Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Scandalous Nature of our Love for Scandal

Because of the continuous number of scandals that are reported on a regular basis, we are no longer shocked by the news of yet another one. The headlines have been filled lately with the story of Rep. Anthony Weiner and his lewd photo that was tweeted from his account. This politician is just one of many who have been busted for doing inappropriate things while in office. We have become numb to the stories because we have been exposed to so many of them.

Here's the questions I want us to interact with or think about: why does this headline create so much stir? Is it because we demand integrity from those who lead us or is it because we enjoy wallowing in the muck of scandal? 

I ask these questions because I want you to think about why these stories reach such national recognition. Do we really think that Capitol Hill is fighting for good morals and values? The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding "no!" The legislation passed in the last several decades goes to show that values have slid further and further from the minds of politicians and their policies. 

So why the fuss?

I postulate that the reason Capitol Hill seems to care so much about this inappropriate photo taken by this House of Representatives member is the same reason why we care - we enjoy wallowing in the muck and mire of sin. We enjoy watching other people fall. We like to see how dirty people are. 

Why do we enjoy this? Because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

The real scandal is the scandal we pull on ourselves. The real scandal is that we convince ourselves that we care about integrity and moral values, but in reality, we just like to see people fail. If we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that we take a quite, unsuspecting pleasure in watching other people get exposed and brought down. 

How do I know this is the real motivation? Because I know myself. I know the grotesque pleasure I often find myself having when I see people fail. I pray that God would help me through the scandal I have pulled on myself, and that I would be saddened by these stories instead of finding hidden pleasure.

Leave a comment below around these questions: What do you think about this? Do you think I am right about my assessment about why we pay attention to these things? If so, what would you add to my thoughts? If not, why do you think I am wrong? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. I have to agree with you that most of us find pleasure in seeing others fail. I have this strange aversion to television and generally avoid most news because I do not like concerning myself with these type of stories. I know this is not the norm because people ask me all the time did you hear about this or that to which I reply "No I don't watch t.v. often enough to see all the garbage..." I tend not to read the scandal stories if I read the paper. I have on plenty occasions found myself hearing one of these stories and finding some pleasure in the scandal. I think you are right on spot with saying that it makes us feel better about ourselves to see others fail. I generally find myself bothered by discussions about some scandalous activity and usually find my out quickly. I do find myself more often feeling sad for the people involved and their families. It doesn’t always happen this way so I will pray that God helps me with those times I do find myself taking pleasure in someone else’s downfall.

  2. When Tressel was fired I know my husband was doing a mini celebration. When Tiger Woods was found in his mess I thought hahaha finally caught. It is done so often and especially in the sports world today. I like to think that we find comfort in an end being put to wrongdoings when one fails but its probably that for a moment, we find our failures small compared to theirs and we revel in that when in fact we should be past our own failure because we have handed it over to Jesus and we should be dropping to our knees upon hearing of others failures and praying for them as well.

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