Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Won't Somebody Think of the Children!

"It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin." (Luke 17:2)

We are a country of voyeurs, unable to keep from rubber-necking at the latest train wreck. I really try to avoid such headlines, but I am embarrassed to admit I’m a sucker for celebrity gossip, especially given that gossip is a sin. But my personal voyeurism isn’t (usually) a self-righteous schadenfreude, but rather cause for inner reflection and prayer about the sad state of our culture and our American Idol worship. I feel for those caught up in the frenzy of the paparazzi and the sacrifice of personal privacy. I especially feel for innocent bystanders, the families and friends of said celebrity. But honestly some just bring it on themselves.

Take Nadya Suleman, shamefully dubbed by the media as “octomom”. On the one hand, she brought this on herself, but on the other, our culture encouraged it with shows like John and Kate Plus 8 and the altar of Oprah’s couch. The latest I hear is an offer to star in a porn movie. Yeah, that’s dignified and respectful. Thankfully she quickly declined. Newsweek has a good piece on why we care so much and why we should be ashamed of it.

Ironically, from there I clicked a link about the aftermath of The Bachelor, a show I wanted to publicly decry as soon as I heard the premise for this latest season- the bachelor is a single dad. Nothing like hawking your children for fame and fortune. Surprisingly, the bachelor dumped his fiance and went with the runner-up. Actually, it’s not that surprising, I think only one of the bachelors have actually married (or has stayed married) to his televised choice. To quote the article, “his relationship… took a turn for the worse when production ended and they returned to reality. He said the chemistry was off…” Go figure. Sadly, this season’s finale was the highest rated program of the night and highest rated Bachelor finale since 2003. I sure didn’t watch, did you?

Regrettably, the victims in both of these cases are the children. It’s one thing to be the child of a celebrity, but when that celebrity is a function of your very existence… well, you end up like Paris Hilton. I pray that’s not the case and I pray that these children can somehow grow up in a functional home, free from our prying eyes. But this brand of “entertainment” needs to stop. If we’re going to keep calling ourselves a ‘Christian nation’ we need to start acting like it.

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