Notable Quotation

Notable Quotation


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that our entire culture is in trouble.  We are staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, and we can no longer afford to act like it’s loaded with blanks.  The guidance counselor at a public high school near my home confessed to a parents’ group that the teenagers who have attended the school during the last ten years are the most dysfunctional, illiterate group he has witnessed in close to forty years at the same school.  Our society has replaced heroes with celebrities, the quest for a well-informed character with the search for flat abs, substance and depth with image and personality.  In the political process, the makeup man is more important than the speech writer, and we approach the voting booth, not on the basis of a well-developed philosophy of what the state should be, but with a heart full of images, emotions, and slogans all packed into thirty-second sound bites.  The mind-numbing, irrational tripe that fills TV talk shows is digested by millions of bored, lonely Americans hungry for that sort of stuff.  What is going on here?  What has happened to us?

—J.P. Moreland, Loving God with All Your Mind

Credit Pop Culture for Gay Marriage

The title of a piece in the LA Times after the gay marriage ruling: “Years before court ruling, pop culture shaped same-sex marriage debate.” Ya think!” In fact, film and television have made homosexuality almost ubiquitous, to the point where many Americans think that gays make up 30 to 40 percent of the population. The gay rights movement has said one in 10 is homosexual, but the actual percent is under two. This issue turned Hollywood into a propaganda machine. From the Times:

The Supreme Court on Friday legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. But years before that 5-4 decision, film and TV helped spur Americans’ acceptance of gays and lesbians.

“Movies and television have played an immense role in getting us here — and I’m going to take some credit for the TV side,” said Michael Lombardo, the programming president of HBO, which brought the gay-themed plays “Angels in America” and “The Normal Heart” to television, and has prominently featured gay characters on such series as “Six Feet Under,” “Sex and the City” and “Looking,” about the relationships of a group of gay friends in San Francisco.

“TV has been a powerful influence because it brings the lives of gays and lesbians into people’s homes and that has increased people’s understanding,” added Lombardo, who is gay.

Perhaps the watershed moment was the 1997 episode of ABC’s sitcom “Ellen,” in which star Ellen DeGeneres came out to 42 million viewers (and some advertiser backlash). But there are many other examples of popular film and TV shows that have influenced public opinion.

The authors of the piece make a statement that is at one time absolutely true and absolutely not. After giving an impressive list of gay stories in cinema and television history, they state:

Such moments point once again to Hollywood’s unique role in reflecting changing social attitudes.

There is no doubt that Hollywood reflects the cultural zeitgeist, but there is absolutely no doubt Hollywood determines it as well. Their statement seems to imply the culture changed before Hollywood did, but the Supreme Court last week would have never invented a “right” to same-sex marriage apart from the influence of Hollywood on the culture. For those of a more conservative bent, especially my Evangelical brothers and sisters, who want to see the culture move in their direction, an “invasion” of Hollywood would be a good place to start.

Notable Quotation

On the Confederate battle flag, we are once again witnessing the sheer cultural power of the Left: take an irrelevancy (or at the very least a sideshow), make it the central, all-consuming issue, move the debate with astonishing speed, and then, after achieving the initial victory (in this case, removing the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol), demand yet more (now Wal-Mart and other retailers aren’t going to sell Confederate-flag paraphernalia and there will be a broader assault on anything associated with the Confederacy). This is the grinding wheel of the Left’s cultural war in action.

—Rich Lowry, “Behold the Cultural Power of the Left”

Notable Quotation

We are relearning that marriage is not optional. The evidence started piling up in 1965 with Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the breakdown of the African-American family. In 2012, Charles Murray took us on a walk through Fishtown where we met a white (often non-)working class. In 2014, Kevin Williamson reminded us in National Review that cities do not have a monopoly on human misery with his vivid account of the social collapse in Appalachia. Sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox continues to produce clarifying scholarly work on marriage, family structure, and civil society. Free-range thinker George Gilder named the stakes: “If the family collapses, it will take a welfare state to take care of the women and children, and a police state to handle the boys.”

—Stephen Schmalhofer: “Fathers Day with the Sisters”


The Wrath of God in an Age of “Love”

judgementAs Christians we live in interesting times. Western cultural elites and much of public opinion do not much like us anymore. We are stereotypically, supposedly, narrow minded, self-righteous, hypocritical, judgmental, all those traits the dominant culture has programmed Americans to believe about us for decades. It comes as no surprise, then, that many average Americans believe that these character traits now describe most Christians. Mind you, most “average” Americans do not probably know or interact intimately with any or many conservative evangelical Christians, so cannot justly make such judgments. But in this case the actual is much less important than the perceived.

We are especially horrific when it comes to the issues of homosexuality, veritable bigots because, well, we believe about marriage what everyone in the universe believed it to be until about 15 minutes ago. We are commanded to be “tolerant” or we will not be tolerated. And this in the name of love; don’t you know that Jesus was all about love?

It is fascinating that the devil has decided to use love as the latest Christian heresy. (more…)