Coach and immorality

A TV show that ran from 1989 thru 1997, it helped to continue the slow inclusion of immoral living into people’s living rooms. In the 1950s and early 1960s, dates meant chapperones, and coming home at a certain time or there were consequences. Parents knew all about teen hormones and their effects.

At the end of the 1960s, Hippies encouraged sex outside of marriage, so-called “free love.” Gradually, people began shacking up and they were also encouraged to avoid marriage: “I don’t need no piece of paper to live with my old lady.”

By the late 1980s, it was becoming socially OK to have a girlfriend that you were clearly having sex with. Good old Coach Fox was basically a good man but his girlfriend would tell him: “We’re adults now. We can do what we want.”

That’s how immoral examples sneak in. Most of us are adults, and Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” Sometimes people say, things change. God didn’t change.

God bless,
Ed

I’m not convinced that immoral examples sneak in via the media as much as the media reflects the changes in moral issues of its time.

Knowing that television is all about money (ratings) producers put out there material they believe will sell. They base their decisions upon researching marketing trends overall…the clothes people buy, the gadgets, the political issues, etc. It seems more that they capitalize on whatever is already out there.

This is why it is critical for those of us who are opposed to the trends of our time to not endorse those trends by watching the shows which portray them.

I disagree. I think the media amplifies immorality and continues to do so. Did people want, or even expect, “partial nudity” on NYPD Blue in the 90s? One of the actors from the show was asked for a reason for the profanity and partial nudity. His reply: “It’s the 90s.”

God bless,
Ed

I don’t know about “Coach”, i never watched it and I know there were much worse shows out, but I agree to some extent.

Many entertainment industry creators (depending on the show, movie, video game or music style and content) are always trying to “push the limits” of what is acceptable, many always try to see what they can “get away with.”

They think this is what the audience wants, and unfortunately for many audiences, they are right. The culture is degrading.

And people continue to give them support by watching the shows and giving them money for the movies they make.

I really don’t know when it will change in the other direction and things will clean up. I am sort of pessimistic about it and think things are going to get a lot worse, a lot worse, before they get better.

As a Catholic, I see one maybe two movies a year. TV is limited to 4 or 5 hours a week. Sometimes, you just have to do the best you can yourself. Good role models do catch on.

God bless,
Ed

They certainly didn’t expect it but obviously the producers/media researchers accurately predicted the demand for it because shortly after that all the other primetime shows followed suit, and it hasn’t stopped yet.

But I would agree ‘amplify’ is the better term to use than ‘reflect’. My point was that the production of such media is a response to what is going on in society, not that the media drives the changes in society.

The one good thing out of the media’s ‘amplification’ is that it pretty much validates those of us who get the impression society is messed up, and it gives us an indication of just how bad the situation is. That enables us to take the appropriate action to help change the course of society. Without the media alarm would we know how pervasive this line of thinking is? Know enough to write to our legislators, boycott organizations and such?

As we begin to see more wholesome programs return to the airwaves we also get an indication of how well our efforts are doing.

I agree with you that some of the shows that seem quite innocent on the surface are much more dangerous and immoral than the blatently immoral shows.

Coach is a good example. There are many other shows where couples co-habit or sleep together even though they’re not married. Many shows and movies portray couples in bed at the end of their first date. Ai yi yi!

I think a porn movie is actually better than shows like Coach, because in a porn movie, the sex is portrayed so blatently and offensively that anyone can discern that what is happening is evil! But in “decent-looking” TV shows like Coach, **the exact same thing is happening as occurs in the porn movie, ** only it’s so whitewashed that we all just sit and stare at it and absorb it into our brains and eventually lose our shock over it and think how sweet it is when two people love each other and have sex even though they’re not married. Ick! It’s not sweet at all, it’s mortal sin!

Another example of pure trash is Everybody Loves Raymond. When my daughter was a young teenager, she summed it up perfectly: “All they do is fight loudly about sex, and when Ray wants sex from his wife, she bashes stupid men and tells her husband what a selfish pig he is.”

My parents-in-law love this show and talk about how “decent” and “Christian” it is. Yet, they argue and fight and pick at each other all the time. I can’t help but wonder if they learned this destructive behavior from watching Ray and his wife!

Why not just watch Richard Burton and Liz Taylor rip each other to shreds in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Again, it’s the same thing as what happens in Everybody Loves Raymond, but it isn’t all saccharinized and sweet–it’s horrible and even a kid can tell that these people are destroying each other with their arguing and insults and screaming. Arguing between a couple isn’t funny at all, ever.

