I really do not know why, but I seemed to be intrigued by an email I received earlier today from another blogger known only to me as - The Dude. At least the heading on his blog reads, The Dude Abides Other than the fact he appears to be an excellent writer, I know little about him.
Today, he was intrigued by the Fox channel's ongoing saga of "The Americans" and in particular, an essay by Cathleen Falsani who I believe, manages the column, Religious Dispatches. Excuse me, much of what I see appearing on my computer is confusing to me, mainly because I do not take the time it would take for me to carefully examine all that appears - to me, daily.
But when I realize I am reading intelligent material, I take the time to consider it.
The Dude teased me with the opinions of Falsani in those days when Ronald Reagan was our President and engaging the "evil empire" - the Russians, concerning which of our two great powers was, in fact, the most important. She relates to that period as it was also the era where she was beginning to exercise is newly discovered, faith in God. I had to read all of what she has to say.
Before I continue, however, I want my readers to know that I was never impressed with Reagan as our esteemed leader. I liked the guy as I met him once after taking him to task for an article he prompted in the Los Angeles Times. I was in the employment business in those days and discovered the article in which, then Governor Reagan belittled the public by questioning why there were so many people out of work and so many job openings in the Times edition he was reading. Well, that was rather naive as I knew and most of the knowledgable people in our business knew, ads are often run just to give the employer some cheap advertising concerningtheir business activities. I complained to a friend in Reagan's cabinet, he relayed my thoughts to the Governor and as a result I was invited to Sacramento to discuss my complaint. He accepted my opinion and later invited me to lunch. He was a nice man but in my opinion, he often talked about subjects he knew little or nothing about.
So it is that I choke when I hear him being lauded - for example, by talking at the Premier of Russia challenging him to "tear down that wall", knowing full well - or should have known, the economy of Russia was in really sad shape and that was where they concentrated their much greater interests.
And yes, I know, he was not the only politician we have created who loved to shout slogans, while realizing they would only be heard by their followers. Such is the state of politics in these days.
Now, I will get to what I learned about in Falsini's report on the Fox program, The Americans. I have to admit, I am still clueless about the by-line for the season finale - "Teach Your Parents Well".
She relates well to the life of the daughter of the main characters by referring to her own life as a pre-teen. The parents are, apparently, Russian spies living in our country and doing whatever mischief their leaders in the Kremlin would have them for them to do. The daughter is at the time, intrigued by religion and has her heart set on baptism in her church. The parents apparently have been encouraged to have the daughter get involved in their activities - so we have gist of what is typical of good drama. Will they or won't they? Will she or won't she? Who knows? Stay tuned but right know, the network needs to earn their advertising dollars, while we go to the kitchen and fix a snack out of the products being advertised. So it is, that I am quickly bored with most TV. I much prefer to watch sports because I can mute the advertising pitches without worrying whether I might miss part of the action.
What intrigues me is that there are a couple of paragraphs in Falsini's article that carry ver batim, parts of Reagan's old speeches. Well, why not? This is a Fox network outlet.
AND, there are references to religion. OK, I understand the fact in the story about the daughter wanting to be baptized and is being encouraged by her Pastor. But that is common place religion. I understand the importance of baptism, but you are not going to discuss baptism in the context of a TV drama and come close to the real reasons for baptism in the church - in my opinion.
Which brings me to my real interest in mentioning the program on my blog and it is because I see, and far too often, today, experience the same failures I saw in the churches I attended in my youth and up to almost my 45th birthday. They make conversion into a ritual and Jesus made it personal. Who are we to follow, His example or the theology of the church we attend? And then what happens when we change churches. This is the 21st century. There are many reasons why we change churches, but why don't we have the same rituals from one church to the next.
Shortly after I discovered the reality of God, His Son Jesus, our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, away from a church environment, by the way, I was led - I truly believe, to the passage in Acts 1:8 that reads..."And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be My witnesses..." Who was He talking to? You? Others? I know it was me because I took it seriously and from that day forward, I have walked in that power. Yes, Jesus still loves me, but now, He was about to demonstrate His power in my life.
What is that power you ask? Well, to me, it is the power that has my life under a microscope and when I sin, as I still do, occasionally, I am quickly reminded and am quick to repent. and when I do not - as it has happened, I understand what the Bible means when it talks about chastisement.
I say all of this - and you can believe, there is much more to say, but I have to ask a question of all who have taken the time to read this far. Why do want to watch programs as politically motivated as most of the programs I have heard of on Fox and elsewhere? We have libraries filled to overflowing with great literature, most of which is inspiring and - informative, and a help for all of us who struggle with the new technologies that are overwhelming most of us. And of course, the Bible.
I get the impression, we are missing out on the best parts of the Bible we seem to revere.
And of course, you have an opinion.... well, I am also listening.