AS THE WORLD TURNS MY STOMACH CHURNS
By Betty Freauf
July 1, 2007
I read once the Diversion Summary of the social planners regarding entertainment and it said “Keep the public entertainment below a sixth grade level” so believing I just may be Smarter than a Fifth Grader (another game TV show) I’ve tried to avoid the afternoon drivel on television such as “As The World Turns,” “General Hospital,” and “The Guiding Light,” the longest running program which premiered on radio 70 years ago. But perhaps even before reading the Diversion Summary of the socialists, I remember after marrying back in the 50s and driving 300 miles to visit my mother, on one occasion, we decided to visit an aunt in another town. When we arrived, she was watching her favorite daytime soap and no conversation was held until the show was over. And when she couldn’t be home to watch it, she would call her daughter-in-law who was equally addicted and she would fill her mother-in-law in on the daily happenings. I notice our local newspaper also does that. These programs are such a waste of time so I never watched them.
And by the way, a second generation, 49 year-old rocket scientist who admitted he was “terrible at math in elementary school” flunked out of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? On the second question for $2,000, he chose First Grade Geography. The question was about the Great Lakes. He “peaked” at the 5th grade student who he chose to help him. The student got it wrong and the game was over! So the next time someone says “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to…..”, you can remember this guy. And P.S. public school 5th graders are all poor spellers without their computers and spell checks.
I don’t ever recall watching the Daytime Emmy Awards but on June 15th I wanted to watch Bob Barker’s last The Price is Right program that evening because he was retiring after 35 years and the 34th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards followed. I was relaxed in my recliner that evening so I didn’t switch stations. My stomach churned as I watched the mutual admiration society trot onto the stage one after another to accept their awards in a variety of categories. What a love fest! Ellen Degenerous for the third year in a row walked off the stage with trophies for best talk show and best talk show hostess. Always gracious and a guy who does many good works, Dr. Phil McGraw, idolized by his harem of women in his audience and whose program precedes Ellen’s, couldn’t compete. But like those in the medical profession who would be out of work if they found a cure for cancer, Dr. Phil would be out of work if he ever condemned sin on his program. Yes, I do peak at his program. It’s coffee break time for me about then.
And now it’s being rumored as I draft this article that Rosie O’Donnell, former co-anchor of The View, may be chosen to replace Bob Barker. Is the world really ready for angry Rosie on a family oriented program like The Price is Right? Dennis Miller, another radio talk show host and a regular weekly guest on the O’Reilly Factor on FOX says if Rosie is chosen, they’ll have to change the program to The Price is Left.
On that very day of the Emmys our local newspaper ran an AP article about how the narcissistic “World’s wealthy continue their years-long shopping spree for every higher price tags.” Of course, it was about New Yorkers where shoes with status these days sell for $1,000 and $600 handbags have become so bourgeois that the rich and famous wouldn’t want to be seen with any bag costing less than $5,000. Heck, I buy mine at J.C. Penney’s. They are multi-purposeful, I don’t change with the seasons and I carry the same bag for quite awhile.
“It seems while the rest of middle America seems to be losing ground, the wealthy – making more than $350,000, with their insatiable appetite for the most luxurious items has risen to gaudy proportions (materialism) as the super rich seek new heights in pampering, price tags and one-of-a-kind items that set them apart,” reports the article. Luxury sales worldwide last year topped $150 billion, of which 30 percent came from the U.S. and America’s weakening dollar has fueled a surge of elitist tourists from other countries.
And then there is the news about the estimated $179 billion a year that kids spend all on themselves for their $4 lattes, their $1500 lap tops, $300 a month cell phone bills, trips to the beauty parlor for pedicures and other fatuous items. But where do they see it? They see it in Hollywood with all their foofaraw. While some children are taught the work ethic and earn much of their own spending money, due to the Child Labor Laws, they are restricted on what they can do, at what age and what hours they can work which means their working mothers still pick up a great deal of the tab for them and illegals come to America to do the jobs the children used to do.
When I read or hear about this extravagance, I can’t help but wonder if these aren’t the last great signs of the end of this present age as declared in Luke 17:28-30. “”Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed?”
But I shouldn’t be so quick to criticize the Hollywood crowd. Let me be painfully honest. While they possess no special talents or good looks that thousands of others also possess, the successful ones just happened to be at the right place at the right time or have someone like parents of Paris Hilton to promote them. There are mothers who sacrifice the family’s budget to help the children they believe to possess some special talent to get recognized.
Likewise, in the sports arena there are those who make millions for being able to do wonderful things with some ball and those who have been reduced to a sixth grade level learning capability pay the ridiculous prices to watch them.
