Posts Tagged 'Brad Pitt'

The Difference Between Political Liberalism And The Gospel

            I was talking with my son earlier today and was trying to explain why some people are political liberals.  We started with the understanding that many people are liberal because it feels good, and it is good when we help others.  I went on to explain that liberals become conservatives when we personalize the questions.  Brad Pitt is against the death penalty when it comes to using the death penalty to punish criminals who have actually killed other people intentionally.  Yet, recently he has said that he would rethink his position when it comes to dealing with BP.  How absurd that we would be willing to use the death penalty to kill humans who have harmed the earth, but would not use it to punish those who have brutally murdered others.  Can you say hypocrite?  It is actually pronounce, Brad Pitt.  Political liberals want you and me to be better, but they do not have to pay the price—insert any liberal politician here and see how it works in the real world.

            As Christians we are called to be liberals.  To do that we have to understand what it really means.  You see there is a simple difference between political and spiritual liberalism.  Political liberals believe in helping others using the money of others.  They also believe in helping others and, at the same time, creating a dependence that feeds the problem rather than changing their lives so they can become productive people—reuniting with their family and their culture.

            Spiritual liberals believe that we should invest ourselves and our money to help others.  Spiritual liberals, something we are all called to be, means using our money and our time to feed the hungry, help the helpless, and any number of other good deeds such as made up the life of Jesus.

            Jesus did so much good that his leaders killed him for it.  Are you on anyone’s death list?  If not, maybe you are not liberal enough—spiritually speaking of course.

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Sean Penn, Are You Out There? Are You Done Milking The Public?

            I am not sure why it has become the new intelligentsia cause to free the homosexual community of this curse that says they are not normal until they marry.  And we are all bigots if we do not agree with them and change 10,000 years of culture without a debate.

 

            On a number of occasions citizens of various states have voted on the question of whether to allow homosexuals to get married.  Every time so far the public has said no.  That includes Hawaii and California, two of the most liberal states in the Country. 

 

            The self-proclaimed leaders of this new movement, intellectual giants like Sean Penn and Brad Pitt, keep insisting that we are all bad if we do not believe like they do.  Brad Pitt aside, I am giving him a pass because Angelina and Jennifer seem to be getting ready for a good old fashioned paparazzi fueled feud, which by the way, I am looking forward to—even though Sean keeps telling me, at the press conference that seem to follow him around, that the paparazzi are bad.

 

            The good news is that last night Sean’s declaration did not come from Iran or Venezuela, rather it came from a country a little closer to home.  The free state of Hollywood.  You know, it is that place where reality is suspended.  People who can imitate other people can even come to believe that they are as smart as those they imitate.

 

            Of course, this rule does not apply to Ronald Reagan, because he did not toe their party line, and yes, I am using the term party in the same way McCarthy used it so well so long ago.

 

            If they love these foreign dictators so much, why don’t they go there and demand equal rights for the homosexuals?  Maybe the reason they are demanding it here is because they hate this country and know that such a radical move could destroy much of what we believe in.

 

            Of course, they have to speak well of Iran and Venezuela when they are there because if they say anything negative in those countries they could be killed for their seemingly intelligent statements.

 

            I did not watch the Oscars.  As my wife says, I did not see any of the movies that were nominated. 

 

            Remember when we went to the movies to be entertained and not preached to?  That was back when we went to church to be preached to and not entertained.  Maybe we have gotten everything mixed up and therein lay our problem.

 

            Next week I am calling all my friends together, it won’t be a large gathering, and they are going to give me an award.  I will buy a trophy to make it real.  We will roll out some red carpet and…oh, you get the picture.

 

            Oh, well, Sean, enjoy the trophy.

Brad Pitt, Jesus, and Celebrity

             History is an interesting thing.  We spend a lot of time in school studying the events of the past.  Yet, we still must ask ourselves if we have properly evaluated matters of the past.  Some events and people become so engrained in our personal and cultural psyche that we cannot see them accurately. 

              There are a couple of people in particular of which this is true.  Typically it becomes more accurate the further we get away from a person’s time on earth.  As long as there are people who can remember the historical figure it is difficult to expand the memory too far beyond reality to create this phenomenon.