I think the show Will and Grace did so much damage in the U.S. by making homosexuals “normal” and “charming.” A lot of people criticize Saturday Night Live, but that show at least portrays some very un-flattering viewpoints of homosexuals, which may sound “mean” but the message comes across loud and clear on * SNL *that “homosexuals are NOT normal.” (Interesting that so many real-life homosexuals are involved with the production of SNL.)

I really dislike a lot of the ethnic shows that portray African Americans as rich, hyper, twitchy, over-sexed, silly, loud, and usually fashionable to the extreme. I really like shows that just portray African Americans as normal, e.g., Jonas on The Unit.

And my biggest gripe of all is the way children are portrayed on TV as wise-cracking miniature grown-ups who conveniently disappear when the real grown-ups want to have sex. If our children acted like the children on TV, they would be called “brats.” Why not just portray NORMAL children who fuss and can’t pronounce certain words, and never-to-seldom say anything really clever and don’t always look like they walked out of a beauty salon?

I think that so many show business people are so far removed from “normal” life that they think EVERYONE is doing it the way they write it.

I remember reading a study years ago that proved the women who watch soap operas actually talk (in real-life) to their husbands the way the soap-opera women talk to their men–fascinating study! I wish I had kept the paper. I personally think that as we watch white-washed trash, we “absorb” it into our psyche’s and become very tolerant of sin.

If people are going to watch TV, I think they need to constantly remind themselves of the real world. They need to say, “That couple sleeping together outside of marriage is committing mortal sin.” “Real children don’t have the vocabulary of those TV children.” “Men are NOT stupid and their brain is NOT between their legs.” “If a murder like this occurred in real life, it probably wouldn’t be solved within a few days.” “African Americans aren’t hyper.” “Homosexuality is not God’s plan for human beings.”

I remember attending a Protestant seminar on TV viewing where the speaker urged us to yell at our TVs–“Who are you kidding!!!”

I do think, though, that we shouldn’t throw out the whole TV. I think there are some good shows that portray a wholesome, realistic view of life, that draw clean lines between good and sin, and even manage to include God and church.

And of course, there’s football and figure skating–two good reasons to watch TV!

Thank you. I just want to make my fellow Catholics more aware that coming home from work, flipping on the TV and flopping on the couch has become very automatic. Of course you’re tired and want to relax and get your mind off your day or just think about something else. The TV (or internet) is quick and easy.

There was a time when television was very reflective of Christian principles. From 1933 to 1970, the Catholic Church was very involved in what was coming out of Hollywood. Once that ended, movies and television programs gradually turned to dark and sexual themes. It took about 30 years, but those subtle messages got through.

In the 1960s, you said please and thank you. You called adults Mister or Missus. You treated adults with respect, you watched your mouth. Gossip was a bad thing. Unruly behavior was properly punished. TV and movies reflected that, but now?

I don’t think the media is a good barometer by which to read the culture, the Bible is. Look how far we’ve gone from it and how much we’ve been taught to tolerate. And we are told, “Don’t be judgemental.” The Bible tells us to avoid sin and occasion of sin. You may hear about things changing or phrases like “TV has grown up.” Well, what does that mean? TV has become that drunken, profanity filled private discussion at the local bar with a few prostitutes thrown in? God forbid.

Yes, there are a few good programs, but imagine being forced to do something for 4 to 6 hours a day that you know is bad for you and compare it to the time you willingly spend in front of the TV. I think we all need to ask ourselves: Why am I watching a show with two attractive people who are having sex outside of marriage? Sure, they may be very nice, polite and charming, but in case people haven’t noticed, the formula is, boy meets girl, they have sex and declare each other a couple. What’s good about absorbing yourself in this fantasy world?

God bless,
Ed

I thought Coach was a pretty good show, until maybe the last season or so. shrug If we took off every show that had premarital sex there would be nothing left on TV, and personally I have seen very touching, relevant storylines on some of my favorite shows such as “ER”, “Boston Legal”, “Desperate Housewives” and some other favorite shows of mine. In fact, despite being a “sexy” show “Boston Legal” has made a wonderful contribution to the mental health world by having one of the very first primetime main cast characters to have a mental illness. As someone who has a mental illness, I cannot begin to tell you the joy it brings me to see the character of Jerry Espensen, who has Aspergers, portrayed with diginity and as a person who has great intelligence and humanity along with his mental issues.