And while I’m on the subject of Hollywood, allow me to pass on information I recently discovered. Did you know that from 1933 to 1966, a period of 33 years, every Hollywood script was read and reviewed by representatives from the Catholic church, the Southern Baptist Church and the Protestant Film Office? “The job of these individuals was to evaluate a movie in terms of the Motion Picture code,” writes Christian film critic Ted Baehr and recording artist and music legend Pat Boone in their book The Culture-Wise Family and “if the film passed the Code, it received the Motion Picture Code Seal and was distributed. If it did not pass, theaters would not screen it.” The reviewers made sure that the script did not contain material that was subversive in any one of a number of ways. For instance, the Motion Picture Code ensured that scripts upheld the value of human life, that sin and wrongdoing were not justified, that brutality, indecent exposure, and sexual relationships would not violate standards of common decency.
However, in 1966 the churches withdrew from the entertainment industry and all manner of misfortune followed. Now, I’m the last to believe only the Christians have some type of a corner on morality because the Ted Haggards of the world pretty much put that idea to rest; however, I find it interesting when the churches went AWOL, the wholesome and inspiring influence of Christianity on the culture of Hollywood, films began to feature ever more provocative acts of violence, sex, and inhumanity, and there has been a corresponding rise of the same in the wider culture. “Since 1966” Baehr and Boone note, “violent crime has increased in the United States by 560 percent, illegitimate births have increased 419 percent, divorce rates have quadrupled, the percentage of children living in single-parent homes has tripled, the teenage suicide rate has increased more than 300 percent and SAT scores have dropped by almost 80 points. Rapes, murders, and gang violence have become common occurrences.” While not all of this can be laid at the feet of Hollywood film studios, the authors note: “It is clear that the mass media has had a significant influence on people.” (1) I’m reminded about what one pastor said when asked what his church did during Hitler’s regime as they heard the railroad cars pass the church to the concentration camps. He replied, “We just sang a little louder.”
And that is basically what is happening today. While “Mega churches” have sprung up, they play their guitars and beat their drums like pagans conjuring up demons. They have numerous body piercings and tattoos and sing loudly with amplified music manufactured in hell. (The paper that published the article written about in my "Body piercing and church doctrine" NWV article admitted it lost subscribers over the piercings article.) Baehr and Boone say, “What the church is serving is a shallow and unsalted gospel. Although the message is being delivered with deep compassion for lost sinners and with a burden for a hurting culture, it lacks comprehensive truth to shape the minds of believers and redirect their behavior.” In short, the authors believe that Christians have been too timid to really and directly confront the problems afflicting the culture, and they exhort readers to take an active stance in confronting evil as many of the martyrs did throughout church history. “Early Church converts were not martyred for believing in Jesus in their private thoughts but for challenging the secular anti-Christian authorities of their day,” they write, calling on today’s Christians to do the same. However, with the new “hate” legislation being promoted in our state legislatures and in Washington, D.C., pastors will become even more timid fearful of imprisonment and fines.
The Old Rugged Cross and the authorized King James bible which had sufficed Christianity up until the 20th century was different from the new broken satanic cross often seen at left-wing demonstrations and the new revised, user-friendly bibles used by so many churches that emasculate the basic tenets of Christianity watering it down making repentance of sins irrelevant and worldly things pleasurable. So now they take great delight in singing newly written choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor like they once did. The accent is still on enjoyment – hedonism.
Never have there been more dramatic signs and fulfillment of Bible prophecy than at this present time and yet the people of the world are wandering deeper into the darkness of deception and apathy. Will an economic collapse cause them to once again turn to the Lord? Or will it be perhaps WWIII? Luke 21:25 says in the last days there would be “upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity.” That word “perplexity” is taken from the Greek word, “aporia,” which means unable to find a way out. One only has to turn on the news or read the newspaper to see that this earth is a powder keg.
Yes, rampant hedonism is destroying our country. The American public appears to be reverting to a form of barbarism. Rather than becoming more civilized, as may be expected of a mature civilization, we appear to be descending into a culture lacking in morality, common decency and respect for our fellow citizens. The “new in-your-face morality” is not new but the old Gnosticism. Conflict resolution, hate legislation and “zero” tolerance only have made civilization more defiant. Without the Lord, the heart can be very wicked.
© 2007 Betty Freauf - All
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Betty is a former Oregon Republican party activist having served as state party secretary, county chairman, 5th congressional vice chairman and then elected chairman, and a precinct worker for many years but Betty gave up on the two-party system in 2004 and joined the Constitutional Party.