This last week of September 2018, we saw what would have been unthinkable say … fifty years ago. Maybe less? Every night talk show hosts and their guests speak openly in the most vulgar terms about politicians and other leaders including clergy and business people and entertainers. Anything goes. Any kind of words may be used. Anything for a laugh or a burst of indecency. It’s “entertaining.”
I thought we might have reached a nadir when we went to a debate among the Republican presidential candidates in Detroit in the fall of 2016. Mr. Trump, now President Trump, won the earthy and vulgar award with comments about his own sexual prowess. We thought of simply walking out. Our national conversation had obviously been lowered into the dialog sewer. Every bit as coarse as any of the talk shows that specialize in shocking rhetoric. I was wrong. It could get worse.
We watched as United States Senators heard the testimony, in vivid and sordid details, of a woman claiming to have been sexually assaulted by a candidate for our Supreme Court. That was just the warm up. Then we had to listen to educated and accomplished men introduce a discussion about body parts and physiological phenomenon. Thirty-five-year-old year book entries with sensual high school-type entries. Beer drinking and sexual behaviors. As if these things had anything to do with the issue at hand. Namely, can proof be found for a charge of sexual abuse? Why not turn the whole matter into an orgy of dirty word pictures? The candidate, at one point, asked “Is this what we want to talk about in a Supreme Court examination?” (my paraphrase.) In short, some Senators asked questions about things that ladies and gentlemen do not raise “in polite company.” I wondered if this q & a could not have taken place off camera? Was showboating for political gain worth the cost in dignity? It was just as bad, maybe worse than Mr. Trump’s comments two years ago.
We must pray for our nation. God is showing us something. Jesus told us this:
Matthew 15:10-11 (ESV) “And he called the people to him and said to them, Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
When the heart is defiled, it remains a hidden defilement. But when the words come forth and reveal that heart, everyone sees that defilement. Our words reveal our hearts. When our elected representatives defile themselves with their words, when our entertainers defile themselves with their words, when we defile ourselves with our words … are we not obnoxious to Heaven? Prayer is needed for our country and ourselves. Perhaps more than ever. Troubling.