Laughing at immorality


I’m writing to encourage my brothers and sisters to avoid television that promotes unGodly, unCatholic living, and that does not contain any virtue. I find I’m not laughing at “comedians” who talk about sex endlessly and use profanity constantly.

Television in particular is something that has gradually changed to poison the Body of Christ. A friend of mine commented that it was hard to notice unless someone pointed it out.

I encourage everyone to reexamine what they are watching and listening to. Sex and profanity appear in just about every source, from magazines to greeting cards.

God bless,

I’m writing to encourage my brothers and sisters to avoid television that promotes unGodly, unCatholic living, and that does not contain any virtue. I find I’m not laughing at “comedians” who talk about sex endlessly and use profanity constantly.

That’s about 98% of everything that is on TV. I’m with you completely. When I do turn on the tube, it’s the news or the Food Channel. Everything else turns my stomach.

I agree…except the news turns my stomach too.
But…I watch it.

Same with me…I always boycott such shows/movies. Needless to say, I don’t see many movies. :wink:

I agree, the News is more about celebrities and has gradually added more sexual content. I suggest picking one of the online news sources. That way you can skip past the celebrity news and read the actual news.

God bless,

IMO if you watch it and patronize its advertisers you approve it, you condone it, and you are part of peddling it to others, including kids.

Just be careful to correctly discern. And I hope that you are not condemning entertainment in general. Story-telling is ancient. Jesus Himself used story-telling to teach.

That’s what television is, story-telling. What Christians should do is watch those stories that teach them good things, that promote a God-centered viewpoint, that help them to draw closer to God, and to love their neighbor.

Such shows do exist. And sometimes shows that appear to be godless on a cursory viewing are actually very godly.

So you must discern.

Try watching “The Unit.”

It’s about the war and the special forces. From some of the previews, you might get the impressions that it’s just another violence/sex soap opera.

No! Discern!

I have never missed an episode.

Throughout the run of the show, religion and faith in God and desire for truth and personal and public morality is evident and visible.

It’s a tough, rough show, with plenty of sin among the characters. But sin is shown as evil, not good, and the characters pay terrible consequences for their personal sin.

One of the characters, Tom Ryan, was involved in an adulterous affair. Through the two seasons of the show’s run, various plotlines demonstrate how this affair ruined his life. It wasn’t called “a fling” or “a little fun on the side.” It was called adultery, and he is in big trouble over it, as is the woman that had the affair with him.

“The Unit” shows men in heroic roles, instead of making fun of them and sexualizing them. It also shows women in heroic roles as wives and mothers.

And it shows children as CHILDREN, not as little wise-cracking miniature adults.

The lead actor on the show, Dennis Haysbert, says that after they finish filming each episode, he is so emotionally drained that he has to spend several hours walking by himself to de-compress.

The lead actress on the show, Regina Taylor, had quit acting for play-writing. When she was given the pilot script and concept for this show and asked to star, she read it and immediately agreed to participate. She kept a blog for a while about the show and the people involved.

One of the actors, Robert Patrick, agreed to be in this show to honor his grandfather, who was a lieutentant colonel (Robert Patrick plays a LC in the show.). During an interview about “The Unit,” Robert Patrick started crying as he talked about paying tribute to his grandfather and our troops.

Max Martini, another actor, keeps a website and forum, and right now, on this website, there is a thread called “Memorial Day.” Many military people have posted on this forum, people who are serving RIGHT NOW. They claim that their entire platoon or division watches “The Unit” because it accurately portrays military life.

Many of the actors on this show have publically stated in various interviews their commitment to their spouses and children.

The producer of the show is Eric Haney, who himself was a member of the Delta force (the president’s anti-terrrorism unit) and the author of the book, Delta Force, the basis of the show “The Unit.”

Give it a try. You should probably watch Seasons One and Two if you are going to watch Season Three, as there was a cliffhanger season finale and all of us fans are chewing our nails wondering what will happen.

The only good on is EWTN and our local Catholic station. Occasionally other shows like 7th Heaven are worthwhile in their content but by and large there is a dearth of good shows.

