let’s go to a movie, uh, church, er, a concert, ok then, a revival

Several years ago I taped a VH-1 Storytellers segment featuring Pete Townshend. Besides the interesting performances, all from Pete’s and the Who’s ‘Life House’/Who’s Next’ project/album(I believe “Baba O’Riley” is one of the single greatest rock songs ever written), Pete offered his thoughts about the original concept. There would be a time when “technology” delivered on its promise which Pete said the promise has always been that entertainment would replace religion. On Sunday mornings you will find me watching Charles Osgood as he hosts “Sunday Morning” on CBS. (originally hosted by Charles Kuralt) If I’m early I’ll flip channels while I wait and marvel at what is allowed to be broadcast out of the mouths of TV preachers. (e.g.- Jesus told me to buy this $465 million private luxury jet to spread his gospel so help me achieve his goal and send all the money you can spare) Living not too far from what used to be Heritage USA, I thought America had wised up to the antics of money grubbers like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker but I guess not.

Many of us worship different facets of the entertainment industry and Pete’s fictional vision may yet come true but something else has also happened, religion has turned into entertainment.


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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3 Responses to let’s go to a movie, uh, church, er, a concert, ok then, a revival

  1. dearest_b says:

    Don’t you think that religion always did have an element of entertainment?
    A charismatic vicar is likely to have far more parishioners than one that is dull and can’t sing.Haven’t you ever been in a church where the choir is singing and the candles flicker…the incense swings to and fro across the aisle as the procession makes it’s way to the altar.
    Didn’t the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end while you were subjected to a particularly rousing sermon?
    The highly decorated churches and cathedrals bear witness to the drama of services taken by priests wearing cloth of gold, bearing sceptres and donning high hats…
    Much of religion is spectacle and ritual. Right from Baptism to Funeral.
    I don’t go to church anymore. I’m too skeptical y’see. But even i admit to being carried away on a wing and a prayer on occasion.

    • marcsuttle says:

      The core teachings of many religions are good guides to life. Man has turned those words into tools to manipulate others and justify his actions. When the story get too old or repetitive, entertainment is used to spice up the message and any real meaning gets diluted or lost.
      The I was brought up Methodist and they rotate ministers every several years. I felt sorry for the new pastor who was unfortunate to follow a really well liked, effective, dynamic predecessor. You could almost watch the congregation disappear as they realized the new guy(never had female pastor) wasn’t like the old one. The Epsicopal(Church of England I believe) and Catholic denominations did seem to have the most ritualistic ceremonies. Most other large protestant groups seem to want to retool their structure as they grow larger and larger and larger. To me they ceased to be churches and are almost self contained communities able to provide every conceivable service.
      I also swore off sports years ago but I still get caught up in the spectacle of a Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong as they perform on the world stage.

  2. bluedragon73 says:

    There are some very dangerous preachers on tv right now. I too flip through the channels when I am alone, just to see what is going on out there and I am shocked.
    Of course Jim and Tammy were dangerous too. Just ask my mom and dad, who poured thousands into Jim and Tammy’s pockets and never blinked an eye. Their world crumbled the day they arrested Jim Baker. They just couldn’t believe they were duped. Bamboozled. And unfortunately no one could talk any sense into my parents head because they were brainwashed into believing that was their golden ticket to heaven.

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