Wednesday, June 03, 2015

It Matters

When I was a kid, I had a Charlie Brown/Peanuts video, where Charlie enters a local decathlon. He begins to do really well, and the long-distance run is the final event. Charlie begins to daydream, closing his eyes, and runs the wrong way. In the midst of it, he exclaims to himself, "I could be the next Bruce Jenner!" Truthfully, I won't forget this.

If you've ever watched an elite athlete, or listened to them talk, they are confident, usually to the point of arrogance. It's one of the highest and best mountains to be on in this society. What happens when you're no longer that guy? What if inside you were never too sure or fond of yourself? Maybe your mom was controlling, and your dad was distant. You've even questioned your sexuality, but the greatest athlete in the world can't say that, maybe not even to himself.

I've seen their shows, you know. The Kardashians. I don't hate them; I really don't get that. Even though we're only seeing what they want us to see, I've seen enough to know that I like them. There are people underneath the things they do and say that we don't like. There are always people.

People watch reality shows for 2 reasons: to feel envious, or to feel superior. The people who profess to hate reality shows and the people who are their subjects do so for the same 2 reasons. Did you notice again how famous people who do things we don't like become non-persons? Even famous evangelical professors of big universities are not immune to forgetting their professed devotion to the dignity of all people. It matters because people matter. How many millions of people watch that show? How many of them are thinking of mutilating themselves?

May we pray to see the God-given dignity of all people, no matter what separates us and them.

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