Child actors gone bad, is it lack of christian values?

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greenblue
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17 Jul 2010, 7:35 pm

well, as it can be seen in the cases of few former child celebrities that have gone bad, such as drug issues, scandals and having trouble with the law, as currently being the case with Lindsay Lohan.

One of the exception of this "trend" is former child actor Kirk Cameron. And here lies the following questions, did his christian values prevented him from falling like other former child celebrities? is he doing fine because of this? would he be in the same situations as the others if it wasn't for "finding God"? Does this justify the importance of being a christian? Does this justify Christianity?

If Lohan was a christian just like Cameron, would all have been very different for her?


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Exclavius
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17 Jul 2010, 8:14 pm

If anything about Lohan's upbringing was different, she would be a different person.
The more different it was, the more different she would be. That is what is meant by us being a product of our environment.

If she was christian instead of whatever she is... She'd be different, does that mean that she'd be better? No... She could've been a lot worse just as easily. It all depends on the factors, and the brain/body's reaction to those factors. The level of complexity theory involved in answering a question like "Would so and so have had a better or worse life if such and such were the case instead of what actually was the case?" would be so astronomical, one could never figure it out.

Now, on the other hand, irrelevant to christianity, if Lindsay Lohan actually believed that it was wrong to do such and such a thing, (such as drunk driving) and if she honestly did believe that fame doesn't make you immune to law, and that celebrity didn't make you something special.... Then likely she would have a much better life. However I don't see any direct connection to christianity.
Being a Christian would've increased the chances she got arrested in connection to a Gay-Bashing.
Being a Christian would've increased the chances she got arrested for harassing distressed women and rape victims leaving an abortion clinic.
But what does drunk driving have to do with Christianity... unless as usual some christian church all of a sudden wants to add this or that to the bible that was never there before... maybe the 11th commandment, "Thou shalt not drink and drive"

Christianity would have made her life different. But no more different than being raised in the city vs town vs country.



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17 Jul 2010, 8:51 pm

I agree with Exclavius, and I'd like to add this:

"Christianity" doesn't make you a worse/better person. Using "Christianity" is just simply a way of putting a label on a group of people with fairly common beliefs and practices.

I'm sure it's obvious what I believe and practice. But if you look at other people, especially people around my age, what you tend to find more often (I think) are people who grew up in conservative Christian homes with a LOT of Reagan influence and not much explanation of exactly WHY our families believed and practiced the way they did. Now, that kind of mentality worked back in the '50's. But part of our problem is that the main difference between the 80's and the 50's was the sexual permissiveness and decadence of the decade (not to mention the music was MUCH better in the 80's). We as children back then failed to reconcile the faith we'd been brought up in with what was going on with the rest of the world, due in part to our parents, some even children of the 50's and early 60's, never having really been taught anything other than to simply accept what you were told.

We know, of course, you can't teach people that way in today's culture and society, and I'd be lying if I said I'd NEVER experienced any inner conflict between what I was taught and what I found to be ultimately true. While I never abandoned my faith, maintaining my faith was not without its challenges, and it's been a difficult task discerning between those things I was taught that were correct and those things that weren't. By the end of my undergrad college years I'd gotten things pretty well straightened out, and the remainder of time since then has pretty much been spent reaffirming what I always knew to be true. But since no amount of knowledge is really satisfying, I've decided at this point in my life to really try to learn more (because I can, not something I could do easily earlier in life). Hence why my head is stuck in the Bible during most of my spare time.

Those who had the same childhood I had, I think, have largely fallen away from faith because they started figuring out the same kinds of things I figured out about 5 years earlier than my peers. A lot of us DO drink copious amounts of alcohol, smoke a lot of weed, and read The Secret when life doesn't grant us all the wishes we were taught would come true if we just follow our dreams and work hard. Those who SAY they're Christians don't really believe anything. They only call themselves that because they learned everything they were supposed to learn in Sunday School and church camp, not to mention it's been so much a part of their lives for so long they don't really imagine that they are anything else. Their day-to-day actions, however, tell a completely different story.

The main point is that no amount of childrearing and instilling Christian values is going to guarantee that a child will turn out okay.

