Category archives: Entertainment

Review: God’s Not Dead

by Kathy Athearn

April 22, 2014

What would you do if your college philosophy professor told the class to write “God is dead” on a piece of paper, sign it, and hand it in, or else risk 30% of your grade? In the movie, “God’s Not Dead,” a freshman named Josh Wheaton is told just that. Josh looks around the room and watches everyone do just as the professor said. But as a Christian, he can’t bring himself to do it. As a result, the professor tells him that he must present his argument for why God is NOT dead to the entire class for the next several weeks. Then the class will vote on whether God is dead or alive.

Josh is now sacrificing grades in his other classes in order to devote time and energy to prove that God’s not dead. He also faces pressure from everyone —his parents, girlfriend, friends —to just let it go, and let the professor win his argument. But Josh just can’t do it. A local pastor helps him to stand up and defend the Truth, reminding him of what Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-33, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

Josh does a masterful job of arguing for God’s existence, angering his professor and slowly impacting his classmates. Josh knows that his purpose in life is to glorify God in every area of life, and he’s not going to let anyone frustrate or distract him.

As we witness the erosion of religious freedom in our country (especially for orthodox Christians) and we hear about the horrific persecution and massacre of Christians in other parts of the world, it is easy to become discouraged or disheartened. But I hope you take the time to watch “God’s Not Dead.” It is a positive, hope-filled movie that will inspire you to stand up and speak the Truth in Love. As our Redeemer said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world! (John 16:33b)

Kirsten Dunst Is a Good Sociologist

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 21, 2014

I know virtually nothing about contemporary stars and starlets, other than having consistently to turn away from the images of the substantially disrobed young “entertainers” displayed on the jumbotron across from my office in advertisements for their latest performances. Pornography, by any other name, ain’t art.

But I’m aware of the actress Kirsten Dunst for two reasons: Her memorable performance as a child in 1994’s “Little Women” and the fact that “Dunst” is a fine German name, not unlike my own (she apparently has dual U.S. and German citizenship; warum nicht?).

Now, however, Ms. Dunst is much in the news for having the audacity to say what she thinks of gender roles, to wit:

I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued … We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work”.

Wow - how revolutionary! The idea that gender is not a social construct but actually has to do with biology, neurology, morphology, physiology, etc. is an affront to the received orthodoxy of the feminist left, many of whom have piled-on with a predictable combination of derision, illogic, non-sequitur reasoning, and obscenity.

Yet Ms. Dunst’s view corresponds with the science far more than do the opinions of her attackers. Consider the words of Oxford-trained neuroscientist Zeenat Zaidi: “Studies of perception, cognition, memory and neural functions have found apparent gender differences. These differences may be attributed to various genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors and do not reflect any overall superiority advantage to either sex”.

So, men and women are different, and being a stay-at-home mother who cares for her children is something to be honored, not scorned: For affirming these self-evident truths, Ms. Dunst is being labeled “dumb” and ‘insufferable,” among the more printable adjectives.

Whatever the merits or demerits of her various film roles, Ms. Dunst has “committed truth” in the public square, and for this deserves strong support from those who believe that a child needs a male dad and a female mom, and that the distinctions between the two are immutable and beneficial.

So, to my fellow German-American Kirsten Dunst: Herzlichen Glückwunsch, fraulein. Können Sie Ihren Stamm Anstieg (sincere good wishes, young lady; may your tribe increase)!

For more FRC resources on male-female complementarity, see “Complementarity in Marriage” and “Truth is the Greatest Weapon

The Coveted Wurlitzer Prize in Journalism

by Robert Morrison

April 4, 2014

You need to distribute your columns more broadly,” my friend Phil scolded me some months ago. “You’ll never win a Pulitzer Prize if you don’t get your stuff out there.” Phil is a columnist for our Annapolis paper and a retired international business executive. He’s like that classic E.F. Hutton commercial on TV: “When Phil talks, people listen.”

I took Phil’s criticism to heart, but added: “Phil, I will do as you say. But I’m not going to win a Pulitzer Prize. They don’t give Pulitzer Prizes to pro-lifers, or writers who defend marriage. Much less do they award Pulitzer Prizes to people who write to uphold religious freedom.”

I told Phil I was perfectly content to write five to seven columns a week, mostly on these topics. And if I offend the pink panzers of political correctness, that’s fine, too.

