What Hangover 2 and American Idol say about us

 —  May 30, 2011 — 5 Comments
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It’s Memorial Day 2011 and I just read a headline that says,

“Biggest Memorial Day Weekend Box Office Ever! Hangover 2 Shatters Comedy Records”

Link to article quoted

I know little of this movie. I didn’t see the first one. But, I know alot of this movie from seeing commercials on TV, and the preview trailer that was shown as I waited to see “Soul Surfer.”  I know enough from those few glimpses that immorality is celebrated and humor hides the dark underbelly of a life lived in pursuit of fleshly desires. I know enough from those few glimpses that in this movie the beauty and significance of sex is perverted, that women are objectified.

In the article some interesting demographic info was posted. Of those who attended this movie, 54% were under the age 24. Of those who attended, 51% were female. Why are the young people, especially young girls, so drawn to this type of humor? What does that say about our culture?

This brings up another experience I had with our culture. My wife and I enjoyed this past season of American Idol. We pulled for Scotty. I loved his humility, and I saw something special in him during Hollywood Week when he confessed his failure in sticking up for the husky kid with the beautiful soprano voice.

Yet, in the midst of the great storyline of real human drama, the producers continually injected the professional acts, many of which are ridiculously erotic. From Lady Gaga, to J-Lo, to Beyonce… I couldn’t watch. I had to fast forward the DVR rather than watch these women do things in public that are bound in heaven. While Americans cheered, I am sure the angels stood aghast.

My biggest concern as a Pastor is how many of the young people in the families of our church will go see this movie? How many of the young people in my church listen to this music, and watch these videos? What does it say of their walk with Jesus Christ that they would willingly pay money to sit under the teaching of a culture where drunkenness, promiscuity, and even bestiality are seen as fodder for humor?

What kind of damage to their souls is being done with the type of entertainment they subject themselves to?  What can we do to help? How can I equip the parents to beat back a world system that is increasingly immoral and ubiquitous?

What does this entertainment say about us? I am no culture warrior. I am a simple preacher of the Gospel. And, as an average pastor, I need help.

5 responses to What Hangover 2 and American Idol say about us

  1. Kelly Freeman May 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Very well written Ken. I totally agree with you. The degree of “desensitization” that is happening in the current generation is scary and shows how badly we need to put God back into our world, schools, and everyday life.
    Kelly Freeman

    • Desensitization is a good word for it. Unfortunately, humor tends to have that effect. We laugh at it, then we lose perception, and no longer see it for what it is.

  2. I dont agree with the fact that going to see these stuff will make you a bad person, no not at all. Life is your choice and these images cant predict the outcome of your life..THATS JUST RIDICULOUS AND IGNORANT. Parents are key factors for kids not these images the media set forth. I do agree the movie was stupid though.

    • Jessi,
      I don’t believe I said that watching certain things makes you a bad person. What I do believe though, what we watch, listen to, and enjoy says alot about who we already are, and where our hearts are.

      The ingestion of certain forms of entertainment does cause real spiritual harm. That is not ridiculous, nor is it ignorant. It is a biblical teaching. God was very careful to set up protections for us that we not fall into temptation, that we not see sin as a small deal, thus becoming prey to grave sin ourselves.

      Unfortunately, we in America trust ourselves too much, thinking that what we view as entertainment doesn’t affect us. When in truth, it affects us more than we realize. We think we are smarter than that, stronger than that. But, in reality, we have fallen into the snare of the enemy, and seen sin as something funny, as something that is not our problem.

  3. Week said, Ken. More disturbing yet is that all of this glorification of sin in pop culture is pursued for the sake of an ever larger idol: profit. I did see the first Hangover, and while one could argue that the debauchery of the characters was punished in the aftermath and that they had some kind of cheap redemption in the end, the film is about what you’d expect. What does it say about the filmmakers’ worldview when they not only treat their characters as idiots incapable of learning from their mistakes (because critics say the new one is just a rehashing of the first), but presumably think the same of their audience?

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