Depravity of Hollywood, and others.




We live in an upside-down world gone mad. We’re seeing the beginning of a reaping we both did sow and didn’t sow. Not every sexual charge laid out against a person will prove out to be true. Like those curious people who confess to crimes they didn’t commit there are a lot of people with emotional problems and other issues that they will confess sins of others against them that never happened. But a lot will be true and their sin will sweep innocents away with them. In our emotional confusion, brought about by real sinners, we have thrown out the idea of innocent until proven guilty and at the first word of someone sinning we build the post and lay the wood and strike the match to burn them at the stake.

Who’s guilty and who’s not? We have, as a people, decided that everyone’s guilty. In a social media world where we get to be judge and jury, where our feelings carry the day and not reason, we spew out our own insecurities thinking we will solve them by destroying everyone different from us.

We’ve been building to this hour for some time, now. We wildly condemn those few radically-driven Christians who in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts looked for witches with a tremendous disconnect between reality and fiction. In our own way we’re returning to that witch hunt, though this time there are real witches, we’re just not sure which is a witch or not. So we tie boulders on each and drop them in water to see who floats and is saved and who drowns telling us we were right, they are witches.

Hollywood has always been a hotbed of immorality as mostly men play on women (though we are also hearing of men abusing other men and boys) seeking fame find themselves giving into depravity for that fame. It’s always been shameful, and covered up so the rest of us don’t know this ugly reality, and it, of course, perpetuates this behavior.

But let’s understand that our sudden sense of righteousness is a mixed bag of moral conscience and politically driven. Not long ago many were eager to ignore and dismiss the sexual deviations of President Clinton for exactly what is now being exposed and condemned. Maybe we did have a come-to-Jesus moment and are standing up for morality. In which case we must ask forgiveness for our political playing at morality in the past and now having confessed our sins we can speak to the sins of others. We’ve removed that beam from our eyes and can take the splinter out of the eyes of others. But are we this morally pure? I don’t know but our history at being moral beings isn’t that good of a tract record.

There are a lot of names coming up and some have admitted their sins, at least enough so that we can rightly condemn them. Others have denied the allegations and although the stories about them appear plausible stories are always believable when told from one side. Because we want to believe them doesn’t make them true.

Take the case of Judge Roy Moore, a candidate I neither support nor don’t support, it is up to the people of Alabama. Allegations from 1979 (38 years ago) of inappropriate sexual contact, and with minors have been raised and in telling the story it sounds plausible. Yet plausible stories from other sexual charges against say, Duke Lacrosse players, proved to be fallacious though at the time everyone believed them and condemned the Duke students. In this case there are legitimate questions being raised about the motivation of the charges (why after all this time now when the judge was up for office many times and the political ideology of the ones doing the charging has questions) and this is not a clear case, at the moment, that gives us the right to instantly judge, though many have.

There is a lot going on here and not just about those being charged with sexual harassment or sexual misconduct or sexual crimes. And this is my point. We, who sit now in judgement, are not saints and our motivations are not necessarily white as driven snow. It’s not always clear when our motivations are righteous moral standards or politically driven outcries, which carry no real moral weight. This does not wash anyone’s behavior clean and we all walk away having not cast the first stone. There is plenty guilt to go around. Hitler saying, “I love my mother” carries no weight while killing millions of others. Our cries of moral outrage carry little weight when we are immoral, ourselves. This isn’t to say we can do nothing until we are all baptized in the river for our sins, it is to say if you want to have moral outrage act morally in this moment. We can’t become a vigilante mob taking out everyone we charge as guilty. Prove that guilt first. This is the only honest behavior we can have. Then when we are sure they are guilty let the chips fall where they may. We will have shown what moral behavior looks like.

I wish everyone’s behavior was pure and good. Well, at least good. But it isn’t on both sides of the moral divide. It’s good that we are now showing some moral conscience about behavior. It’s needed. But don’t think that makes us moral. Not when so many of our behaviors are really questionable.