I am often harassed by my wife and children because of my affection for the cartoon series “Underdog”. The mild mannered shoe shine boy (really a floppy eared dog) who, when troubles arise, becomes the most adorable superhero anyone could imagine. Once in a while I will flip through the channels and find a re-run of this loveable cartoon and, I have to admit, it is somewhat corny. How I long for those days of corny, fun filled television.
Television, for the most part, is now nothing more than trash. I continue to be disgusted and disheartened when I turn on the television to see ridiculous “reality” shows where people have sold their dignity for “fame and fortune.”Can anyone tell me where the value is in shows such as “The Real World,” “Real Housewives of…,” “Jersey Shore,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” or any of the other shows where people show nothing but the immoral and selfish sides of their lives?And is there any sane man who would marry one of the women who appear on “Bridezilla’s?”Unfortunately networks, such as MTV, think it is “brilliant” television, much like CBS, ABC, NBC and all the other smut filled boardrooms.Their belief is “pushing the envelope” is acceptable as long as it has the desired affects...ratings.
TV is not what it used to be. Some will try to push it off as a difference between being closed minded versus being “open minded and enlightened.” They will say they don’t want “moral freaks” infringing on their rights to produce and televise shows, though they have no redeeming value, because there is a market out there for them. Who said they could infringe on our rights?
The moral corruption that Hollywood has laid at the feet of the households in this country has brought us to the brink of the highest rates in: divorces, teen pregnancies, AIDS cases, other sexually transmitted diseases, and the lists go on and on.
Years ago, Sen. Bob Dole (along with many others) made an attack on Hollywood violence and sex, showing a connection to what is seen on TV or in movies, etc. and the carryover into the real world.Part of the evidence was a poll that showed two out of three children say they've been influenced by the entertainment media on issues like sexuality and morality, etc.
Note the poll results: according to children 10-16 years in age:
“There is too much sex before marriage on television” - 77% said yes.
“Sex on TV and in movies influences kids to have sex too young” - 62% said yes.
“TV makes children think people care more about money than people” - 54% said yes.
“TV makes children think young people talk back to their parents” - 51% said yes.
“TV makes children think people are mostly dishonest” - 49% said yes.
“TV makes children think people are selfish” - 46% said yes.
This information should not be new news to us. We have known for some time that TV is molding and harming the character of children (and adults). But we rationalize it by saying that the shows we watch have a good plot and a deeper meaning.
In addition, a large segment of Christian adults have grown apathetic. Have you ever noticed how adults can watch a two-hour movie, with vulgarity, sex and large amounts of violence, but complain if the preacher speaks over 30 minutes?
How do we as Christians view television? Have we become so desensitized to the sex, vulgar language and the violence that it doesn’t bother us anymore? When, not if, the child of God has to give an account of how many hours they spent studying the Bible and how much time they spent watching TV, which will win? When it comes time to assemble with the saints to worship Jehovah God, where do you find yourself, at church or on the couch?Our young people are leaving the Lord's church in droves and part of it is based in the hypocrisy between what they are taught and what they see adult Christians practice.
Do we monitor what our children are watching? Do we limit their TV viewing times? Do we monitor what we as adults watch? Do we live a double standard - “Now that the kids are in bed I can watch the good stuff.” We have to start making some tough choices.We need to tip the scales toward God by reading the Bible, going to Bible class, worship and spending our time doing the Lord’s work! Practice what we preach! The soul that is saved may be your own!
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:8, 9).