I'm sick of people bashing TV

Before you all think I love watching television, here’s a news flash: My place doesn’t even have cable.

And whenever I go into a house that does (in my case, it’s usually my aunts’), half the time I see people watching shows I either really don’t care for (e.g. American Idol, The Amazing Race) or actually despise (e.g. Spongebob Squarepants, Family Guy, the many stupid Spanish and Filipino soap dramas that my poor, 80-year-old grandmother watches).

So why am I suddenly defending television?

It’s simple. It’s because I don’t lump the tens and hundreds of other television programs found all over the world into a simple-minded category. I should know. I may not technically have cable but thanks to the internet, I’ve seen episodes of shows from three different countries (US, Philippines, and Japan).

Just because I see some (or even a LOT) of shows I don’t like, doesn’t meant it’s a reason for me to jump on the “OMG!!! TV is a tool of Satan!” bandwagon.

Is anyone else tired of this trend among Christians? I don’t know. Maybe this might all be because I’m part of the minority of CAF who is from a different country, but I really can’t understand this tendency to generalize tv programming.

In fact, do people even realize that the device itself is just a part of the whole thing? I wonder if folks would understand once they try living with a TV that doesn’t have cable yet still manages to get itself used regularly via local news, movie/karaoke night, and of course video games.

Speaking of which, let’s try the reverse. What difference does the noble, pious act of getting rid of the TV make… when you watch the same shows on your computer? Seriously what’s the difference? At best, all you’ve done is get rid of commercials and given yourself an easier time selecting whatever it is you wanna watch. I actually hear there’s this new thing called internet TV now where techno giants are making units that connect directly to the internet.

Now that I think about it, can these people even define the “TV” they speak of when they get on their religious soap box? If you ask me, it sounds pretty inconsistent with reality.

To finish my rant, I’m going to try and lighten things up and invite those who sympathize with me to cite television programs/channels that they DO like. These can range from series, cartoons, and reality shows, to talk shows, news networks, and movie channels. In fact, you can even put shows that are not even there anymore (I myself, despite my young age, love watching The Three Stooges. :p).

I like the series One tree hill

and watching Sports like Aussie rules football,Grandslam tennis,English soccer

And David Jeremiah on the Christian channel:p

Ehh. I can see both sides of this issue having something worthwhile to say.

My opinion of the general trend of saying “x is a tool of satan” is that this statement is as useless as it is obvious. Satan’s a spirit. He can and does employ everything material as tools. However, I don’t think it’s good to get in the habit of fearing Satan or of trying to outsmart him by figuring out all his plans. But that’s only a minor point.

As for lumping all television programs into a single category, this is partly justified and partly unjustified. All television programs DO fall into a single category, after all: the category of television programs. Now, in regards to leading any given individual away from holiness, a given television program might do so by virtue of its content (for example, Family Guy). In regard to content, every television program is indeed different from every other, so to say that all television programs have content which leads people away from holiness is an unjustified over-generalization.

However, a television program might lead someone away from holiness, not by virtue of its content, but by virtue of the medium itself, i.e. the very fact that it is a television program. Since television as a medium is neither intrinsically good nor intrinsically bad, it follows that the reason why a given person would be led away from holiness by even non-sinful TV shows must lie within that person themselves. To illustrate: suppose I am watching EWTN. However, I’m allowing myself to get so caught up in the act of watching EWTN, and in the sensations it provides me that I allow myself to watch it too much, and through laziness I neglect to take care of some more important matter, like paying full attention to a friend or responding to an email in a timely manner. It should be clear, here, that it’s not the content of the show I was watching which kept me from doing the right thing, but the manner in which I was utilizing the medium. Further, I would have probably done exactly the same thing no matter what I was watching, as long as it was on TV.

It seems to me, then, that when people claim television in general is bad, they really mean that the medium has a tendency to tempt people toward some particular sins; or rather, since television itself is morally neutral, that most people are the types of people who are easily tempted by television to commit these sins; and that therefore, to avoid television is a good rule in general.

Obviously, some people take this conclusion too far and try to convince everyone to give up television lest they be lured away from holiness by the wiles of the Evil One. This seems to me to be a position born from fear and based in fear, which derives all its persuasive power from fear. As such, I think it is to be rejected.

Television is a medium and a tool. Nothing more.

Condemning ‘television’ is like condemning books, movies, paintings.

Yes, there’s a LOT of trash on TV, but there are still (ever-diminishing, true) some decent programs on.

My problem has nothing to do with that whole “tool of Satan” thing. It’s because I think the Internet has caused TV to get desperate. Since we can watch TV and movies on our computers, TV has to do something, anything, to get an audience. It’s sad.

I mostly agree with everything you said but keep in mind that lack of moderation can be bad regardless of what it is a person fails to moderate. I wouldn’t say most people are prone to be TV addicts. In fact, I’d go further and say that not being a TV addict doesn’t necessarily mean you’re better than those who are. There’s always the strong possibility of another addiction/vice.

You know what, I would actually love to turn the statement "television is of teh deeeebil’ to simply ‘television is getting outdated’. I myself spend more time watching my fave shows online than on TV (cable or not).

Essentially though, there’s really no difference between watching something on a TV and watching it on a computer. You’re still watching and that is NOT necessarily a bad thing.

