Editorial: Shame on Us

Like many others this year, I was looking forward to seeing who the 2011 American Idol would be.  It had boiled down to Lauren and Scotty, and I was interested (more this year than in some previous ones) to see who the winner would be.

I never look forward to having to wade through the two-hour season finale.  I even joked that I could tune in for the last three or four minutes and find out the results.  So, Jeannie and I checked back-and-forth during the two hours.  Unfortunately, we were watching when Lady Ga Ga performed.

Her performance spoiled the whole evening.  It was such a vulgar contrast to the two young people vying for the championship.  Lauren and Scotty had presented themselves and their songs over the course of the contest with quiet personalities and quality renditions.  Lady Ga Ga’s segment was disgraceful, to say nothing of some of the others as well.

Now, you may think that I am out to criticize her, but that’s not true.  She has made her choices, and she must live with them.  I am not her judge.  My concern is the people who produce the entertainment we end up being exposed to.  The shame goes to those who have taken their lack of morality and forced it upon us—many of “us” being children in the formative stages of their life.

Children are not asking for this.  They are being given it.  Children ask for “food.”  Our fallen world is the one who offers them “junk food.”  My grandchildren are not writing into Hollywood asking for these kinds of performances.  But they are being given them by those who only care about themselves and only have a fallen-world frame of reference to go by.

When we watch the children of the world eating out of garbage dumps, we mount relief campaigns to save them from starvation.  Should we not feel the same when the entertainment industry is offering “garbage” to our children and grandchildren?  All children do is tell us they’re hungry.  Shame on us for dumping rotting trash on them.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to Editorial: Shame on Us

  1. Jonelle Capitano says:

    Steve, you are so right!! Unfortunately, instead of being more careful to select more tasteful performers, many television executives would respond that no one is forced to watch… if you don’t like it, turn it off. And with that attitude, they are able to skirt the issue and salve their consciences.

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