Jesus joins Beckham as youth ‘superhero’

Young people are more interested in tackling poverty and climate control than getting extra pocket money, living without rules or having their football team win, a survey says.

They also identify Jesus as the figure who most represents what it means to be a “superhero”, followed closely by Florence Nightingale and David Beckham.

Asked what makes a superhero, 92 per cent say he or she would “stop bad things happening”, 91 per cent say a superhero “is generally a good guy”, and 90 per cent say they would “tell the truth”.

The findings come from a poll of 2,000 eight- to 14-year-olds, of whom 52 per cent were girls, by 4Children, the children’s charity.

More than six in 10 of those polled said being rich was a good thing, but eight in 10 chose “being me” and 74 per cent said “the internet”.

Villains were described as those who “tell lies” (88 per cent), “only look after themselves” (87 per cent), “let you down” (85 per cent), are “generally bad guys” (85 per cent), “kill people” (85 per cent) and “cannot be trusted” (82 per cent).

Only 42 per cent said that villains took drugs. The charity found that 90 per cent of young people wanted an end to hunger as their “change for an ideal world”, while only 25 per cent saw having no restrictions or rules as the path to a better life.

Many showed a respect for the environment, with 86 per cent wanting to get rid of litter, 83 per cent wanting to stop people smoking, 72 per cent wanting graffiti cleared up and 69 per cent wanting a ban on alcohol and drugs.

The survey is to be launched today by Margaret Hodge, the employment minister. She said: “These ‘voices of the future’ are telling us that they have a strong sense of responsibility to others.”

Anne Longfield, the chief executive of 4Children, said: “With the mass popularity of cause-related wristbands, and campaigns against war and poverty, children and young people are leading the way in social conscience.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Daily Telegraph, UK
June 27, 2005
Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday June 28, 2005.
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