Friday, March 31, 2006

I'm Shocked


1 Peter 2:11-12 (New Living Translation)

“Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls. Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.”

I’ve gotten a couple of interesting e-mails from the American Family Association in the past week. The first was a request to add my name to those complaining to the Federal Communications Commission about Fox Television for having allowed the “s” word on the airwaves. Like millions of Americans I missed it, but apparently the dastardly deed didn’t escape the notice of the AFA:

“Tired of all the profanity on TV? Want to do something about it? Here is your opportunity.”
“File a complaint with the FCC against Fox Network for using the “s” word. “This past Sunday afternoon, Fox Television broadcast the NASCAR “Food City 500” race. During the course of the race, driver Martin Truex, Jr. crashed his car after being bumped by another driver.”

“Fox network aired a conversation between Truex and his crew chief, Kevin Manion. During the course of the conversation, Manion told his driver, "We missed the set-up today. It (the car) was a piece of s**t.”
“Fox had been warned about allowing the "s" word on the air. The network could have used a delay and bleeped the profanity. But they chose not to. The network chose to air the segment live. Millions of viewers, including children, were offended by the crude profanity.”

I don’t know whether to be amused or embarrassed. To me, this silly episode reminds me a bit of a scene from the movie classic Casablanca. At a critical point in the story, Nazi authorities tell Louie, the Vichy police captain, to shut down Rick’s place. It’s a payback for Rick having allowed French patrons to sing the Marseillaise. Louie cleverly finds a way to comply with the order. In a fit of mock outrage he orders the place closed. When he’s asked why, he declares, “I’m shocked. There’s gambling going on in this place. I’m absolutely shocked.” He then whispers discreetly to one of the dealers, “Be sure to get my winnings to me.”

At the risk of alienating myself from some of my fellow Christians, let me say that this is about as silly as it gets. There are a lot of roles I believe we can play in this society, but being its language monitors is not one of them. Besides, this word, which so shocks AFA, has been used by great writers throughout literary history, among them William Shakespeare and Jonathan Swift.

What’s next? Given the level of shock, the AFA might next censure the King James Version of the Bible. In one of six places where the word is used, King David, who is described as a man after God’s heart, expresses his outrage at Israel’s enemies in the following manner:

1 Samuel 25:22 (King James Version)

“So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.”

Does this mean that, by AFA standards, that we should shield or children from Holy Writ? Come on guys, get a grip.

Look, I’m no champion of this country’s media, particularly television, but this is much ado about nothing. To be honest, it’s silly, petty, and unbecoming of a Christian organization. I recommend that the good folks at the AFA do a bit of remedial reading. They could start with the Sermon on the Mount. There’s enough good stuff there to keep them away from the airwaves for years.

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The American Family Association

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2 comments:

Matt Vella said...

Are you sure you weren't posting your April Fool's Day content early?

Agreeing with Ted Kennedy on the ridiculousness of a wall between us and Mexico?

Recognizing the AFA for what they are?

What's next??? Realizing that the current administration is more concerned with nepotism and croneyism than terrorism???

brian423 said...

You and I don’t always agree, but we agree on this.