Laughing at immorality is a grave sin. And you’ll go to hell for it! That’s why I hate watching TV shows with EWTN as the exception.

You’re not being serious, are you? :confused:

Watching people sin is giving scandal to others. Learn from the example Padre Pio, St. Faustina, Sister Lucia and so many others.

But sometimes even television can be profound and portray the truth. There was an episode of House a few months back where he was making all kinds of comments about the lack of human status for the unborn child. The story arc ended with him doing surgery on a pregnant woman and there was a camera shot of the teeny prenatal baby’s hand reaching through the incision and grasping the doctor’s fingers. He couldn’t deny it afterwards. The same type photo was a full-page spread in the Enquirer about a decade ago. I daresay shows and photos in media like that have the potential to change the hearts and minds of many thousands more people than those “already in the choir” who watch EWTN. Christ goes out and meets people where they are. We need to do that too, and elevate the common culture, not retreat behind the walls of our own Catholic media bastions.

I noticed your sig line: “Love God and do as you please.” What? Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” The will of God is what’s best for us. It allows us to live life more fully. The TV show called “House” is about a brilliant man who is also a drug addict. He treats others poorly and contemptuously. This type of program is a poor example of compassion. Although it may occasionally contain images that Christians can relate to, this character represents men who are caught up in themselves and live for earthly reasons, and things of the flesh.

What we do while living on earth will affect us and others for all eternity. To quote a billboard I noticed: “Life is short, eternity isn’t.” Our souls are valuable: Jesus said: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his eternal soul? Or what wil a man give in exchange for his soul.” Television was once a welcome guest in our homes, now it is filled with people who use profanity, trivialize sexuality and promote unGodly living. The Bible tells us to flee fornication, but it appears to be what a lot of TV shows center on. This is not good. I do not want pimps and prostitutes “entertaining” me in my living room. You’ll notice that most of the current hot button issues concern human sexuality: abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage, divorce and cohabitation, and television is, through its programming, seeking to make unGodly, unCatholic living seem “normal.” It’s not.

God bless,

I agree totally that some shows like the ‘unit’ example have messages of morality or something good underneith. I don’t condem all televison as being bad but instead realize choosing carefully what i watch is important. Most shows do have storylines or parts that are racy but alot of shows deal with how the choices affect peoples lifes badly. I look both at the individual values displayed and the overall combinded themes the show is projecting.

Watching people sin is giving scandal to others. Learn from the example Padre Pio, St. Faustina, Sister Lucia and so many others.

Generally I think I can agree with you here but I would like to point out that it’s not always so black and white. Not all movies and program that portray immorality and make fun of it actually do while condoning it. It might just be the other way. For example:

I would argue that this image really shows immoral behavior at the mass. It can be funny if you have a certain sense of humour but it’s in no way condoning this behavior. If a person laughs at it he won’t be giving scandal to others, I’m sure.

This was just an example and my point is that it’s not as clear as you seem to portray it. It depends what it the overall connotation of the “immoral message”, who you’re watching it with, to what extend it’s your fault that you’re laughing etc.

But the reason I posted this is not because you believe this but when you said “…you’ll go to hell for it”. This really sounds like you’re condemning almost everyone to hell. We don’t know who is going to hell but we know that even the criminal on the cross next to Jesus went the heaven.

Pax Domini!

I thought my sig line would be more familiar to people here. It’s from St. Augustine, I believe. “Love God and do as you please.” If you TRULY love God, then you will want to please Him. You will do what you please, because what pleases Him, pleases you as well.

Maybe I should change it? Goodness, I didn’t think it made me sound like a hedonist! :eek:


Alistair Crowley lived in England around the turn of the century and was called “the most wicked man alive.”

He was a worshipper of Satan, and he delved into the blackest of black magick. To this day, acolytes read his writings.

His motto was “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

I think that your motto sounds simliar to his. When I first noticed your motto, I thought of Crowley’s.

I realize that this is not your intention at all. But it’s simliar.

I don’t mean to pick on you. Sorry. :o

I’m talking namely about exploitation of violence. We have what we call necessary violence and unnecessary violence.

