Fox showA nonprofit organization is targeting the upcoming Fox show “Lucifer.” The usual suspects in the media responded by mocking the faith-based organization, and guys like me just thought “God bless America! Everyone gets to say their peace and we generally do a good job of not coming to blows in the process.” However, I can’t help but wonder why organizations like One Million Moms focus on a single digital brick in the false idol that is technology. Few people seem to be paying attention to the bigger picture.

The One Million Moms website describes its petition as follows:

The series will focus on Lucifer portrayed as a good guy, “who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell.” He resigns his throne, abandons his kingdom and retires to Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.

At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld.

Previews of the pilot episode depict graphic acts of violence, a nightclub featuring scantily-clad women and a demon.

How many of those moms obsess over their Facebook feeds? How many of those mom’s have their eyes fixated on cell phones throughout the day? How many of their kids spend hours with their eyes glued on glowing boxes that stream video games, movies, and One Million Moms-approved television shows? The answer in each case is probably “too many.”

Fox’s “Lucifer” is a single show that will actually prompt children to start Googling questions about Christianity, demons, angels, God, Jesus and an assortment of other faith-based subjects. Perhaps I’m wrong, but my guess is that the devil probably doesn’t want young children using Fox television shows as a springboard to an introduction with Jesus Christ. Does God not possess the power to turn any evil into a greater good? Of course he does.

It seems much more likely that the bigger threat to the spiritual well-being of our culture is the cumulative effect of technology that a.) seemingly satisfies every need, b.) encourages narcissism so as to essentially render humility obsolete, and c.) cultivates pride and envy.

The false idol of technology, which seemingly caters to every want and desire, gives birth to the false idol of self (or should we say “selfie”?). The devil doesn’t want individuals thinking about his nature because it is almost impossible to do so without thinking about the nature of Christ. The devil does not want a man to know he is being tempted because knowledge of temptation presents the opportunity to display virtue.

One Million Moms may have their hearts in the right place, but their heads should be more focused the spiritual Trojan Horse before them. The Red Hot Chili Peppers (a band that probably isn’t on One Million Moms’ playlist) had much better advice in 2002 when they sang “Throw away your television.”

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

24 comments

  1. It’s not the TV that’s the problem, it’s the crud the media puts on it. It’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s how some people decide to use it.

    I think this show sounds like a pile of stinking sacrilegious crap. However, for me the six million dollar question is:

    Would One Million Moms or any other activist group be complaining about it if this very same show with the very same content was broadcast by the likes of NBC?

    I don’t think so.

    They’d probably hail it as “educational” and as “encouraging kids to think for themselves and question their ‘backward/limited’ Christian views.”

    I personally dislike fictionalizing Bible entities, and believe firmly in the saying “Make no time for the Devil” so, I never write fictionalized and cheapened versions of any Biblical personality and don’t write the Devil as a character in any of my fiction.

    Once, I was on an rpg/writing list where there was so much of that crud going on. One rpger even rp-ed God.

    Uh, no… Not cool…! It’s fine to have mentions of God in fiction, of course, characters may certainly be Christian, I’m all for that. But making a fictionalized version of God, Satan, or the angels and demons. Not so much. To fictionalize God is IMO, very irreverent. To fictionalize Satan is playing with fire by giving Satan too much of one’s time.

  2. I really have no plans to watch the show, not being a fan of Neil Gaiman (who created the DC version of Lucifer). For reasons that go beyond my being a Lutheran, the idea of Satan as a protagonist doesn’t sit well with me. I did like Paradise Lost by John Milton, though. But I don’t want to see the show banned.

    I can see what you’re saying about technology, though.

    1. Look, if it weren’t for technology, I’d still be stuck having to rely on other people to read and write for me.

      I get so sick of people whinging about how bad technology supposedly is.

      It is not.

      It is absolutely wonderful if your eyes don’t work and you can’t read or write the printed word. Getting on the internet, being able to use a screen-reader that speaks text audibly, and when I don’t want anyone else hearing what I’m reading or typing, I plug in another bit of tech called headphones.

      More to the point, without technology, this blog wouldn’t exist.

      People have been doing a heck of a lot of damage with idol worship and various forms of abuse back when they were still just carving out stone and using fire to cast metal.