The reason we have a First Amendment is not so we can win Pulitzer Prizes, but so we can help to keep this Great Republic free. I remember reading Ben Franklin’s sage words to the Philadelphia lady who quizzed him. Did the Constitutional Convention give Americans a republic or a monarchy? “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it,” Dr. Franklin answered.

So, I told Phil, “I won’t even win a Wurlitzer Prize for quantity of output in journalism.” Phil got the jab. Wurlitzer is the maker of organs and the fictional Wurlitzer Prize goes to those who spend their days at the proverbial keyboard, turning out volumes of work.

I had forgotten about my imaginary Wurlitzer Prize when Phil showed up at our doorstep after 9 pm one evening several weeks later. I was hoping nothing was wrong. It was most out of character for Phil to ring our doorbell at that hour. We are believers in the Ronald Reagan rule that you know you are middle-aged when you are offered two temptations and you choose the one that will get you home by nine o’clock.

Putting on my robe, I rushed to get the door. There was Phil, holding out a cylindrical mailing tube. Puzzled, I tore it open to see what he might be offering me at that unusual hour. He had an impish grin on his face. I pulled out the rolled up document.

It was a colorful poster, a blow-up of the 1995 U.S. Postage Stamp honoring the Wurlitzer Corporation. The poster—featuring a Wurlitzer-made juke box—was inscribed: “To Bob Morrison—Deserved Wurlitzer Prize for Writing that is Music to so many Ears.” It was signed by the retired CEO of Wurlitzer Corporation.

Phil had been sending this gentleman my columns and decided to surprise me with my own coveted Wurlitzer Prize.

As you read this, you may be saying to yourself: How absurd; no one has ever heard of the Wurlitzer Prize. But everyone has heard of the Pulitzer Prize.

That may be. But since things are valued as they are rare, my comeback question is this:

How many Pulitzer Prize winners have you heard of? Dozens, right?

You are now reading a column by the world’s only Wurlitzer Prize winner.

Thanks for reading.

Wahlburgers — An Appetizing New Show about a Devoted Family

by Chris Gacek

March 17, 2014

I have been pleasantly surprised by a cable show on A&E that celebrates family and follows the activities of a large American family that runs a business. I am not talking about Duck Dynasty. Rather, it is the show that follows DD: Wahlburgers about which I write. Wahlburgers tells about the efforts of Mark, Donnie, Paul, and Alma (their mother) Wahlberg to start a restaurant franchise (Wahlburgers) that specializes in hamburgers and sandwiches. The first restaurant is located near Boston in Hingham, Mass.

Of course, Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are the actor/singer/entertainers of various art forms. Paul is the chef who produces the recipes and food. Paul also manages the restaurant(s) and lives near Boston — as does his mother. Mark lives in Los Angeles; Donnie is a New Yorker these days. All of the family members are hard-working and entrepreneurial.

It turns out that the Alma Wahlberg raised something like nine children in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Apparently, the family grew up living around or below the poverty line. That may be due to the divorce of the parents in 1982, but Alma did raise the family on a shoestring. Alma is the peacemaker and mediator who keeps the brothers working together. As one would expect from someone who raised so many children, she is practical and she knows their personalities. Her kids mind her when she tells them to get in line. Alma is definitely the Alpha Wahlberg. That said, her sons absolutely adore her and the childhood she gave them.

A&E was insightful when it placed Wahlburgers after Duck Dynasty each Wednesday evening. While the families themselves and the programs are quite different, the centrality of family lies at the core of each series. Fewer than ten Wahlburgers have been produced, so the show could go completely off the rails. I hope future episodes focus more on Alma, Paul, and the business’s development with less time on the oddball family friends. We shall see, but it is worth a look via DVR sans commercials.

If I had a hammer and a sickle

by Robert Morrison

February 3, 2014

Last week’s passing of folk singer Pete Seeger was duly noted in the nation’s prestige press. Most stories noted that the 94-year old had been a major force in the revival of folk music in America. He had indeed. And many of us enjoyed his singing. Referring to Pete’s endless political involvements, the media decorously referred to him as an “activist,” a progressive.

But, as Grove City College’s tireless researcher, Dr. Paul Kengor, reminds us here: Pete Seeger was a lifelong Communist. It took Pete more than half a century to express any reservations about Josef “Uncle Joe” Stalin.

