When I was a kid, my sister and I were channel surfing through a mind-numbing range of THIRTY-SIX options from the “cable TV” my parents had just installed. (Back then, more than 6 channels was MAJOR). We halted when we saw an astronaut floating on the moon before he staked a flag into the ground. The flag changed colors repeatedly to some guitar riffs. Then some quirky little techno-pop ballad started to play:
“I heard you on the wireless back in ’52,
Lying awake intent on tuning in to you,
If I was young it didn’t stop you coming through…..
It was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles, an apropos song for the launch of MTV, which my sister and I actually saw by dumb luck. The Buggles should do a follow-up song called "Video Killed Quality Music," but the prevalance of talentless though attractive slutteens in "the biz" is a discussion for another time.
Wikipedia tells me the MTV kick-off was August 1, 1981, and it seems that the 1980s were the last time I actually SAW a music video on MTV.
Institutions, even those that are culturally iconic, often morph to "keep up with the times." But sometimes they shouldn’t. They need to stick with their “core competencies.” Puck on the Real World and the lineage of losers that followed never fascinated me like the video for “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo. I could never figure out why the guy was wearing a raccoon skin on his head (was that his hair?!?) and why he’s shoeless. Also, why didn’t the waitress just take some Tylenol already? It was clear she had a headache.
But I digress. The same thing about “core competencies” applies to churches. Remember when they actually did sermons about the Bible? Those were the days! Now, apparently, they would rather do political screeds for their congregants. Father Michael Pfleger mocked Hillary Clinton at Barack Obama’s church, which prompted an angry response from the Catholic League.
According to CNN...
"The Catholic League is an influential non-partisan organization that says its mission is to protect the free-speech rights of Catholics 'whenever and wherever they are threatened.' The League was an early critic of the Rev. John Hagee, the controversial evangelical pastor whose endorsement was sought by John McCain but later repudiated."
(Editors Note: Even if you agree with the Catholic League, as I do, you have to admit that it's pretty funny to have a "free speech" group telling a guy to shut the hell up. Also, I have to think that working at the Catholic League must be like being a Maytag repair man. Is there really that much suppression of Catholic speech? And no, all the people yelling at Marge at the Bingo Hall to quit blabbing about the "cover all" she won last Friday doesn't count.)
Father Pfleger’s comments prompted another apology from Senator Obama who called the comments “divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause."
There’s always been a fine line between showmanship and theology, but I’m not sure I’m keen on a church service being like Def Comedy Jam. But what REALLY bothers me is the blatant stupidity. Obviously, every member of the Trinity Church must now know everything that they say or do is being recorded and broadcast on Youtube. So, in the future, PLEASE stick to Moses.
Not since the Spanish Inquisition has one church so tortured a man.