Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Welcome to the culture war

So, I frequently hear people at church claiming "the family is under attack." I'm not so fond of this particular rhetoric, largely because I disagree with it. I know, I come from a broken home, how can I not feel that the family is under attack? Well, in my not terribly charitable opinion, this rhetoric is a part of a broader culture war that I see as detrimental to our nation. It's a statement that creates and us-against-them situation that may be useful for those creating the "us" group, but sets up a rather large segment of our nation as "them." And since I think our nation needs fewer divisions, and think this particular division largely reinforces a political division I don't agree with, I'm not so keen on this rhetoric.

Who are those perpetuating this message kidding anyway? Who really thinks we'd be better off without families, or with more broken families? Nobody. Yet if you were to ask someone who claimed "the family is under attack," the supposed attackers would probably include Hollywood, but how many movies and TV shows really encourage anything even remotely anti-family? Happy people in movies and on TV come from happy families; dysfunction is shown to be a negative; bad choices (including infidelity, pre-marital sex, and just plain old lying to the spouse/parent/significant other) lead to unhappiness. In horror movies the heroine is typically safe from the bad scary dude until she gives in to her teenage horniness. The problem is, happy people are boring. Much more dramatic tension results from watching the consequences of bad decisions play out in the lives of fictional characters.

Anyway, culture war. I'm not happy perpetuating it. I roll my eyes any time "the family is under attack" is stated or implied at church. So, of course, this month's VT message almost makes me want to not visit anyone this month, or at least not actually share a message. I have a hard enough time finding something to share when the message is on faith or scripture study--things I don't inherently disagree with. How will I ever deal with the message this month? Delegation is definitely my friend today.

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