The 26-year rule of the Iron Man (stalin in Russian means “man of steel”) was punctuated by the sounds of bullets in the back of millions of skulls. Western people knew this, or sensed it.

Britain’s irrepressible Lady Astor, the first woman ever elected to the House of Commons, once confronted Stalin in the Kremlin, asking him bluntly: “How long are you going to keep killing people?” All of Stalin’s henchmen, those Communist apparatchiki who managed to survive his relentless purges, froze in place. Uncle Joe, however, seemed nonplused. He simply continued drawing on his pipe and said in his soft voice: “As long as it is necessary.”

It remained necessary until the day—March 5, 1953—that Stalin died. Stalin’s contribution to the history of man’s inhumanity to man is best remembered in the innocuous name of GuLAG, the Russian acronym for “State Administration for Camps.” Those camps were spread out throughout the twelve time zones of the USSR. Some of the portals of the GuLAG were no bigger than a telephone booth. Some of the camps where millions perished were larger than France.

Nobel Prize winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn gave the world the incontrovertible evidence of Stalin’s crimes against humanity in his massive, three-volume work, The GuLAG Archipelago. For his boldness in speaking truth to power, Solzhenitsyn was arrested by the KGB, hauled back through what prisoners called “the gates of hell” in Moscow, and threatened with his life and the lives of his wife and beloved sons. He told his KGB interrogators that they could take his life, and even his family members’ lives. His evidence would be presented. It was already in the hands of his publishers in Paris.

Instead of killing him, the Soviet rulers decided to kick him out, and let his family go with him. They reasoned that the West would soon grow tired of this stern moralist, this prophetic visionary, this Christian witness. And soon we did. Or at least the chattering classes soon tired of him.

But everyone who could read TIME, Newsweek, or The New York Times in 1974 knew about Solzhenitsyn’s brave stance against Stalin and the GuLAG—and against Stalin’s heirs then still in power in the USSR.

Pete Seeger surely read about the crimes of Communism, and not in right-wing journals, either, but in the approved publications of the liberal Left. It would be another 33 years before Pete could bestir himself to utter a word of criticism of Stalin. By that time, the USSR had imploded and even the Russians were publicly speaking of Stalin’s “empire built on bones.”

Solzhenitsyn had described Communism succinctly as “atheism with a knife at your child’s throat.” I knew that that was certainly true for the Russian dissident writer himself, but last year I read Anne Applebaum’s massive documentation of the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe.

This honest liberal details unsparingly the crushing out of all forms of religious, civil, political, social, scientific, and artistic freedom in that vast area “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic.” Churchill pointed to an “Iron Curtain” that the Man of Steel had brought down.

Anne Applebaum’s book of that title confirms virtually everything that Solzhenitsyn had said in the GuLAG. She even relates the story of the last non-Communist premier of Hungary. Leaving Budapest for a weekend visit to Switzerland, the unfortunate official was told to submit his resignation at once. Only then would his beloved son be allowed to join him in exile in the West.

Communism: Atheism with a knife at your child’s throat.

Ron Radosh is another honest chronicler of American Communism. A “red diaper” baby himself, Radosh was raised by Communists and lived for decades in the Communist orbit in America.

Ron Radosh’s gentle rebuke to his former banjo teacher, Pete Seeger, is titled “The Red Warbler.” That’s an inside joke, folks. One of the great dramatic moments in the history of anti-Communism in this country came in 1948 when members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) were grilling former New Dealer, Alger Hiss. The suave, elegantly thin Ivy Leaguer Hiss denied under oath even knowing Whittaker Chambers.

Chambers, an ex-TIME Magazine editor, was the rumpled, portly “witness” who accused Hiss of having provided him with Top Secret State Department documents for transmittal to the USSR in the 1930s.

HUAC questioners, seeming to lighten up on Hiss, asked him about his hobbies. He acknowledged he was a birder. And he brightened up when he spoke of having once seen a very rare bird in Washington’s Rock Creek Park—a prothonotary warbler.

That was the very incident that Chambers had alerted committee members to in secret session. It was that rare bird that established the truth of what Whittaker Chambers had been saying. And that bird sent Hiss to prison, not for espionage, but for perjury.

Pete Seeger managed never to have to say he was sorry. One of my favorite Pete Seeger songs is the tune he crooned about the USS Reuben James. This U.S. Navy destroyer had been sunk by a Nazi U-boat in October, 1941. “What were their names/tell me what were their names/Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James” was the song Pete and his comrades sang—urging the American people to abandon their neutrality and enter World War II against Hitler’s Nazi menace.