By and large what I've observed is this: Children with a predominantly "ecumenical" upbringing generally will not come to any kind of faith in God, leaving their parents wondering "What went wrong?" The parents didn't MAKE the children go to church! They didn't make them STUDY! The children grew up with no understanding of why faith is important. If there's no point to going to church and reading the Bible, why do it? If you're non-religious or atheist, yet you want to encourage your children to make up their own minds, the one thing they WON'T do is actually visit churches and try to discern whether what this preacher says or whether what that other preacher says is true or even whether the whole thing is garbage. They'll be content to just take their parents' word for it because that takes the least amount of work.

The other side of the coin is the parent who rams religion down the child's throat. There are two outcomes of this: As you might expect (and as seems evident with my generation), the child will escape far, far away come college time and never go back to his religious background. The other outcome is the child actually pays attention, believes what he is taught, and continues practicing this teaching throughout life. Very often the children extend their religious upbringing into adulthood and even teach their own children, or at the very least keep them continually exposed to religious teaching. But unlike more laid-back approaches, providing religious training at home and insisting on church attendance at least gives the child a fighting chance. Christian parents might get frustrated that the child abandoned his teaching and worry that it is somehow the fault of the parent that the information was presented in the wrong way. Well, maybe and maybe not. AT LEAST that child was exposed to the gospel, and more often the result is favorable that the child will continue along the path. For all you really know, there might not have ever been any difference and the child would have made the same decision regardless.

So...

Even if we are assured that Lohan's parents did EVERYTHING right, the real issue is that Lohan had to make her own choices. Any differing choices made in parenting MIGHT have made a difference, but ultimately SHE knows what she is doing, SHE knows right from wrong, so ultimately SHE is responsible for her actions.



CaptainTrips222
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18 Jul 2010, 5:29 am

Hollywood and the party life can go to anybody's head, no matter what their religious background. Hey, notice the british child actors never seem to end up the trouble like the american ones? I'd say culture too.



Aimless
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18 Jul 2010, 6:01 am

I think you're right about the culture aspect CaptainTrips222. American culture worships celebrity and once that is over the celebrity in question is left doubting their own value. I also think they may turn to substances while they are at the height of their popularity to deal with the anxiety that constant exposure has got to bring.



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18 Jul 2010, 7:11 am

AngelRho just likes to complicate simple things.

When your child looks you in the eye and says they are the bread winner in the family, it changes the dynamic. When they know full well that your work on their behalf can be done by the hired help, you'll be tip toeing around them. Children are naturally imperious, and when they gain a lot of leverage over you, they'll do exactly as they please, when they please.

Further, it is quite common for child actors to seek and receive legal emancipation allowing them to manage their own affairs. The presence of an agent in their lives also provides a means for circumventing parental authority. Even more so, if they are working on a set, a timely and prolonged tantrum can lead to pressure on the parents from concerned parties such as directors, producers and studio heads. Remember that if that kid is stalling, they are all losing money.


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Meow101
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18 Jul 2010, 10:29 am

Fuzzy wrote:
AngelRho just likes to complicate simple things.

When your child looks you in the eye and says they are the bread winner in the family, it changes the dynamic. When they know full well that your work on their behalf can be done by the hired help, you'll be tip toeing around them. Children are naturally imperious, and when they gain a lot of leverage over you, they'll do exactly as they please, when they please.

Further, it is quite common for child actors to seek and receive legal emancipation allowing them to manage their own affairs. The presence of an agent in their lives also provides a means for circumventing parental authority. Even more so, if they are working on a set, a timely and prolonged tantrum can lead to pressure on the parents from concerned parties such as directors, producers and studio heads. Remember that if that kid is stalling, they are all losing money.


Yep. Religion has nothing to do with it. Parenting, or lack thereof, does.

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18 Jul 2010, 10:44 am

I would think that being taken from obscurity to adoration and then suddenly back to obscurity again would turn anybody's head. Just think of all the Hollywood sycophants that would treat your every fart like it was perfume and then won't return your calls later.