             Two figures that this is true about are Jesus and Hitler.  Both are larger than life.  Both are far enough removed from the present that we have lost most if not all of those who had any real contact with them.  Both, in historical perspective, were polarizing figures.  My purpose is not to evaluate the historical realities of Hilter.  He is here only to prove a point.

             We all have personal beliefs about Jesus.  C.S. Lewis rightly declared that Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or exactly who He said He was.  Those are the only options as to His true identity.

             Unfortunately for us, that is no longer enough.  Even if we believe that Jesus was who He said He was we have more filters to evaluate Him through that we must examine.  One of the most critical filters we must get rid of is the filter of celebrity[1].

             By celebrity it is my intention to deal primarily with the American celebrity concept.  The American version of celebrity is taking root around the world, yet at this time it is still primarily an American phenomenon.

             We Americans have created a celebrity cult that surpasses anything found in history.  This celebrity cult has great influence on our worldview, at least as it pertains to certain people.

             We must start by defining the idea of celebrity.  A celebrity is a famous or well known person.  That seems simple enough.  If it were that simple we might not need this discussion.

             In our modern, media driven world celebrity is so much more than merely being famous.  It is about becoming larger than life.  It is about achieving a special status.  We give more credibility to celebrity opinions.  Otherwise why would we care who Oprah is supporting in the Presidential Primaries.  Without our modern sense of celebrity we do not care that Brad Pitt is spending some of his free time, his energy, and a small amount of his millions of dollars to build some homes in New Orleans.

             Celebrity, in our America, gives a person the best of everything.  That might be okay if there were some achievement that had to be mastered to become a celebrity.  Unfortunately for us, the advent of reality television and the explosion of the Internet have taken away the qualifiers that used to exist on celebrity.

             Celebrities in America come into our home and change how we view life.  Even if we approach life with a strong moral code, we permit celebrities to life according to a lower moral code or no moral code at all.  Celebrity divorce has led the way to a weakening of marriage in America.  Celebrity drug use has led to a dropping of our belief that chemically altered states are bad.

             We want our celebrities to live a life not worth living–partying, carousing, the worse the better as far as we are concerned.  We watch with passion the life styles of the rich and famous.  We dream of being allowed into the club.  Celebrity fascinates us.  Given a choice between rich and famous most of us would choose famous.  Of course, if we are smart enough we will turn famous into rich so it is not really any choice.

             For the sake of our discussion, none of this is a particular problem.  The problem is seen when we look at how celebrity affects how we approach people.  I personally do not care if Brad Pitt does not marry Angelina until same-sex marriage is legal in America.  I do care that Brad’s adultery and fornication are looked at as the high moral ground in the sexual revolution that is still moving through the country.

             Because of the international fame that now accompanies celebrity we find that people who used to live a sheltered life in private now live a sheltered life in public.  We view their homes on television.  We see them coming out of restaurants and clubs at two and three in the morning.  We see them climbing onto and off of private jets, retreating into their private mansions.

             We long to live the same life.  In addition, there is a certain amount of authority that is created by fame.  We assume famous people have a greater understanding of the world.  Add to that the ego that is required to achieve fame and we have a group of people we want to believe are smarter than us.  And based on their egos these people agree that they are smarter.

              They then tell us what to believe.  They then tell us how we should live.  Flying their private jets that burn hundreds of gallons of fuel every minute, riding in limousines and SUVs that burn more fuel than any other vehicles, they tell us that we must conserve fuel—it is our moral duty to the earth.

              I am all for saving fuel and protecting the earth.  I do not need the worst abusers in the world trying to make me feel guilty for my abuses.

             And that is the worst of celebrity.  Celebrities are not required to live by the same rules the rest of us are required to live by.  Celebrities get a pass on everything—moral failings, financial failings, legal failings, etc.

            Again, this is well and good, until we apply it to our religion.  Part of the problem we have today is that Jesus is a celebrity.  He is so famous that even those who do not know what He really believed, what He really said, who He really was, use His name in indifference or profanity.

             I am not concerned with this misuse of Jesus.  Sinners will be sinners.  We should expect it.  We should not demand that sinners act like saints—that is part of the problem we have in the church today.


[1] Other filters like family teachings, cultural teachings, pet theories or theologies, or church teachings are important filters.  They could each warrant their own lengthy discussion which is not the purpose of this particular writing.


Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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