All very appealing—except that just months before, prior to Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union—Pete and his pals were agitating against American involvement in the “imperialist war.” That’s because Stalin was then an ally of Hitler.

Pete was nothing if not nimble. He could pick and strum and sing like a warbler. And when the Communist Party required it, he could turn on a dime. Or is that a

kopeck?

Reality Television — No Room for Real Marriage?

by Leanna Baumer

December 19, 2013

What’s real about a reality television show that won’t permit portrayal of the actual beliefs of the main character? That’s the question most Americans are left asking after last night’s announcement that A&E would suspend Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson from the wildly popular cable television show. The kerfuffle comes in response to statements Mr. Robertson made in an interview with GQ magazine regarding his beliefs about marriage and Biblical teaching on living a life pleasing to God. While characteristically blunt in his take on homosexuality, Mr. Robertson’s statements were bracketed by the admonition the Bible gives to love God and love others.

That qualifying language has been lost in the uproar over Phil’s declaration of Biblical views of sexual ethics. Yet, the fact that Mr. Robertson verbalized support for the Biblical and historical understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman should come as no surprise to the 14 million Americans who have eagerly tracked the show. After all, one of the best episodes from this year’s fourth season featured a moving ceremony in which Phil and Kay restated their marriage vows to one another. Part of their personal story as a couple is the importance their marriage has played in keeping them grounded in faith and service to one another. That’s why it’s so odd that A&E would explain their decision to suspend Mr. Robertson from the show as prompted by the expression of “his own personal beliefs” that “are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty.” One’s left to wonder what beliefs have been on display for the last four seasons if not Phil’s convictions about family, tradition, and individual responsibility?

Yet, a deeper irony lies in the A&E executives’ quick move to distance themselves from a character deemed too extreme by the cultural elite — despite Mr. Robertson’s position being that shared by the majority of Americans who affirm natural marriage and its importance for child welfare. In contrast, a truly extreme position — the promotion and glamorization of the oppressive and harmful practice of polygamy — receives adulation and acclaim on a reality show a few networks over on TLC’s Sister Wives.

Just a week ago, the main characters of that show (who have been violating Utah’s law on polygamy for years) received a partial victory in court as a Utah judge struck down part of Utah’s law. The same media elites who have been quick to condemn Phil’s belief in the stabilizing institution of natural marriage have been silent in commenting on how polygamy leads to actual physical, emotional, and economic harms to women and children, the degradation of women’s rights, and community instability and violence.

At the end of the day, a private cable company can choose to pour its finances and clout into the programs it likes. However, it’s hypocritical for the entertainment industry to blacklist Mr. Robinson under the guise of “tolerance” while also offering their tacit endorsement of a practice that leads to the subjugation of women. Marginalizing Phil Robertson for expressing the historic belief in marriage shared by most Americans is harmful to public discourse and contrary to the very values A&E purports to defend.

Reagan 58% Obama 42%

by Robert Morrison

April 24, 2013

Producers of a forthcoming National Geographic TV special polled Americans, today’s Americans, in one of those fantasy fights that are so popular with boxing fans. This time, though, the pollsters asked Americans whom they would vote for in a matchup between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

The poll produced some stunning results: Reagan would win another landslide, defeating Obama 58% to 42%. Could that be accurate? Would President Obama, with all his famous political skills, really only outpoll the famously inept Walter “Fritz” Mondale by a single point? Recall, Reagan bested Mondale in 1984 by 59% to 41%.

What’s the purpose of such fanciful exercises? It is not a pointless diversion into wishful thinking. It’s a key indicator. It tells us something very important about our fellow citizens.

Americans did respond to clear leadership, to a strong figure who had a strong message. Here’s a little thought experiment: It’s only been one year. Try to recall a single line of Mitt Romney’s that was not a gaffe much exploited by the liberal media. In all seriousness, can we remember a single memorable phrase? I cannot.

I was on the road last year on the FRC/Heritage Foundation Values Voters Bus for nearly six months. By law, I could not endorse any candidates. I found it wiser not to mention any. But that did not prevent anyone from talking up their favorite candidate to me.

