I grew up in a godly, fundamentalist home. I thought all fundamentalist homes were like mine, with parents who loved God’s Word and had good reasons for the things we did and didn’t do. But not everyone liked the choices they made, and they were sometimes ridiculed for them. One of the things my mom felt strongly about that some did not understand was the influence of music and television.
As I’ve grown up, I have retained a good deal of my awareness of the influences around me. Take for example, the Disney CD that my children have been listening to. A song on it until recently has never bothered me, “I’m a Policeman, Dressed in Blue.” Cute song, nothing apparently objectionable. It’s simply a public relations song for policemen (They direct traffic and help children. The song says nothing of drug busts and shootouts.)
After listening to it about ten times in a single day, I started wondering whether the phrase “nobody has a better job than mine” should be addressed. I wasn’t sure it mattered. Don’t you think a child is oblivious to the meaning of the words in a song or at the least would know that this phrase is hyperbole? That’s what I assumed, until I asked my oldest child “Do you think Daddy has a better job than a policeman?”
No, came the reply. Hmmm. Maybe he’s simply recognizing that the policeman in the song is happy to be a policeman, I thought. So I questioned him further. After discussion, I realized that he and his sisters really did believe that nobody has a better job than a policeman. I have a problem with this conclusion. If God wants a young man to be a policeman, then it is the best job he could have, but being a policeman in itself isn’t the best job for anybody, and I would be uncomfortable for a young man to choose any profession on that misconception.
David has started telling people he wants to be a policeman. Since this song represents his entire exposure to policemen, I’m pretty certain his perception has been shaped by the song. Is it surprising that a song can be so influential? (Yes, I’m aware that what a child wants to be when he grows up changes through the years.)
I deleted the song from the playlist, and I am more confident that limiting exposure to philosophical errors through media in early years is a really good thing.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. I Corinthians 15:33-34