    2. I never said technology was a bad thing; this post is about the false idol of technology. There’s a very distinct, but important, difference between the two. If you’re boiling this blog post down to “technology is bad,” then you’ve completely missed the point.

    3. It’s not my job to “enlighten” you. If you can’t see how science and technology can be turned into a false idol, then there’s not much I can do to help you. If you objectively step back and look at the comments you have left since you first began reading this blog, then you will see evidence of a woman who is unnecessarily combative. I have no desire to debate someone whose mind is already made up.

    4. Uh, did I say I wanted your “help”?

      No, it’s not the technology that gets turned into a false idol, it could be the means to commit idol-worship, but it in and of itself is only a tool.

      “Combative” eh?

      Think what you like.

      But in my experience, I have come across too many people complaining about technology and blaming it directly and indirectly for some societal problem or other.

      And I’m out of patience with it.

    5. You’re the one who said “enlighten” me. Don’t ask someone to “enlighten” you, and then say something along the lines of “I didn’t want your help” when you don’t like the response.

      “Combative” eh? Think what you like.

      Yes, I will think what I like. I’m not sure if you’re getting it — if the moderator of a blog tells you that you are combative, then it’s not a good idea to just brush him off with “Think what you like.”

      If you continue to be combative, then you will be banned. I will first ban you from individual blog posts, and if that doesn’t work then I will ban you for “x” amount of time.

      Regular readers will tell you that brushing me off is a losing proposition. “Emmanuel” and “Lizard19” found out the hard way. Now is the time to practice humility. I will not warn you again.

    6. Note to regular readers: Misscapri said that she didn’t care if I banned her. Given the tone of her reply, I will skip banning her from a single post and move ahead to something more appropriate: She is now banned for three months.

      Perhaps we will see Misscapri September 10, 2015. Or not. The choice is hers. If she returns, then I hope she uses the time to reflect on her behavior and make the adjustments necessary to comment here.

      I find it incredibly telling that in the same post where I said that the road to turning technology into an idol involves the loss of humility, a woman appeared who a.) denied that such idol worship was possible, and then b.) willingly chose to ignore my call to humility when she was on the precipice of being banned.

    7. Your sentiment is why I am generally not a fan of “Suicide Squad,” and don’t have much interest in seeing the film. I may see it just to write a review. It may be worth it to discuss the entertainment industry’s desire to turn villains into anti-heroes and then ultimately “heroes.”

      Another point with this blog post is it’s incredibly easy to point to a show like “Lucifer” and say, “Be careful,” but it’s much harder to look in the mirror and say, “Okay, where is the spiritual Trojan Horse in my own life? What are my false idols? Where do I fall short of the glory of God?” We don’t want to have those conversations because when we do we may be forced to deal with some unsettling truths about the lives we’ve led for days, months, years or possibly even decades.

    8. I get you completely on the first part of that explanation. There is definitely a trend out there where people are trying to turn villains into anti-heroes, even victims, and heroes. Besides the whole sacrilegiousness of this particular film, that’s what I think it’s doing. Not too far off from what Dan Slott has done with Spider Man.

      But I don’t get this whole idolatry thing. As Christians, we do not commit idolitry, period. If this is just a case of people being too glued to the set, I’d call that more of an addiction.

    9. It appears as though you have a very narrow definition of what constitutes idol worship. A man does not become obsessed with, say, technology without first planting the seeds of idol worship in his mind. One might argue that obsession is often times the fruit of false idols.

    10. Right, I’ve no desire to see Suicide Squad, either. I’m not fond of turning villains into “heroes.” They’re villains for a reason.

    1. Yeah, there are a lot of Christians who are okay with it. Though, you have a point about it being done well, and that’s the rub. IMO, so much of it is not. I’m fine with dramatizations of the Bible stories themselves, just not with straying away from the essence of the character or making up something completely fake/conjected.

      Even that “Ten Commandments” movie, which was mostly pretty good IMO, threw in this lame subplot where the pharaoh queen had the hots for Moses and was jealous of his wife. I thought that sucked. Otherwise, the movie pretty much stuck to the story as told in the Bible, fleshing it out with the dramatizations to show what daily life might’ve been like back then in that society.

