Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Courage to Stand Up for What Is Right

I am not easily impressed, but this weekend a group of high school students impressed me.

This past weekend, talented high school choir, orchestra, and band students from all over Arizona participated in a three-day event. Each student had competed for a regional performance and, after another audition and selection process, was chosen for the all state performance.

The students are all talented and capable musicians. Their abilities and dedication to the arts, despite schools cutting music funding right and left, is impressive enough.

But even more impressive was the courage they showed to stand up for what was right.

The three day event included extensive rehearsals, workshops, and guest performances from students at Arizona State University, where the event took place.

During one such performance, the students listened to ASU choirs and performance groups, including the Lyric Opera - a group of professors and students in musical theatre.

The Lyric Opera students performed a selection from the Broadway musical Rent - a popular musical best known for being "edgy" or, in other words, a musical featuring a lot of crude language and immoral situations. It is a modern retelling of Puccini's opera La Boheme. When it was performed on Broadway, the musical strove to give modern bohemians vicarious experiences with drugs, sex, homosexuality, sadomasochism, HIV, and good old-fashioned youth rebellion.

When the Lyric Opera students performed a selection from Rent, the director and students decided to improve the "edginess."

One young woman pulled her pants down and mooned the audience of high school teens.

The performers flipped off the audience of high school teens.

And do you know what?

The high school teens, hundreds of them, stood up and walked out of the performance.

That is impressive.

The immoral dogmas of the modern world would like us to believe that being "edgy" takes courage.

That is a lie.

It is easy to be immoral. It is easy to promote evil. It is easy to give in to the lowest, basest, most demeaning behavior humans can invent.

Standing up for what is right takes courage. Making a moral choice not to follow the seduction of depravity takes courage.

Hundreds of high school students, from all walks of life, religious or not, decided last weekend that they did not need to waste their time being "edgy." They also decided not to attend ASU, where their morals and courage would be disparaged by "edgy" philosophy and moral turpitude.