As a writer, I can tell you that when what I write includes sexual themes or “dark” themes even, it’s usually reflecting what goes on in society and how we deal with it. If I wanted to write about a utopian world, I would write science fiction. But instead I’ve chosen to write about the human condition at this point in time and it’s my greatest wish that someone going through some of the challenges my characters face will feel a little less alone. (see paragraph above)

As a writer myself, I believe I’m responsible for what I write. Look at books published in the 1950s and 1960s, compare them with books today.

The human condition you refer to has always been the human condition. The current trend in television is portraying all people as evil and blatantly so. No matter how attractive or “normal” on the outside, they are all hiding deep, dark secrets. Baloney.

As a person who has friends with various mental illnesses, I understand how important it is to portray these people with dignity and respect. However, Boston Legal is one of the most immoral TV shows out there. The main characters are perverts and liars. I’m tired of hearing about how when digging through the cesspool of TV shows like this, one may find the occasional penny or quarter. This does not take away from the main subject: presenting perverse sexuality as fun!! Let’s all do it!

My brothers and sisters in Christ, the continuing campaign to deceive people into thinking something bad is good continues on television.

God bless,
Ed

Programs like Coach show immoral behavior in a indifferent or even positive light simply because society in general views it that way. We Catholics, Christians, or even religious people in general who take our faiths’ moral teachings seriously are a minority, even in the fairly religious (for an industrialized country) U.S. That said, I don’t think the majority of TV shows have any real “agenda” besides trying to attract larger audiences and appealing to the lowest common denominator.

One problem may be a shortage of good Catholics and Christians in the entertainment industry, or the media industry in general.

RhyannaRose, I definitely believe that a piece of media can be very valuable even when it contains sinful characters or action. Often such pieces create dialogue and understanding and help us as Christians to have empathy for others.

I do have a problem, as does edwest2, with a constant flow of such material into homes, especially when there are children or teenagers. GIGO. When we see over and over again sex out of wedlock, or violence, or swearing, or any of the things that are constantly portrayed on television, movies, visual art, or written pieces, we can’t help but absorb these into our personality and become more comfortable with sin, possibly to the point where we don’t even recognize it as sin anymore and where we condemn those who do call it sin.

I think that Christians simply need to be discerning and use moderation; e.g., a few shows a week, but not several hours a night. Yes, many of us could use the relaxation that TV induces, and a few shows a week will help, although with so many of us using cable, there are so many options available that are wholesome and consistent with a Christian worldview (e.g., ESPN!).

And if there are children, I don’t think they should ever be watching shows that blur the lines between good and sin; there are plenty of shows and movies that are wholesome.

As for teenagers, they will watch what they please one way or another. The important thing is that they have had a solid formation in the faith and good training by their parents so that they have the mature understanding that something is “sin,” even if it is on TV and is being committed by a beloved TV character.

I honestly think most teenagers who have been raised well will be able to watch even the worst TV shows with discernment. (e.g, My 21 year-old daughter loves Family Guy!) I also think that teenagers who have been raised well will not have time to watch a lot of TV, as they will be involved with school, sports, the arts, volunteer work, and of course, church. That’s the case with a lot of teens I know; they don’t even have time to watch an hour a week of TV.

A constant diet of junk will hurt a person’s physical health. In the same way, a constant diet of media junk will hurt a person’s spiritual health.

Well put, Cat. I have found the part about well raised teens particularly true. Ask a teen who’s getting good grades and holding a part time job what shows they like and they’ll tell you they don’t have time for shows because of their schedule and the fact their in extracurriculars like band or drama at school.

Then again I teach 8th grade RE and at least half the class knows the TV scheduled by heart, the other half either don’t have time for TV or their parents limit their viewing. For the half that do watch all the ‘popular’ shows we use some of the stories they bring up as ‘cool’ to show how the media is undermining our society and how it is important for the kids to view with caution. If the parents aren’t telling these kids what they are viewing is not ‘cool’ or ‘normal’, then I have the opportunity to get them to think twice about it or at least start having them look at the shows through a different lense.

As for entertainment reflecting the sins of the world, I do not believe we must go to the extreme as it seems you are suggesting, EdWest, of only producing wholesome works. We did that in the 50s and that’s part of the reason for the whole cultural revolution of the 60s. People were living lives with domestic abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism and watching television shows which did not look anything like their own lives. It led them to believe they were different, less than normal, messed up, unworthy, etc.

