proprotion. You do have the right to be offended – that is not an issue. I personally did not like it either. However, I can’t say that I was so appalled or innocent or unworldly that I am ready to start casting stones.
    I have a child who was involved in a high school show choir. It was an activity that required much time and self-discipline. It was a most positive influence. I do not for one minute delude myself that my child was not exposed to people with different belief systems and different ideas of morality (or the lack thereof). The world is full of it. What we hope and pray for is that the child will rely on what has been instilled in them and will grow and flourish in spite of what is around them when they are out of our sight.
    I gather from your website that you are soon to enjoy the pleasure and privilege of parenthood. My congratulations. It is a wonderful time but also very difficult to be a parent and to sometimes have to make hard decisions. I hope that someday when your son, Nathan, is hurt by someone who has made accusations or said hurtful things to and about him to which he can make no response that you will remember the accusations and hurtful things that you have said about another of God’s children whom you don’t even know.

  • May 11, 2006 at 11:32 PM

    I really still can’t believe that so many people are hot about this issue. I wrote one piece about writing a letter of complaint and here I am days later still talking about it.

    I never said anything bad about anyone (except that teenagers are stupid).
    Yes there have been things that I regreted, and things that got out of hand. There have also been things that have gotten out of hand that I didn’t immediately get up and take responsibility for. I never said that I was perfect. I was simply offering insight.

    I just had a thought. Maybe that is the problem. There are a bunch of you getting turned on to this site just because of this discussion and you see the Christian stuff and you hear me talking about stuff and you think that I believe that I am right and everyone else is wrong.

    I am a royal screw up. I don’t get everything right, in fact I don’t get many things right. The whole premise of this site is that I am just a normal person struggling to make it. Maybe people are still arguing this point because they think I am making some sort of moral judgement like I am the standard by which you should live.

    As for the hard work on the show choir perfomance. I understand. I think the show choir routine was great. But I don’t know how many other youth workers really care about a show choir performance in Eufaula. I thought some of them who are regular readers might like to know that super liberal Shane got excited about to write a letter about something. I honestly didn’t realize that anyone from the school would read this.

    I wasn’t happy with what happened, but I didn’t write a letter to the paper for the simple reason that I thought that it wasn’t right to make a big public deal about this whole thing. Since then I have been blindsided by people attacking me and I have been trying to explain.

    And just to say again for the millionth time. It was at a school function. Even with all of the places where bad things can be seen as a parent I would like to be able to decide what my 7 year old sees.

  • May 12, 2006 at 6:05 PM

    "As adults we must be responsible for the things that we are in charge of. If I were in charge of the event on Friday and a student had deliberately tricked me into putting him on stage so he could push the boundaries as far as this student did I would have immediately stood up and apologized for his actions."

    So by saying that the person in charge of the show on Friday is responsible for something that was out of her hands, does that mean that the parents and the community can blame you for things that their children from your youth group do on the weekends?

  • May 12, 2006 at 6:10 PM

    You know what… nevermind. This whole entire situation is a complete dead issue. I accept your apology, so do the many other choir members that were hurt by your comments. Just please, in the future, analyze the situation more before making your opinion public. (You are a public figure, what you say has a tremendous impact on people.)


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