Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Happens in Vegas??

What kind of world are we living in?

Young people are convinced that it is okay to cheat, lie, steal, speed, etc., as long as they do not get caught. Adults justify and rationalize all kinds of evil behavior by re-assuring themselves, and others, that no one gets hurt. We accept drug and alcohol use, gambling, smoking, prostitution, pornography and other vices because we believe that they are victimless crimes. And one of the most prevalent advertising slogans in America encourages drunken reveling and debauchery by proclaiming, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!"

My first problem with this idea is that it is encouraging me to do something that I know that I should not do. "Live it up!" "Go for the gusto!" "Carpe diem!" Life is short, I can rationalize, I should be able to do whatever I want. No matter what. I am entitled. This sense of entitlement has gotten many good boys and girls into a lot of trouble.

The second problem I have with this slogan, and the whole way of thinking, is that it encourages me to keep secrets. This is the philosophy behind the feeling that says, if I don't get caught, it's not wrong. But that is very wrong. If a tree falls in the woods, it makes a sound. It does not matter whether or not anyone is there to hear. There is a sound! If I do something wrong, it is wrong! The effects of my actions on others is immaterial. Sin is sin.

But, let's take this one step further. The secrecy inherent in this motto, leads me to dishonesty. The spouse, parent, child, employer, pastor that I am trying to keep this information from are hurt. In fact, when I keep secrets from the people who love me, it limits their ability to love. They can love me more fully when they know all my needs, desires, sins and activities.

Keeping small secrets today will only lead to committing greater infractions and keeping bigger secrets in the future. Stumbling a little now can very easily lead to stumbling a lot later on.

I am probably being a little too harsh. After all, Las Vegas seems to be proud of it's designation as sin city. However, we should be careful about adopting this carefree, wide open attitude and philosophy in our own lives.

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