What’s Wrong with America? You’ll Find It on TLC

I’ve got an entire list of subjects that I’d like to conver in my blog.  After last night, everything has moved down a spot and this one has to go straight to the top.

Do you want to know what’s wrong with America?  I promise you that it is not all the things you’ve been told over the years.  It’s not the removal of prayer from schools.  It’s not declining church attendance.  It’s not gay marriage or violence on TV or video games or rap music or the teaching of evolution.  So what is it? 

It’s Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the announcement has come down and it is the end of Jon & Kate as we know them.  I guess the new title will have to be something like Jon not Kate Plus Shared Custody of 8.

The story of this family is the CLASSIC example of everything that is wrong with American culture and values.  They can spin it any way they want, but this is the truth:  Jon and Kate sacrificed their marriage on the counter in front of the teller window at the bank.  Oh, and maybe a little of it on the tabloid rack at the supermarket.

We are taught, at a very young age and in some very subtle ways, that fame and fortune are the goals that we should work to achieve.  Well, Jon and Kate, two Christian people, have attained that goal.  And they are so intent on hanging onto it that they would rather get a divorce than walk away from it.

Maybe they just love the spotlight too much.  Maybe they just love money too much.  Maybe they just piled up too much debt from building big houses and going off to Hawaii (surely TLC didn’t cover ALL of it!).

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that they have opted to keep their “American Family Values” of more money, more stuff, more fame, more fortune.  They’re holding onto those values so hard that they’re willing to lose their American Family to keep them.

I doubt they will get any more invitations to speak at Christian marriage conferences, but the ratings spike for this season should make up for that.

And let’s not pretend that we are somehow immune from responsibility.  We’ve watched all of this happen; and we have in fact watched more as the controversy has grown.  Perhaps we even knew this was coming?

When I first watch the show, I told my wife, “This is gonna be trouble.”  Jon’s eyerolls at Kate’s antics seemed innocent enough at first, but that kind of cute only lasts for so long.  Then, I started hearing that the couple was coming to make an appearance at a church in our hometown.  Great–but how do you have time to make guest appearances when you have 8 kids?

Then, my wife pointed out to me that family and friends began mysteriously disappearing from the show.  Where were they?  What happened to them?

If they were smart, they were running as fast as they could away from this trainwreck.  The rest of us simply watched it happen from our living rooms (or computer screens or supermarket tabloids).

It is more than obvious that the leaders of this family lost sight of who they are–and to whom their hearts belong–as the money and attention and opportunities increased.  They long ago stopped being a regular American, church-going Christian family who was trying to struggle with the hardships of eight children. 

They have now just become another celebrity couple who could not handle the glitz and glamour.

The lesson here is simple:  We are all vulnerable, even those of us who are called to be leaders in the Christian world.  Jon and Kate made part of their money speaking at churches and Christian events centered on marriage and family.  While they were making money off their family, they forgot about…well, the FAMILY.

Any of us can be blinded by fame, by popularity, or by big dollar signs in our eyes.  But when we let that happen, we run the risk of sacrificing our soul and losing sight of our greater purpose in life.  It’s too bad that Jon and Kate couldn’t see this and just say, “Forget the show, we’re going to fix our family.”

Sounds easy enough–but would any of us be any better?  Considering the ratings and the search engine hits for Jon and Kate, I doubt it. 

If we really want to change our nation and the way our society works, then we have to remember what Jon and Kate forgot:  That there are a lot of things more important than fame and fortune.  Until we start chasing Christ as hard as we chase dollars, very little is going to change.

As for Jon and Kate, she has said, “The show MUST go on!”  Yes, yes, whatever would we do if we had one less reality show on TV???  I guess they intend to milk the cash cow as long as they can. 

And we will, no doubt, be watching.

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