What needs to happen is to produce works which show life as it really is, but with the proper moral lense. We can have books, music, films and shows showing gay couples, alcoholism, domestic violence and such, but instead of having the story present these things as ‘normal’ and ‘ok’, have them present them as ills to society, show the people around them supporting those characters in seeking and receiving help for their situations, show characters going to their pastors/priests/rabbis/therapists (and not having those characters come off as ignorant, biased, or messed up themselves).

I don’t know if any of you have heard about the new John Paul the Great Catholic University but their goal is to generate a new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and creators, and leaders into our society. “All faculty involved with the teaching of the Catholic faith will require a mandatum from the Bishop of San Diego.” Their majors are Communications Media, Business and Technology.

These people are on the right track and I encourage anyone here who know of high school seniors looking to get into entertainment media, entrepreneurial journalism, business of entertainment or publishign, digital media, computer science or engineering to consider applying to this University. The youth are our future and this university is trying to change our society for the better.

It’s relevant to point out here what brought about the so-called revolution of the late 1960s. As mentioned in the Bible, a thing is known by its fruits. I loved watching television in the 1960s. I knew the people on TV were actors but they were a lot like most of my neighbors. I would have liked to have most of them as friends if I met such characters in real life. To suggest that TV somehow made people who were living difficult lives feel isolated is like saying they allowed the TV to influence them severely. People with family problems went to their priest or doctor or to one of their neighbors looking for advice, counseling and treatment.

In 1960, the Birth Control Pill allowed people to think they could avoid pregnancy. Then in 1968, the Hippie movement went full blast.“Power to the People!” “Down with the Establishment (Church, school)!” “Don’t trust anyone over 30 (priests, parents, etc.)” “Free love! (sex with anyone)!”

The Catholic Church was heavily involved in monitoring what came out of Hollywood. This ended in 1970. Immediately, movies and more gradually television, fell into lock-step. Words and images that were strictly not allowed in the 1960s began to appear. It took about 30 years to get to Partial Nudity and Adult Language on NYPD Blue but that was always the goal. And every year, too many people either didn’t notice or said, “That’s not so bad.” Now we’re at a point where too many Christians are acting out (bearing fruit) things that are not Biblical, as if going to Church on Sunday is just something you do and once you’re out it’s back to imitating the world.

My brothers and sisters in Christ. The world is not interested in telling you to lead a holy life. It doesn’t want you to be moderate in anything. Eat here. Buy this. Wear this. Talk like this. Go to the bar or the casino or the track. Live it up! Spend lots of money on stuff you don’t need. Spend, spend, spend!! Often, often, often!!! And the TV is still the number one outlet to help you do the wrong thing. Do you really need to go to the hair/nail/tanning salon every week?

I’ve decided that living a moderate, holy (as best I can), contented life is bad for the economy but necessary for the soul.

God bless,
Ed

YinYangMom, thanks for the link. I sent the link to my daughter, who has a B.A. in Theater, is currently working as a production stage manager at a professional company, and is planning to return to grad school because she wants to teach in a college. Maybe she will take a look at eventually trying to join the faculty at this university. It looks excellent.

Christians provide the “salt” and “light” in the entertainment and media industries. We can’t withdraw from these industries. Instead, we need to permeate them and try to bring about the production of good media pieces that provoke thoughtful dialogue and that lead people to an examination of their souls and to a search for God and the Church.

I just want to mention that even though I have repeatedly touted the positive points of TV sports and sports stations, I do believe that it is possible for Christians to spend way too much time watching these sports to the point where they have essentially dropped out of life and are hurting their families and their faith.

Although we all joke about football widows, it really isn’t funny when a wife or husband is abandoned for hours and days and weeks at a stretch for the sake of a sport.

It also isn’t funny when someone neglects their spiritual life (reading the Scriptures, prayer, attending Church, fellowship with other Christians, study of good books, attending Church programs and concerts, etc.) for a television sport.

I am fortunate that both my husband and I love figure skating and football and we will often watch these sports together. It’s great fun for us.

When it comes to figure skating, our interest in TV skating led to an involvement with real-life skating. Both of my daughters grew up at the rink, and my husband skates several times a week and is a member of a synchronized skating team. My daughters both coach skating, too. And I love the sport so much that I have written two skating novels (both with a “Catholic” bent!) for young teens: jazzicals.com/

I just want to make sure that people realize that anything, even sports, done in excess is probably not a good thing! Moderation in all things.

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