Rebecca Hagelin

Crammed upside down at the bottom of a trash bin with cement blocks piled on top of her tiny body, yet another of America's little girls was seen as nothing more than garbage.  Kidnapped, raped and left to die a horrible death, the eight-year-old child is the latest in an ever-growing torrent of victims of a toxic culture.

We may never know exactly what drove 17-year-old Milagro Cunningham to treat Lisa Taylor as if she were nothing more than a thing to be used and discarded at will -- as if she were a tissue and not a precious human being created, like the rest of us, in the image and likeness of our Creator. Only God knows how such dark depravity could come to grip his mind and bring him to commit such a sickening act.

But we are fooling ourselves if we pretend that the reality of his abandonment by his own parents, his illegal presence in America with no one responsible for him, combined with a toxic culture that surrounds all of us, didn?t play a significant role. Milagro couldn?t have missed the signals sent by a raunchy media culture that says: Do whatever you like, whenever you like. Consequences? What consequences? Struggling, undoubtedly, with his own feelings of rejection, and with no stable family to help him sort through the lies, he took the selfish, hedonistic messages of pop culture that teaches everyone else is disposable and took them to their horrifying, and in his warped mind, logical conclusion.

My heart is breaking for America's children.

We now live in a society where it's not unusual to have metal detectors and armed police in our nation's schools.  The latest debate about enforcing the peace in our classrooms centers around police using tasers to subdue unruly students.  But while pundits take one position or the other on the appropriateness of stun guns at school, the reason for the escalation in the madness is largely ignored by the mass media. Few seem to be ?connecting the dots? from the obvious cultural corruption, to the failure of parents to truly "parent" their kids to the brutal consequences being suffered by our children.


- According to a 2004 report by Advocates for Youth, a full fifty percent of the new STD cases are in our young people, ages 15-24

- A series of recent articles in the Chronicles of Higher Education reveals that greater numbers of freshmen are entering colleges with diagnosed depression and other mental illnesses
- A September 2004 report in the medical journal Pediatrics reveals that teens that watch a lot of sexualized programming on television are twice as likely to engage in intercourse than their peers who don't watch much TV

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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