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Monday, February 26, 2007
The Cult of Celebrity

Behind the Super Bowl, the Acadamy Awards seem to be gaining momentum as a "much watch event" within our culture. I admit I too wasted a few hours sitting in front of the tube watching the endless parade of pop icons pass by in clothing that cost more than my house, and I got sucked into it. The question I have a few days removed from the display of famous people giving other famous people accalades is this, "Why do we care so much?".

I think it is because we are a society enamered with celebrities. That is, we love the idea of the famous; with their beautiful faces and bodies, their endless amounts of money, and their glittering lives full of cocktail parties, tropical getaways, and expensive cars. More even than these things, humans have an inner yearning to "look up to someone", unfortunately we usually look up to the wrong someone.

A Biblical story comes to mind that illustrates this. It's story of the people of Israel depicted in 1 Samuel. Yahweh had saved their ancestors from Egyption slavery, led them through the wilderness into the promised land, and had forgiven them and protected them over and over again, regardless of their "stiff necks". Yahweh had proven to them his love and care for them, and what do they do? They ask for a human king. Why? Because everyone else has a king and they want one to. I think it is because their yearning to look up to someone became misdirected.

In our culture today there is definitely a focus on the celebrity, almost a cult of celebrity. The church is not absent from the temptations that plagued the people of Israel. We too look for celebrities in our midst to look up to. Maybe we look up to them for different reasons than fame, money or beauty, but none the less we create celebrities. The danger in this is placing our trust in those that are not perfectly trusthworthy.

When talking about our culture's "cult of celebrity", I am sure there are other dangers not listed in this brief post. Just something going through my head. Any thoughts?

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posted by Ben Thomas @ 1:43 PM  
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