~ ITEM: Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
~ ITEM: And what Binks said, not so intelligently: (scroll down to “JUST.. CAN’T.. Do It…”)
~ UPDATE– ITEM: What you missed on 5×06 of Game of Thrones, by Maisie Williams. Writes Hilary White: “Wallowing in evil isn’t going to make you happy. You don’t prove how grown-up you are watching this stuff. But you do make your heart just that little bit harder.”
~ UPDATE– ITEM: ‘Gratuitous and disgusting’: Senator leads boycott of Game of Thrones over shocking rape scene of Sansa Stark but actress playing her says she ‘kinda loved it’ (?!?!?!?!)
~ UPDATE– Christians, Now Is Probably a Good Time to Stop Watching ‘Game of Thrones’
“….now that’s what the show has been reduced to – fast action sequences, rape and sexual violence, and occasionally a political scene where Cersei or Dany repeat the same tired monologue from season 3 and stare off into the distance. It’s just pure laziness.“
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~ AS A PROUD card-carrying member of Michael Coren’s invented “Church Of Nasty“, I like nasty verses like the one above from the Prayer Of St. Patrick. Full of dark, fun stuff, right? Muwahahahaha.
Yeah, about that nasty thing. “Defile” seems so old-fashioned. How about: poop in your soup. How many spoonfuls would you like?
Aside from the time-killing thing, too much of what passes for ‘entertainment’ on TV is all about defiling: increasing your tolerance for vicarious gory, ugly, salacious, degrading, violent, morally perved soft-porny content. You finish watching, and your soul is dirtier, your mind & memory is filled with ick, you’ve been entertained by pretend but realistic disorder, evil, murder, rape, or whatever.
Pick The Poop
Lots of it out there, for guilty pleasures: Game Of Thrones, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Sons Of Anarchy, Spartacus, Oz the prison drama, The Walking Dead, Orange Is The New Black, and on it goes. As Branko Malic observes in his excellent essay ‘GAME OF THRONES: ATROCITY EXHIBITION‘ we become hollow spectator-men, watching unreal CGI and fake savagery and atrocity and horrors, faux suffering and meaningless arbitrary story:
“For spectator-man, the pain of life was never smaller, and the urge to inflict it never greater. His hands are free of blood, while his soul drowns in it. So it goes with the soul – this thing its possessors don’t even believe exists, though its closer to them than they are themselves – it holds its own judgment, whether we like it or not.”
What about a willingness to be grossed out, offended, squirmy– and to turn something off or watch something better? Why not?
I’ve dealt with hundreds of actual dying and dead people, their relatives and friends. That’s death. With veterans who lost friends with names; with the consequences and sorrow and return from loss. Real stuff, with consequences and some wounds which never totally heal, and life must somehow go on.
It Is To Wallow
I finally quit watching morally inside-out and upside-down shows like Dexter and related, and have avoided most of the other similar series. After all, Dexter is an evil psychopathic murderer.. cheering him on or liking him, or being glad he escaped capture is actually willing– albeit fictional– evil. Do we need to fill our minds & souls & memories with such things? Yet we so quickly fall for it.
Voyeuristic pleasure and ‘entertainment’ from ugliness makes our souls ugly; coarsens our compassion and sympathy; separates suffering from the real-world people and consequences of same; has untold consequences for pre-teens, teens and young people, who watch such stuff now as people of previous generations listened to radio-dramas, or watched the comparatively sane & tame TV of the past.
How much poop would you like in your soup?
Cue The Ancient World
St. Paul lived in a time of the cheapness of human life via slavery, gladiatorial combat, temple prostitution, torture or execution of slaves, and public execution via wild animals, crucifixion, and so on. It was the Jews and then the early Christians who showed mercy to strangers; care for the abandoned babies, and to the sick and dying; who loved one another no matter class, nation, or gender; who even began to undermine the retrograde economics of slavery, by reminding masters and slaves that Jesus was Lord, and that changed everything.
Thus, St. Paul knew all about the dark possibilities of unredeemed life, because it was all around him and every convert in the cultures of the day, within the Roman Empire. Therefore, Blessed Paul is not being simply a naïve scold or a fun-killer when he warns the Christians of Philippi not to be like their pagan neighbours, seeking thrill and false entertainment in gory spectacle at the forum or races, or in degrading entertainment or religious practices, so easily available all around them.
Whereof I Speak
Binks is a covert to active Christianity, not much raised in it, nor a goody two-shoes, or someone who has never known or done bad & evil things, crimes, and misdemeanors. I’ve wallowed and swilled in our toxic culture, and find it difficult to learn about without getting caught up again, or tempted to the downward moral handcart which is the ever-lowering standard of cable TV.
All of my past defiling and besmirchments I wish I could undo, as I ask for a renewed purity of heart, mind and soul– but being a fallen human, I cannot do that on my own, nor know what to replace it with, if I am not given God’s grace to look up from the mud and manure all around us and on us. I too stand convicted, as an elf of my times.
O Lord, make me pure, but not yet? St. Patrick prayed: “Against the knowledge that defiles, Against the heart’s idolatry.” Amen.
How much poop would you like in your soup?
So, What’s In Your Diet?
We, who obsess over food content, additives, vitamins, health food, GMOs, and our diets, seem to have forgotten something even more important. What you think, what you ingest mentally, what you allow to enter your mind & heart and soul is not morally neutral.
That every body is doing it is no excuse. That “I’m not hurting anybody” does not make it a good– you are actually a ‘somebody’ in reality, aside from the lie that toxic culture doesn’t hurt people, and that mass-media doesn’t want to sell us normalized sin of all sorts. And yeah, ladies, you may not be much tempted to nekkid pictures, but consider yourselves above such ‘male’ things as you read your r-rated romance mommy-porn novels.
We of the compromised Western middle classes have cheerfully embraced the pron-at home, gore on TV, and shrugs all ’round as consumers of literally almost anything on TV, video, the interwebs, and the theatre. You know, because we’re cool, with it, it’s our business, and (admit it, at bottom) the old rebel Adam & Eve yell “You Can’t Tell ME What To DO” along with the 3-year old shout “You’re Not The Boss Of Me!”, bellowed to anybody who even meekly warns about our degrading and degraded culture, and– if we are hollow cultural Christians– shouted in the face of the Father & God who loves us, redeems us, seeks to wash us clean inwardly and outwardly, and impart new life to those who believe on His Son.
So St. Paul proclaims (Php. 4:8-9):
“Therefore, my brethren, those things that are true, those that are honorable, those that are righteous, those things that are pure, those things that are precious, those things that are praiseworthy, deeds of glory and of praise, meditate on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Real things, and good things, and good deeds done with love– these are best. ~