      There was another movie on some TV station a few months ago that really ended up botching things Imo. It had Dinah as the main character, and turned her into something of a feminist, plus, it absolved her molester and turned him into her love interest, being killed by Jacob’s own cribe in cold blood. It completely ran off the rails after that point with having her widowed and pregnant, and then some nobility taking her baby away at birth. That’s when I turned it off and was glad this was not in a movie theater where I’d be wanting my money back. But I felt like I’d just wasted about an hour and a half of my life. :p

  3. Oh, amen to this post! You have touched on my pet peeve. I don’t mean to be unkind to the million mom marchers, but how blind can you be? It’s a bit like the women in my area who want to get rid of Magic cards because of the alleged occult references. Like hello, we have one of the largest gatherings of actual avowed satanists in our area, not to mention a booming heroin trade. Western civilization is about to go over a cliff and you’re seriously concerned about Magic cards??

    As to technology, even though I use it myself, I think there are huge dangers there, consequences that we have yet to recognize. One of my main concerns at the moment is the vulnerablity of our personal data, the ease hackers have, our digitalized monetary system, internet social engineering, psy/ops……okay you get the point. We’re perched on the edge of disaster here and it’s not a question of “if”, but “when.”

    1. I actually debated doing a blog post on Google’s Ray Kurzweil, who says that humans will be hybrids by 2030. For anyone who believes in the devil, I ask them to think about the implications of what Mr. Kurzweil says.

      When I was young there were plenty of kids who played Magic. They ended up just fine. I liked reading stories about knights and wizards, etc. My Catholic faith survives to this day. Weird! 🙂

      It was rather strange to see someone in the comments section imply that I have a thing against technology in general. That would be like saying I don’t like food because I acknowledge that gluttony is real.

      Does anyone deny that certain well-known atheists have made science and technology their idol? I don’t know how anyone can deny that. Most of us have encountered someone who believes that on a long enough time line science can explain … everything.

      If we’re all just a bunch of atoms and molecules, and all movement in the universe can be measured, then science can theoretically tell us exactly what Person X will say ten years from now. Free will is an illusion. We’re all just sentient bags of water oddly taking selfies to chronicle our sentience for future bags of water to admire.

  4. Update: Emannuel (aka Vunderguy, aka PersonIsPerson) decided to weigh in because he wasn’t happy I referenced his earlier bans. Apparently I used to idolize Paul Ryan. Did regular readers know that? I didn’t. Maybe someone can find the old shrine to Paul Ryan here on this blog. Or not, because one doesn’t exist. They will, however, get a few blog posts of me saying that he is spot-on about the need for America to get its debt problem under control.

    Emanuel (aka Vunderguy, aka PersonisPerson) also went on another weird rant linking gay people to the start of World War II and his need to own a shotgun to protect himself from said group in the middle of the night. Telling.

    I tried to be nice with you, Emanuel (aka Vunderguy, aka PersonIsPerson). Every time I let you come back, you find a way to prove you have learned absolutely nothing about tact, grace, and humility.

    Emmaneul (aka Vunderguy, aka PersonIsPerson), you are banned for one year. Maybe we’ll see you June 12, 2016. Or not.

    MissCapri has her own blog. If you have no plans on growing up, then I think you should stop in and become a regular reader of her work. You’re currently two “PersonIsPersons in a pod.”

    1. God, Vunderguy/Emmannuel keeps cooking his own goose, doesn’t he? Mr. “You’re sexist because Wonder Woman’s origin will be altered in the movies” has some really serious issues. He’s unnecessarily combative and argumentative. Don’t even get me started about those off-topic comments and hypothetical questions. I wasn’t even aware that he was banned again until I saw this post. You’ve had a lot more patience with him than I would.

      Well, the year-long ban should give him plenty of time to eat his vegetables while trolling the blogs of Vox Day and John C. Wright and maybe finding a mentor. And yeah, he apparently trolls them both on a semi-regular basis, asking stupid questions.

    2. “Well, the year-long ban should give him plenty of time to eat his vegetables while trolling the blogs of Vox Day and John C. Wright and maybe finding a mentor.”

