In May of this year the state of Florida passed a law, SB 1438, prohibiting children from being admitted to any live performance that depicts, or simulates, nudity, sexual conduct, or lewd exposure of real, or fake, genitals or breasts. The “Protection of Children” bill prevented an Orlando restaurant from allowing children to watch their drag shows during Sunday brunches, events the restaurant claimed were family-friendly.1
The restaurant quickly filed a lawsuit against Florida, claiming its First Amendment rights to free speech were violated. Sunday reservations were down 20%. The underlying issue surfaced when the restaurant posted on its Facebook page that the law was anti-LGBTQ. The following month a federal judge blocked the law from taking effect until the restaurant’s lawsuit goes through the court system.2
Years ago, the challenge parents faced was finding a restaurant serving food their children liked, and hoping they would behave. Today, there are many options of what to eat, and some parents seem less concerned about behavior. The larger issue is what children will see in any restaurant.
Sure, you can pass a law preventing kids from watching a stage performance of inappropriate sexual inuendo. But what of customers in any restaurant? I have seen casual clothing that is a few stitches away from nudity. Phrases on T-shirts advocating all manner of bizarre behaviors. Men hugging men, women kissing women. Someone with a five-o’clock shadow dressed in women’s clothing. Another with a notable bust line clothed in a man’s suit.
Besides what occurs in a “family-friendly” restaurant, children are exposed to drag shows and other forms of deviant behavior in schools, on the internet, and even in certain churches. The postmodern world is pushing all forms of abnormal behavior as normal. What are we to do? Scripture provides us with guidance.
Jesus never avoided culturally or socially unacceptable people. He frequently had dinner with tax collectors and sinners, and was criticized by religious leaders for doing so (Matthew 9:10-11; Luke 5:29-30). Yet the Lord never compromised His message. For instance, He had compassion on a woman caught in adultery; but told her to leave her life of sin (John 8:3-11).
As followers of Jesus, we do not belong to the world, but are protected from evil practices by the truth of God’s word (John 17:15-17). Though we live in the world, we do not have to wage war as the world does (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Thanks to the Holy Spirit, we can test the viewpoints of the world, and demolish their arguments and false pretenses.
We cannot, and should not, as Christians live as hermits to avoid sinful trends. Nor can we become overly reliant on governments to pass laws that are based on what the Bible says. We need to get back to the basics. Get out into the world and firmly, but lovingly, proclaim the truth of God’s word. I am not suggesting we go to a drag show for lunch in order to witness to depraved and lost people. That’s financially supporting an evil platform. Rather, we need to prepare our children (and ourselves) to recognize, and avoid, the lies of Satan, whether served in casual or 5-star restaurants. Or anywhere else.
1 https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/23/us/ 5-23-2023
2 https://www.orlandoweekly.com/news/ 6-23-2023
Know Doubt Ministry, LLC