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18 Jul 2010, 10:50 am

The simple answer is the question "Are there any Christians who are drug addicts, murderers, rapists, crooked politicians, child beaters, etc.?" If you can find Christians in these categories then you have your answer.



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18 Jul 2010, 10:56 am

You mean "christian values" as in catholic priest molesting children?


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18 Jul 2010, 11:04 am

How many people in jail are christians? How many people in jail are atheists? Answer me that before you tell me christianity would save celebrities from drug abuse.


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18 Jul 2010, 12:22 pm

The very term "Christian values" raises my hackles. I resent it. There's an auto shop near where I live that calls itself a "Christian" Car Repair as if a car shop owned by someone of a different faith should be suspect. The idea that Christianity is the source for all that is good and kind is unfortunate and untrue.



zer0netgain
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19 Jul 2010, 6:46 am

CaptainTrips222 wrote:
Hollywood and the party life can go to anybody's head, no matter what their religious background. Hey, notice the british child actors never seem to end up the trouble like the american ones? I'd say culture too.


This is about it.

The kids from Different Strokes and The Facts of Life were case studies of how bad Hollywood was for child actors. Kids made tons of money doing TV shows and then turned 18 not knowing squat about living a normal life.

Now, there is much more regulation about kids in entertainment to ensure they aren't missing out on education, and parents of those kids are more aware of how important good parenting is for child actors so they grow up normal and well-adjusted.

Values might have something to do with it, but it really comes down to raising kids properly and not letting Hollywood go to their head.



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19 Jul 2010, 7:49 am

Aimless wrote:
The very term "Christian values" raises my hackles. I resent it. There's an auto shop near where I live that calls itself a "Christian" Car Repair as if a car shop owned by someone of a different faith should be suspect. The idea that Christianity is the source for all that is good and kind is unfortunate and untrue.

I agree. "Christian values" is a meaningless and stupid term which implies:
a) that there is something special in the values promoted by Christianity - which ignores that most societies - religious or not, have legal and moral codes that prohibit stuff like murder, theft etc.
b) that Christianity is somehow super-moral when it promotes things like slavery, women as property, genocide, war etc.
c) that without the threat of eternal damnation, people are unable to be moral

Childhood actors get their egos inflated by their fame, and often by financial mismanagement where they think they can have anything they want before they're mature enough to manage it well. There are plenty of childhood actors that turn out fine (usually when they have parents/managers that don't let them have too much media exposure, encourage education and manage their money well) and without heavy doses of fundamentalist Christianity - you just don't hear about them because their faces aren't all over tabloids and they're not trying to convert you to anything.



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19 Jul 2010, 10:57 pm

greenblue wrote:
well, as it can be seen in the cases of few former child celebrities that have gone bad, such as drug issues, scandals and having trouble with the law, as currently being the case with Lindsay Lohan.

One of the exception of this "trend" is former child actor Kirk Cameron. And here lies the following questions, did his christian values prevented him from falling like other former child celebrities? is he doing fine because of this? would he be in the same situations as the others if it wasn't for "finding God"? Does this justify the importance of being a christian? Does this justify Christianity?

If Lohan was a christian just like Cameron, would all have been very different for her?
How do you know Lohan was not raised by Christians? Also, do you figure that there are millions of "kids" gone bad that were raised by christian values?


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19 Jul 2010, 11:06 pm

greenblue wrote:
well, as it can be seen in the cases of few former child celebrities that have gone bad, such as drug issues, scandals and having trouble with the law, as currently being the case with Lindsay Lohan.

One of the exception of this "trend" is former child actor Kirk Cameron. And here lies the following questions, did his christian values prevented him from falling like other former child celebrities? is he doing fine because of this? would he be in the same situations as the others if it wasn't for "finding God"? Does this justify the importance of being a christian? Does this justify Christianity?

If Lohan was a christian just like Cameron, would all have been very different for her?


If he had followed strict Muslim rules, he would have also made it through pretty okay. The religion doesn't matter so much as adherence to an idea of morality and law. His strict adherence kept him fairly well but left him fairly deranged as far as his take on the world. That's the problem with religion: it leaves an absolutely corrupted worldview for the sake of instilling morality.


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