Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Our Celebrity Culture

What is our world coming to? What has happened to us? We allow those who are famous, or make a lot of money, or are beautiful, or talented do whatever they want. Celebrities surround themselves with "yes" men who keep telling them how wonderful they are. It does not take long for a celebrity to lose touch with reality. They can quickly forget where they came from. It is a tragedy that is repeated over and over again on an almost weekly basis.

Celebrities feel as though they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want. They believe that there are no consequences for them because they are famous and have money. Too often this is true.

But the biggest problem with our celebrity culture is that when a celebrity get too big for his/her breeches and does something bad, we reward their behavior. Amy Winehouse wins a bunch of Grammys, Barry Bonds sets the home run record and Martha Stewart is on television every day.

We are, in essence, rewarding this bad behavior. What is wrong with them? WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

And it is not just in the movies and in music. Every walk of life can point to celebrities "gone wild."
  • Now we have learned that a whole crop of seemingly heroic baseball players cheated. The great Roger Clemens, the best pitcher of our time (maybe of all- time), among others, used steroids and human growth hormone to get an advantage.
  • Richard Robert, son of the legendary Oral Roberts and the head of his father's ministry, has mishandled funds and lost his job. Tragically, Roberts is not a rarity in the field of Christianity. Catholics have their abuse scandals, and protestants have financial and sexual scandals. (Currently six televangelists are under investigation by the US Senate.)
  • Britney Spears has become a "scandal a day." It is almost tedious to even recount. The pop princess has lost her children, her family, and maybe her soul.

Gratefully, there is an answer. The world does not have to bow at the altar of the 21st Century celebrity culture. We do not have to pay attention to tabloids (on the news stand or on the television). We do not have to support those who are too arrogant to return to mainstream society. It is our world. There are more of us than there are of them.

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