      That comment had me laughing out loud. 🙂

      Context for readers who aren’t in the know: Emmanuel (aka Vunderguy, aka PersonIsPerson) said he was looking for a mentor and asked me if he should eat his vegetables.

      This guy goes on another blog, tells people that I’m his friend, and then every chance he gets to take shots at me he does. Why? Because I don’t put up with weird comments about how gay people are responsible for World War II, or his attempts to side-track the conversation.

      Both Emmanuel and MissCapri have both used their bans to liken me to Dan Slott, which I think is incredibly amusing. (Emmanuel made his comment long ago.)

      I try very hard not to go for personal attacks. I give warnings when people act out of line. When I ban people, I give them a shot at redemption. I don’t hold grudges and allow the slate to be wiped clean. That is quite different than Marvel’s current writer of ASM. It’s like they have nothing to say, so they just lash out with whatever they think might upset me. Bravo.

      I honestly hope that Emmanuel grows up. One day I hope he can objectively look back at his past online behavior and realize just how much patience myself (and readers like you, Carl) had with him. I don’t want abrasive personalities around here. I’m quite happy interacting with guys like Carl, Zariussi, Hube, Patrick, etc. I’m done going the extra mile with angry young men and women like Emannuel and MissCapri. I’ll give a warning or two, and that’s it.

    3. “That comment had me laughing out loud. :)”

      Glad you thought it was funny. Ha.

      “This guy goes on another blog, tells people that I’m his friend, and then every chance he gets to take shots at me he does. Why? Because I don’t put up with weird comments about how gay people are responsible for World War II, or his attempts to side-track the conversation.”

      Didn’t he do that prior to his first ban? I seem to remember him trying to post something about that, over a year ago. I could be wrong, though.

      I just don’t understand why the kid’s so abrasive and takes potshots at people who would otherwise agree with him. He can’t disagree like an adult and move on.. I remember how he wanted to collaborate with me on a writing project, even though I don’t know him and prefer to work alone, and then turns around and insults me when I express different opinions about various things (Thor: The Dark World, Wonder Woman, etc.) and tells me I have “no right to complain about the state of the comic book industry, because you probably don’t have a script written or NUTHIN'” because apparently not having something published negates my opinion. Or something like that. Insane troll logic right there.

      Here’s an example of a brief exchange I had with Emmanuel over a year ago:

      http://fourcolormedmon.blogspot.com/2014/05/jim-starlin-and-marvels-reunion-may-be.html

      Tell me what in my comment warranted that kind of sarcastic response from him, because I don’t see it.

      “I’m done going the extra mile with angry young men and women like Emannuel and MissCapri. I’ll give a warning or two, and that’s it.”

      MissCapri was out of line, too. I understand what you were saying about technology, but she didn’t and decided to get herself banned after brushing you off. And from seeing her other comments here, she’s definitely an unnecessarily combative woman.

    4. That wasn’t the first time he linked gay people to the start of World War II. I think I changed the subject rather quickly and said I wasn’t going to entertain that conversation. I really don’t get what his problem is. Most people would look at the back and forth that goes on with you, Nate Winchester, Patrick, Hube, InsanityBytes, Truthwillwin1, Zariussi, etc. and see that for the most part everyone is pretty relaxed. When we do have disagreements, we don’t take cheap shots.

      I knew MissCapri was going to have problems. Any time I see giant responses filled with exclamation points, the red flags go up. It’s like, “Who are you screaming at?” Also, anyone who ends their comments on occasion with “Over and Out” also sends up red flag. Heh. (Besides, saying “over and out” makes no sense. You would never say that in the military. That’s like saying “I’m ready and waiting for further instructions, but don’t talk to me.”

      The other day I mentioned abortion and then she said not to talk about the subject. Newsflash, MissCapri: it’s my blog. I’ll talk about anything I want.

      If she would have just walked away, then she would have been fine. But when someone like her says that she doesn’t care if I ban her, then she’s gone.

      I would never show up to her blog and start telling her what to talk about. I would never show up to her blog and brush her off if she said I wasn’t conducting myself in accordance with her etiquette guidelines. If someone doesn’t respect the moderator, then I know for darn sure they’re not going to respect my regular readers. I need to take care of that right away.

      Do these people really think a former infantry guy will care about putting a verbal boot up a troll’s butt? I think not.

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