Michael Brown: ‘It’s 2018 and Shame Is Dead’

A July 15 article on Hollywood Reporter, critiquing Sacha Baron Cohen’s new cable TV show, made this telling statement: “Back in 2000, when Da Ali G Show premiered, people still had a modicum of shame.” Ah yes, back in the good old days, those days of pristine purity, back in 2000! What an indictment on our rapidly deteriorating morals.

The author of this article, Daniel Fienberg, had this to say:

In Michaelangelo terms: If the grotesques targeted by Sacha Baron Cohen in his genre-bending smash were perfect statues of ugliness, “shame” was the extraneous rock that covered them in their public personae, the temporary impediment Cohen had to carve away in his mission to reveal human nature.

It’s 2018 and shame is dead. The proudly deplorable parade through the street in their hateful finery and tweet their slurs and ignorance with pride, sometimes with anuran avatars and coy usernames, but just as often associated with their own faces and names. Your typical neo-Nazi need not hide as a block of marble when he can walk proudly in his native form.

Of course, shame has been dying for many years now – a slow and painful death.

Yet shame is far from dead. We are capable of descending much lower than most of us could imagine.

How, then, do we arouse our corporate conscience? How do we spark moral outrage when almost nothing outrages? How do we awaken our ethical sensitivities when we have become so hardened and insensitive?

And it’s not just a matter of almost nothing shaming us today. Almost nothing shocks us anymore.

From violence-glorifying graphics on the big screen to incessant headlines of perversion on our news feed to the latest appalling video on our cell phone. We have become accustomed to the extreme, to the twisted, to carnage and to gore.

Back in 2001, the morning of September 11, a youth pastor in Seattle hurried over to a local high school to speak with kids arriving for their classes. He was sure they would be quite traumatized. To his shock, most were nonchalant. What they saw on TV looked like a bad video game or a poorly produced movie. What’s the big deal?

He was shocked by their lack of shock. And that was in 2001. Since then, the steady descent has continued unabated.

Pornography is celebrated. Sex-work is glorified. Nudity is normal. Profanity is no longer profane.

The apostle Paul summed things up very well 2,000 years ago: “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed” (Ephesians 4:18-19).

We just need to change “they” to “we” and it’s a perfect (and tragic) fit.

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Source: Christian Post