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Remembering Brotherly Love

Ephesians was a widely circulated letter to the early churches that emphasized a spirit of Christian unity and “brotherly love” or agapē; unsurprisingly, verse 4:32 taught that Christians ought to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

This message is one that our society desperately needs, especially since we do not seem to idolize such kindness.

Like the fallible Greco-Roman gods of the ancients, it seems that many American celebrities (who are often unironically referred to as “idols”) embody the same character flaws that were described in Hellenistic deities.

For example, in Greek mythology, Hermes cursed Chelone by turning her into a tortoise after she committed the “grave sin” of failing to attend the wedding of Hera and Zeus. [1]

Similarly, it seems American celebrities have a habit of overreacting to minor slights. This phenomenon filled the news after Will Smith stormed the stage of the Oscars to slap comedian Chris Rock after a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia (a medical condition causing baldness). [2]

Surprisingly, the event polarized the nation, as opinions split evenly among Americans over which party was more responsible:

“When asked “which side was more wrong,” 52.3% of respondents answered Rock was in the wrong in regards to his joke about Pinkett Smith while 47.7% said Smith was for his reaction.” [3]

What does this say about the state of American moral sensibilities? Especially since our nation still has a powerful Christian heritage.

This problem was not only obvious in the Smith-Rock conflict but also in the recent manslaughter conviction of an idolized rapper named Kidd Creole, who stabbed a homeless man to death in 2017 after the homeless man allegedly made a pass at Creole. [4]

Sadly, some Reddit threads on the topic were filled with comments implicitly excusing Creole’s behavior because the homeless man was “a registered sex offender.” [5]

Reading stories like this reminds us that the world is filled with evil, perversion, and violence. But what we should find astonishing about this is the fact that these types of people are held up as some kind of Olympian ideal for the average American.

Psalm 1:1-3 advises that we should carefully choose the paths we choose to walk and the role models we exalt:

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”

The fact that Will Smith still received his Oscar, despite his behavior, demonstrates how little moral courage our country exhibits. Americans should not celebrate or excuse the immorality and immaturity of celebrities. We should choose better examples for our nation to emulate. Christians ought to believe in free will, including the free will to choose morally positive icons to applaud.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.



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