I awoke this morning to the news that Britney Spears had been rushed with a presidential-like police escort to the UCLA Medical Center.  The anchors suggested that this was an involuntary psychiatric commitment and that the pop queen had finally broken apart.  I did not think it was possible to knock off the ongoing primary war from its perch, but the Britney saga did throughout most of the day.  I shudder as I write that because it shows just how utterly depraved our society has become.  Yes, I know that we were totally depraved from the start, but I can remember in the not so distant past where the news involved the pressing issues of our day and not the latest mental breakdown of a celebrity.  Yet, how in good conscience can I complain?  After all, haven’t we all contributed to the depravation?
     We all in some way have encouraged our society’s fascination with all things celebrity and through our maniacal obsession with celebrity lives ignored so many things that deserve our attention.  Let’s face it, the celebrity gossip shows and magazines would not exist if we did not frequent them.  I know, I know, you don’t watch them, but somebody must.  I cannot believe that with ratings performance demands as high as they are, television studios would waste money producing shows that missed major demographics of our society.  Recently I read that 86% of our country claims to be Christian and that roughly half of that number considers themselves to be born-again evangelicals.   It would seem to me that a substantial portion of evangelicals then are probably watching these shows or at least tolerating them to be watched for them to still be on the air.  Furthermore, I never hear of evangelicals banding together and writing the news organizations, whether they be cable or network, and encouraging them to actually report the news instead of celebrity gossip. 
     We have all sinned, whether it be knowingly or unknowingly, by allowing this celebration of other’s misfortunes to continue to be broadcast over the airwaves.  How easily we forget that true love according to Scripture “does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”  If we watch with glee someone’s misfortunes then we have delighted in evil and yes, I believe continuing to watch the gossip shows is delighting in evil.  Our society is dying a slow and agonizing death because we are more concerned with what’s going on in some pop star’s life than what’s going on in the rest of the world. 
     I heard on the news tonight that a soldier died today in Iraq.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I cannot remember that hero’s name.   I suppose I can’t be blamed though because it was only mentioned in passing, while we spent hours last week hearing about the death of Heath Ledger.  I received no “breaking news” email about the soldier’s death, but I did about Heath’s.  I see a great imbalance in our societal ethics if we find the death of a Hollywood star more important than a soldier defending our freedom abroad.   Just think how many hours we had to sit through news items on Madonna adopting a child from Malawi.  Yet, how many of us have heard about the outrageous sums of money family’s have to pay here in the States to adopt.  Or, better yet, did we hear about the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis and the fact that pharmaceutical companies are not releasing patents for medicines which is helping create the orphan situation in sub-Saharan Africa because of the death of so many parents?  I guarantee though we will hear when those pharmaceutical companies make the next breakthrough in sexual enhancement medications.  Christians are called to be better than this and if our country is as Christian as it says it is then our focus should not be on whether Britney has finally gone crazy.  It should be on learning more about the world’s problems and striving to end them.  It is to this we have been called and as long as we forsake our call, our society will continue to die.       

       Peace be with you.