Jump directly to the content

Sep 26 2013
Our culture’s repeated cry that “it's not our fault” minimizes our understanding of the Cross.

When former NFL player Brian Holloway first saw tweets from the teenagers partying in his New York vacation home, he thought it was a hoax. He soon realized it was not, called the police, and the trespassers scattered. But not before they left behind an estimated $20,000 worth of damage.

Between 300 and 400 teenagers invaded Holloway's home that Labor Day weekend, vandalizing his property with graffiti, breaking windows and doors, urinating on the carpet, even stealing a memorial to his stillborn grandson. Being young (and wildly shortsighted), they tweeted pictures of themselves committing these very crimes.

Holloway responded with a surprisingly gracious offer: Rather than press charges, he re-posted their tweets on the website http://helpmesave300.com and invited the teens back for a picnic and cleanup. Only 4 of the perpetrators showed up for the picnic. And now, the parents of the remaining teens are threatening to sue Holloway for posting the photos online… photos their children had already posted online.

It's a classic case of parents making excuses for their kids. In response to the parents' threats, many outraged Americans have taken to the Internet to lambast the parents and their astounding self-righteousness. I generally agree with the criticisms. While these teens need to be held responsible for their actions, the onus is on the parents to discipline their kids, who are unlikely to take ownership for their behavior if they aren't learning to do so at home.

However, finger pointing isn't much of a solution. Instead, we might consider what this story means for us, parents and non-parents alike. What does it mean for how we raise our kids? And what does it mean for how we live out our faith?

These questions matter, because Holloway's victimization, and the related negligence of the parents, all occurred within a wider culture of blame shifting. Rather than take responsibility for one's actions, many individuals are prone to make excuses and shift the blame elsewhere. We see this tendency everywhere, from high profile cases such as Holloway's, to the classrooms of the American high school, where teachers face disrespect and even violence from their students, while receiving little to no support from parents or school administration.

If we want to be salt and light in a culture of blame shifting, then the Christian response is clear: We need to take ownership for our own wrong-doings. We need to accept the blame when we make a mistake, and we need to teach our children to do the same.

Related Topics:Parenting; Sin
Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids?

After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids?

I equip my daughters to protect themselves and their bodies in ways I didn’t learn to.
Too Many Transitions Can Traumatize Our Kids

Too Many Transitions Can Traumatize Our Kids

I know from experience what happens when children face moving, divorce, or other stressful life change—and how we can help them.
The 5 Truths Stay-at-Home and Working Moms Can Agree On

The 5 Truths Stay-at-Home and Working Moms Can Agree On

After interviewing 120 women, I saw glimmers of a truce in the Mommy Wars.
The Truth About Living with an Invisible Illness

The Truth About Living with an Invisible Illness

God sees me and my pain even when others cannot.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

The Truth About Living with an Invisible Illness

God sees me and my pain even when others cannot.

Follow Us

Twitter

  • RT @mfarrellgarcia: After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids? https://t.co/yVTZOmLKNc via @CT_Women
  • Researcher @hgscott talks about the widespread effects of Internet porn https://t.co/OkRrIc78rG
  • Protecting our kids and loving our neighbors @JustinHolcomb @drmoore @mfarrellgarcia https://t.co/708pIr3j79
  • RT @denverseminary: Super proud of Katie Jo, a current student, sharing about living with w/ an autoimmune disease over on @CTmagazine htt2026
  • How do we keep our kids safe, while still living in community with friends and neighbors? https://t.co/708pIr3j79


What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Blame-Shifting Away Our Sin