We don’t have television hooked up at our house and it’s literally been about 10 years since I’ve watched a TV show. But I have recently started working out at a gym where the TVs are on all the time and I confess I do get tired of the sexual innuendo and provocation in the commercials, even during the morning news segment, let alone later on in the day. I’ll stick with the DVD player, where I can pick exactly what I want my family to watch.

A tv is on a lot at our house. A lot of time it is just background noise. I wake up to the Today show to get news. I am not going to discuss summer viewing because that is not typical so I will say what goes on during the school year.

If there is a professional hockey game on, my son will watch it. Otherwise, they like to watch the history channel, Discover, Animal Planet, A and E, NatGeoWild, Spike, and the Food Network. I always fall asleep to TruTv programming.

My son always works on homework while the TV is on. So he sits on the couch surrounded by his books, laptop on his lap, and remote within reach!

One thought I didn’t see here is that tv is a reflection of our society. Do you think that is true? Or do you think it is a caricature of our society?

I do hope you’re referring to the post-season 3 material.

The old episodes are my favorite things on TV :slight_smile:

I’m not a fan of the TV - although I used to have it on all the time. My problem is not that I view the TV as evil, just boring. I don’t play video games anymore (I, during middle school, would have the TV on, a video game in my hand, and a book on my lap). My problem with the television is that it has become boring - same with video games. The Internet is heading in the same direction.

I would not be surprised if, at the rate my depreciation of the mass entertainment media is going, that I will have dropped out of this forum by sheer boredom within a few months.

So, no, TV is not evil. I dislike it, but only because it is boring. My folks recently got Netflix, which was entertaining for a week, but lost its glitter soon after. It’s odd how things change.

English soccer, eh? You’re obviously a man of taste and discernment :wink:

And if you like Aussie footie, you might want to catch some Gaelic footie if you can. :thumbsup:

Forgot about Tosh.0 and the Colbert show. Can’t miss those!

Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad also get watched at our house.

It’s both a reflection and a Pied Piper. Therefore, to abandon it into enemy hands (“I don’t have a TV so I don’t care!”) is a bit selfish.

You’re a better person than me, Catholic90. I can’t watch shows like Family Guy, Simpsons, American Dad, etc., etc. anymore. I used to before my conversion, but not anymore. Just totally filthy-minded shows (ESPECIALLY Family Guy). VERY mean-spirited and unfair, too (again, ESPECIALLY Family Guy).

Tosh.0 I watch occassionally, and he CAN be funny. But he can also be very left-leaning and very mean too. Too sexually explicit as well.
I do not watch Colbert. Do not like his politics. Just like I do not watch Jon Stewart or listen to Glenn Beck, Rush or Michael Savage. Don’t like their politics AND their personalities.
Maybe you can detach your Catholic morals from your enjoyment of these shows, but I can’t. Like I said, you’re a better man than I am. :thumbsup::o:shrug:

Well, I don’t get my morals from TV. I watch it purely for entertainment. Those shows often point out absurdities in the world, and I get a kick out of that. I like how Tosh.0 finds videos people have posted on YouTube and gives them their “15 minutes of fame”. Let’s face it…most of the videos are of people doing dumb stuff! If they did not want it broadcast, they 1) should not have video taped it and 2) should not have done it (in the case of stunts and so forth). I like Colbert. He is a Catholic. I enjoy his patriotism and his guests. I do not listen to Beck, Rush, or Savage, so I can’t comment on those. I have watched Jon Stewart once in a while, but not regularly.

Hah, I too am sick of people bashing TV. I’m also sick of people bashing shorts and bikinis.

Whatever. Can’t please everyone.


How can you call him a better person than you? I agree, Family Guy is disgusting, totally.

But I do like to tune into the news when I get home from work, and watch some mindless TV sometimes, such as Jeopardy, the Simpsons, Enertainment tonight. Don’t get me wrong, usually I try to watch uplifting things, but sometimes when I’m just tired and don’t want to think too much before hitting the sack, I prefer some silly drivel. Wish there were more good comedies and mystery shows though.

You despise Spongebob!? :eek::eek::eek: But yeah, TV is not evil, the Pope said TV is ok…

Pope Pius XI, Vigilanti cura (#18), June 29, 1936: “The power of the cinema is due to the fact that it speaks through the medium of living images, which are assimilated with delight and without difficulty, even by those who are untrained and uneducated, and who would be incapable or unwilling to make the efforts of induction or deduction necessary in reasoning. For to read, or to listen to another reading aloud demands a certain concentration and mental effort; an effort which in the cinema is replaced by the delight of a continuous stream of living images presented to the eyes….These theatres, being like the school of life itself, have a greater influence in inciting men to virtue or vice than abstract reasoning.”

Its a cesspool.

TV commercials teach young men that the reason to desire a close shave is so that you can get laid by a woman in a dress two sizes too small. America’s Funniest Home Video’s features at least one joke about penis size in every episode. Disney features endless shows about pubescent boys and girls with absolutely no interests in life other than “Crushing” on each other and kissing. TV commercials portray men as stupid oafs who can’t light a barbeque grill without blowing up the house. The main character played by George Lopez on his show on Nickelodean spends half the show insulting his daughter and talking about boob size.

Married with Children? Seriously? Is that the portrayal of sacramental marriage based on self-sacrificing trinitarian love that any Catholic wants in their home? The sheer amount of sex outside of marriage on primetime TV is astounding.


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