I remember stopping at the Minnesota Republican State Convention in St. Cloud. It’s a beautiful state, especially in springtime. We were at the convention center early to set up. Mitt Romney had already wrapped up the GOP nomination by that time. But there were no bumper stickers, no buttons, no posters in evidence for Mitt. I talked to a lot of delegates and backers of various candidates for the U.S. Senate and the House. Not one of these political activists mentioned Gov. Romney.

I remember thinking at the time: this could spell trouble for Romney. I was aware that some parties had elected unloved candidates to the presidency. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, none of these men exuded warmth or elicited the love and esteem of their supporters. But they won nonetheless. What I had never seen in a winning campaign in more than forty years was a winning candidate who was not even mentioned by his own grassroots.

The fact that such a stunning percentage of Americans today say they would vote for Ronald Reagan in a modern election should be a source of greatest encouragement to us. It shows that a strong leader who lays out a clear program could win. Could have won.

In the aftermath of last November, the usual talking heads ran to the cable shows with their white boards and tried to prove that they hadn’t miscalculated. There was just an entirely different electorate out there. Demographics! Even Reagan couldn’t have won in this forbidding environment, they claimed.

Those political consultants—which is our twenty-first century title for flim-flam men, card sharps, and Ponzi schemers—were trying to explain away their disastrous strategizing, their deeply flawed campaign advice. Have you noticed that they are still making the rounds on TV and on talk radio, these architects of failure?

The first fatal flaw in their schemes is red state/blue state. The theory behind red state/blue state says you turn the Electoral College upside down and shoot for 270 Electoral Votes. You identify the states absolutely required to achieve this bare minimum for election. And you squeeze those states like lemons to get every last drop of voting power out of them.

A truly terrible idea, red state/blue state dangerously divides the nation. Barack Obama’s campaign in Virginia in 2008 had 84 local headquarters, staffed largely by volunteers. McCain’s campaign that year in Virginia had one national headquarters and one state campaign office—both located in the same Northern Virginia office building and both equally chaotic. Not surprisingly, Barack Obama became the first Democrat since LBJ in 1964 to carry the Old Dominion. And he did it again in 2012.

Last month, I attended the March for Marriage on the Mall. Four hundred Korean-Americans came to the event. They had all come from one church in Flushing, Queens.

That’s in New York State. The architects of failure haven’t put an ad on TV for a Republican in New York for decades. New York is not a part of the bare minimum number of 270 Electoral Votes they need for their grand strategy. So they write off the Empire State.

These architects abandoned California, too, and New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Washington and Oregon. By micro-targeting their appeals to specific groups—right to lifers, gun owners, home schoolers, NASCAR fans, etc., they lost the ability to move the country.

I still remember lines from Reagan’s 1980 campaign, and not just because I took part in it. “Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.

And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his job.” It was a light jab, not mean at all.

Jimmy Carter was so weak, he could be knocked over with a feather. Best of all, Ronald Reagan said America should be “a shining city on a hill.”

What today’s poll shows us in the fictional contest between Reagan and Obama is that the American people remember that shining city on a hill. Now, all we need is the leader to take us there.

I Gave up “The O’Reilly Factor” for Lent

by Robert Morrison

April 4, 2013

I gave up Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” for Lent. It did my soul good. So I wasn’t watching when the modest and retiring New Yorker slammed us “Bible Thumpers” for having no arguments about preserving true marriage. But, of course, I later saw it all on the Internet.

Now, O’Reilly is digging in his heels. And when his sometime guest host, Laura Ingraham took him to task for his offensive statements, he berated her. “You’ve bought into this garbage,” he said. “I don’t have time for any of that,” he said, giving her the back of his hand.

I go back a long way with Bill O’Reilly. I remember well defending him ten years ago when the liberal thought police were after him. O’Reilly had made a remark about young minority men that some took to be racist. Speaking to donors at a fund raiser for an abstinence and character development organization, O’Reilly complained that the young men were late showing up. “I hope they’re not out in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps.”

What a howl went up then. Liberals demanded O’Reilly’s scalp. The 2003 charity event was a 1950’s-style sock hop. Everyone who grew up on Bill O’Reilly’s Long Island, as I did, had heard that jab a hundred times from homeroom teachers. “What are you doing, stealing hubcaps?” In those Happy Days, that was about the worst that could happen in a high school.

O’Reilly is no racist. He’s just a chooch—a wise guy.

I gave up O’Reilly when I tired of his phony populist shtick. He’s looking out for me? Right. He’s the tribune of “the folks?” As we say in New York: Gimme a break.

I was irritated at how rude he always was. Now, we New Yorkers have a problem there.

John Adams complained to Abigail in a letter when he first visited New York City in 1775. “They talk very loud, very fast, and all at once.” And he never met O’Reilly.

I was embarrassed when my kids said: “Dad, he’s just like you!” OK, I admit I do sometimes yell at the tube. But I wouldn’t treat real live liberals like that. I wouldn’t call any of our liberal friends or those in our pews pinheads.

As Family Research Council has reported, as Heritage Foundation and Ethics and Public Policy Center have shown, the reams of studies showing that the married family that worships regularly yields the best outcomes for children. This is especially important for poor children and minority children.

None of these public policy groups thumps the Bible. But none is willing to stomp on Jesus just to get five minutes on cable with Mr. Number One.

Intact families that worship regularly are the key to the success of millions of Asian immigrants. Four hundred Korean-Americans rode buses through the night to come to Washington for the March for Marriage. They came from Flushing, Queens, O’Reilly, your back yard! I was proud to stand with them.

O’Reilly should be commended for his good deeds—when he does them. I’m still grateful for his serving as Emcee for the organization that hosted that fundraiser ten years ago.

But Bill O’Reilly’s arrogant dismissal of the social science case for true marriage, and for the protection of the women and children who are suffering now and who will suffer more if marriage is ended is unacceptable. If he cared, he might find a perspective on true marriage that is even bold, fresh.

He combines arrogance with ignorance. Supine ignorance, as one might say. He doesn’t know because he doesn’t want to know. “I don’t have time to do any of that.”

One hour, O’Reilly. In one hour, even you could learn the case for true marriage. If you were really looking out for us.

But you don’t have time for that, O’Reilly. You’d rather bloviate. “The Factor” moves along, as you say. And it will move along without me.

Madonna Still Scouting - for Herself

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 21, 2013

A woman who has built her career on extravagant self-debasement continues to find ways to demean and coarsen herself.

A few days ago, Madonna appeared at the GLAAD awards dressed in a Cub Scout uniform. With a Scoutmaster’s hat affixed to the back of her head, cowboy-style, she virtually purred with self-satisfaction at yet another few moments on the glistening stage of pop culture.

It should be clear that she was wearing a Cub Scout, not a Boy Scout, uniform. The former is worn by little boys who, by the way, wear caps, not broad-rimmed tan hats. Am I the only person troubled that a woman whose entire career has been premised on the continuous, ever-more graphic sexualization of herself would wear a child’s outfit to make a point about homosexuality? To objectify oneself is certainly an option in our society, however dehumanizing it might be. But is it really necessary to bring children into such an endeavor?

The uniform was, of course, secondary to the singer’s “look at me!” purpose. That she peppered her comments with obscenity and, in her remarks, reduced Scouting to such things as pitching a tent and building a fire says a great deal. Although these and many other practical skills are important to Scouting, building character is the chief goal of the BSA. Sadly, this is an objective concerning which Madonna seems both ignorant and unconcerned.

Rather than anger, Christians should feel pity for an entertainer desperately seeking public affirmation, but avoiding discovery of what it means to live as a person made in the image and likeness of God.

The Oscars and the Sad Truth about Media Culture

by Nathan Oppman

February 26, 2013

There has been some concern about the crass humor displayed at the Oscars last Sunday. I did not watch the Oscars, but I have read enough of what was said to know it was a moral debacle. When even children are the subject of coarse jesting, it becomes even more troubling. When a culture treats sex as a joke and uses lewdness to attract attention, it is a sign of that culture’s weakness. Why does an emcee at a major media awards event feel it is appropriate to make comments about a young actress’ sexual appeal to George Clooney? It is because our culture has lost its moral footing.

Hollywoodoften expresses outrage at the very things it promotes. Violence, sexual licentiousness, the objectification of women and children, and bullying (especially the “Christian right”) were all part of what was celebrated and joked about at this year’s Oscars, yet all are things Hollywood would argue against in other contexts. When will the moral decay in media cease? Perhaps, it will cease when Americans stop paying for it at the box office.

What would I do to encourage peace, love, the honoring of women, and the protection of our children in media? I would recommend adopting the Christian moral ethic that treats sex and marriage as sacred and that admonishes us to love our neighbors as ourselves. It may be called old-fashioned, but it is exactly what our culture needs.

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