Lewis J. Goldberg
We are all familiar with the news that Christianity is trending weaker in this country. Infecting all media and messages lately - well, the last twenty years, at least - along with the watering down of the 'truly important,' is a corresponding puffing-up of the 'meaningless.' Those who supply us with the music, words, and images that drive our thoughts of what is real, desirable, and available [those folks in the advertising world] have turned to clothing the trivial in 'spirituality' to push their messages. For many, this is the only exposure they have to anything remotely appearing to originate outside their selfish confines, but they are indeed deceived, for this 'new spirituality' emanates entirely from within, having no roots or origins in God.
Advertisers have discovered that human beings suffer an intangible emptiness if their soul is not fed. This is simply our longing to return to God our Father. Hucksters have turned this hunger into a secular philosophy that now pervades every aspect of communication from every type of organization: from charities to corporations, from government agencies to [even] traditionally Christian entities. Most people call this philosophy 'secular humanism.' Here, let's call it McSpirit.
McSpirit borrows themes from established religions - mostly Christianity, but also from Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, America Indian beliefs, and maybe a few other -isms. It uses music that sounds like medieval chants; imagery that conjures up prayerful, meditative feelings; and even the cadence and wording of their messages invoke a sense of permanence...right-ness, and even righteousness.
- If I hear one more commercial on the radio - some company or another touting how wonderful and humanitarian they are, with some dreamy, hymn-like boys choir chant in the background - I'm gonna 'review my lunch.' Case in point: the latest Phillip Morris commercial about how they flew - what was it...five tons of food? - to the refugees in Kosovo. The ad has a disclaimer at the beginning: "based on a true story." The segment contains so few facts that if any of them didn't happen, there really is no story to left to tell. Five tons of food would probably last only twelve minutes, and is likely equivalent to the amount of defectively packaged product they toss daily.
- How about the Salvation Army and their "...it takes more than tools from the hardware store to rebuild shattered lives, it takes the tools [poignant pause] that come from the heart." Everybody now: Aaaaawwwwwww! And this from an organization supposedly dedicated to spreading the Gospel. Nice that they knocked Jesus Christ off His cross and hung one of those velvet sad-eyed doggy paintings in His place. Okay, I'm an extremist, but a group that has the word 'salvation' in their name ought to be a little more 'on task' with the God thing.
- Can we visit any company's website nowadays without seeing a link from their homepage called something like "community support," "global responsibility," "protecting our environment," or [my personal fave] "our diversity?" If I go to an auto manufacturer's website, I don't want to be preached to, I want to know about my vehicle, fergoodnessakes. I don't want a lecture in civic responsibility, where I should throw my trash, or how we should make the world safe for cross-dressers and pedophiles.
It used to be [in the much-lauded 'old days'] that people, organizations, and other conglomerations of humans did what was widely known as "the right thing." No one ever elaborated on why they did it...they just did it. And this is where McFaith is massively appealing - everyone is still concerned with doing the right thing, it's just that now they tell us why, and it's not the same why that it would have been 50...75...100 years ago. The rules have changed, and the forces of McFaith are ensuring that we all understand the New Catechism. They teach it to us as we drive to work, as we read our magazines, as we entertain ourselves. They teach it to our children in the public schools through the textbooks, the films they are forced to sit through, and even through the teachers themselves. They teach our children using even more insidious methods than they use on us grownups. Watch the trailers on the videos you purchase and rent for your children. You hand them this drivel, and then tell them to watch it.
Pay attention also to the story lines in the latest kids' shows. Barney was written by the 'UN Committee on Infantile Indoctrination.' Jay-Jay the Jet Plane is rife with eco-nonsense and phony humanistic morals. Winnie The Pooh we remember as those three or four classic stories that Disney made popular in the 1960's...now Pooh only lacks a cleric's collar with all the nonsense he's spewing. I have caught others offhand and cannot remember the titles, but the problem seems pandemic. Many shows begin as good ideas with good story lines. Later, when they become popular, the big marketing money gets injected, and before anyone notices the advertising department is making plot suggestions. With these kids' shows, as with everything else, they used to have characters that simply did the 'right thing'...now they lecture our children as to why...and it's nothing like what we'd tell them...
...if we cared to.
The sad fact is that the Priests of McFaith are doing a much better job of teaching their version of morality than God's Church does His. Pastors, are you listening?
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