Cat, no offense taken. I’m sorry my sig line may have caused confusion. My daughter was just reading this and was talking about Alistair Crowley. She had heard of him from researching Padre Pio.

"Alistair Crowley lived in England around the turn of the century and was called "the most wicked man alive."

He was a worshipper of Satan, and he delved into the blackest of black magick. To this day, acolytes read his writings"

My daughter looked up bilocation on Wikipedia, and Crowley is the only human being besides St. Padre Pio documented to have ever bilocated. :eek: The implications of that are really frightening.

God only knows where this conversation will go now, but I’m happy to help it along! :smiley:

Liberano, no, please, let’s not continue any discussion of Crowley. He was very evil.

Let’s stick with the topic, please. :slight_smile:

My opinion is that there are television shows, movies, plays, novels, songs, works of art, etc. that depict immorality, but are still redemptive and worth viewing.

We need to discern whether the evil is portrayed as “evil” rather than as “good.”

Someone mentioned the tv show, “The Unit.” I’ve watched every episode of this show. Always, ALWAYS, evil is depicted as EVIL, and the terrible consequences of the evil acts are shown. My favorite actor is on the show, and he actually mentioned this in one of his interviews.

But on other shows, evil is presented as “good,” e.g., “Will and Grace” did not depict the practice of homosexuality as a grave evil," but as something “normal.” The implication was very strong that those of us who consider homosexual sex “sin” are perverted.

One of the shows that I found very unpleasant was “Everybody Loves Raymond,” because it depicted bickering between family members as “normal” rather than disturbing, unpeaceful, and unloving. My husband feels this way about a lot of the situation comedies–throughout the entire show, people are yelling and hurling insults and sarcastic remarks at each other. Often men are characterized as selfish baboons, while the women are clever and hard-working, and the children are portrayed as miniature wise-cracking adults.

To me, this is the kind of stuff that Christians would do well not to get too involved with.

My parents-in-law, bless their hearts, are getting older, and they watch a lot of those sitcoms. Interestingly, as they are aging, they are bickering more and more. It’s almost as though they are acting out what they see all the time on television. The only thing is, it isn’t FUNNY in real life.

I think that watching a show or two, or attending a play, that depicts “sin” can actually help Christians to have a more realistic understanding of the heart and mind of a sinner. I don’t know about you, but I’ve known the Lord from childhood, and I really don’t have any vices or habitual sins. I’m fortunate. So it’s easy for me to be judgemental or harsh toward “sinners.” But when I see a portrayal of a “sinner” on a good drama (tv, movie, novel, play, etc.) it helps me to get inside of their head and have more empathy and love for them, as well as showing me what I can do to help them. (Often, all I can do is pray.)

I want to qualify this by saying that we have to be extremely careful not to expose children to entertainment that isn’t age-appropriate. The show “The Unit” is excellent, highly-moral television, but it’s also about war, and the characters are sometimes involved in immoral situations, sometimes of their own choosing and sometimes not. It’s very good for teenagers and I believe would give opportunity for a lot of dialogue between parents and teens, but for children, it would be frightening and confusing. That doesn’t mean it should be avoided by adults, too. But it should watched after the kiddies are in bed asleep.

I’m currently working on a “Catholic” novel that has murders, thefts, deception, lies, and sacrilege. That’s the BAD guys! The novel has sex scenes between the married couples–not titillating, but I do hope that the copy will make married couples want to be with each other. The novel also has Catholic practices in almost every chapter; e.g., the Rosary, Mass, morning prayer, the Sign of the Cross, no swearing or using the Lord’s Name in vain by the main characters, history of various Catholic practices, saints and asking for intercession from the saints. It’s exciting stuff, very “plotty,” and I hope a Catholic publisher will be interested in picking it up. But I fear that this won’t happen because so many Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, somehow feel that they can’t read or watch anything that depicts “sin.” I’ve read some “Catholic novels.” The romance is so flat and boring and unrealistic, and in the attempt not to show ANY sin, they basically avoid any conflict, which means that there’s NO STORY. Yawn.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit