"A cruel debate opponent" "Pagan blasphemer" "Reverse-iconoclast" "don't get pissed at him b/c he pwn yalls whiney asses"
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Location: Indiana, United States

Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

Chris of Rights and Charles Martin <-- Lists of debunked Sarah Palin rumors

"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Moving to a new neighborhood - Issue # 1

As I stated in a previous post, every now and then I will move an editorial from the personal website I have had since April 4, 1998 to this blog. Since this is the first issue of "Moving to a new neighborhood" I thought I should start with the first editorial I ever posted online. Unfortunately this one is still relevant.

May 1, 1999
Jerry Springer and the Fall of Rome

Every now and then while I am chatting with my online friends, I am up late enough to fall into the time slot of the Jerry Springer Show. At first I was too lazy to change the channel and figured no big deal I won't be watching the show anyway, just some background noise, what harm could it do? But as I found out it is very difficult not to watch such a spectacle. I was fully aware of the "circus" that this show proudly proclaims to be and yet I was shocked at what I was seeing. Why would people subject themselves to such public ridicule, verbal and potential physical violence? Is one's 15 minutes of fame worth all of that? Then we have those in the audience. They cheer and hoot and holler hoping to see some sort of altercation. The more outlandish the better.

Apparently our culture, or at least what I hope is a small subset; considers fleeting, superficial fame; exposure, titillation, excitement and entertainment more important than any virtue whatsoever. I also can't help but notice the complete lack of shame that many of them express. At least our current President is savvy enough to fake that (though not very well).

When I actually watched this show I couldn't help but think of the Roman coliseums. Certainly no one is being physically killed for our entertainment (not yet at least) but they are clearly killing each other in a moral, spiritual, emotional and psychological sense. The vindictiveness displayed and the desire of the audience to cheer it up and get the action really going; the hope that we will be entertained by real people yelling, swearing and hitting and throwing chairs at each other; makes one wonder if we really are more civilized than those Romans. To be entertained by real people showing such hatred is appalling. How can a society stand if this becomes the way of the majority? Certainly we will have defeated ourselves by our own corruption.

Then there are those of us who watch so that we can sit back and think - I am glad I'm not like them. I felt that way myself when I would glance over at the show every now and then. At least I am not enjoying this and it reminds me of the type of person I don't want to be. But I was wrong to think that way. My attitude was similar to that of the Pharisee in the following: "And he spake this parable unto certain of them which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:9-14) We see that the publican left with the blessing of forgiveness and not the Pharisee. But of course if we watch this show, for whatever reason, it certainly is not for receiving a proper blessing of any kind. Certainly we would be far better off following this advice: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Ephesians 4:8)

So now I absolutely refuse to watch this show. I do not want to expose my mind and spirit to such a spectacle. I do not want to be part of an audience that would feel at home in the spilled blood of the coliseum so long as we were entertained. I do not want to be the Pharisee looking down on others so that I can easily ignore my own faults. It is so easy to just change the channel, to put in a video or to turn it off. Now wouldn't it be wonderful if so many people felt this way that such a show would never have a chance of being financially successful? I fear however, that such hope is unrealistic and that it is already too late. Rome destroyed itself from within. I pray that we have not gone to far and that we can change before we bring the same collapse upon ourselves.
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