RICHARDSON — It's a message with many faces and teens in a youth group at First United Methodist Church of Richardson intended it to be that way.
Eight students are featured in a 52-second video posted on YouTube. The video combats messages that were delivered by guest speaker Justin Lookadoo in a speech Wednesday during an student assembly at Richardson High School.
"This isn't the 1950s anymore," said Ian Hamlett. "I can't believe people still believe this."
The Christian motivational speaker, hired by the PTA, faced harsh criticism from students after the event.
"I've done about 4,000 programs," Lookadoo said. "That's never happened."
Wednesday night, it was the topic of conversation at a youth meeting at the church. Youth pastor Tommy Houghteling said kids were emotional as they read aloud Lookadoo’s "Dateable Rules" for girls and boys. Hamlett argued the rules are sexist and said Lookadoo doesn't represent all Christians.
"Every single one of them was dumb-founded," the youth minister said.
Here is an excerpt from Lookadoo's list of rules that make a girl "dateable":
"Dateable girls know how to shut up. They don’t monopolize the conversation. They don’t tell everyone everything about themselves. They save some for later. They listen more than they gab."
And his rules for being a "dateable" boy:
"Dateable guys know they aren’t as sensitive as girls, and that’s okay. They know they are stronger, more dangerous, and more adventurous, and that’s okay. Dateable guys are real men who aren’t afraid to be guys."
That Wednesday night at the youth gathering, the teens decided to take the initiative and produce a video using an iPhone. The teens aim was to showcase "who they are."
Houghteling said it was never meant to be an attack, but rather, an opportunity to showcase an alternate view. Not one word was uttered in the video. The video showed faces with written statements inbetween. And to these kids, the most important message came at the very end of the video when it read: “We are all uniquely and wonderfully made by the same hands."
"We just wanted to put it out there that it was ok to be who they are," said Lydia Chen.