October 14, 2018
A phrase from the book of Proverbs often comes to mind: “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”
In our day, truth is fluid. I don’t speak of actual truth. I speak of people’s idea of truth. Everyone has their own, evidently. If such is the case, then truth does not exist. We are adrift with no sails and no rudder.
Before we delve into this story: a reminder. Every individual everywhere, no matter beliefs or practice, is a special creation designed by God and dearly loved by Him. This I need to keep in mind, as you do.
Recently This Hope, from Atlanta, gave a concert for our congregation. Before the concert, a couple of us were talking with them. They recounted an incident in an airport.
Their gear was laid out, which included musical instruments. They noticed another group, with even more gear and instruments. This elicited conversation with the leader of the group.
After finding out who they were and what they were doing, the lady waxed eloquent about her years-long-dream: to bring burlesque and striptease to the town of Juneau. The men could see her passion and excitement for it.
They looked again at the group of people with her. Dawning on them was the fact that these young men and women were the approximate age of their own adult children. This realization led to their disbelief and perplexity. The young adults were involved in a life they’d never want for their offspring.
We are swarmed these days with accusations and incidents of sexual misbehavior, molestation, and assault. Some accusations are false; others are true. The population supposedly is hypersensitive to this issue.
Yet here is a lady whose dream is to put young adults on stage to have people pay to be titillated. A “P” word could be used to describe this: sexual titillation for pay.
Burlesque started presumably relatively innocently. It featured outlandish extravagant costumes, over-sung songs, caricature of serious works, and ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The meaning is derived from an Italian word meaning a joke, ridicule, or mockery.
Satire is good. Satire has been around a long time. “Gulliver’s Travels” is satire.
Rachael Byrd, the organizer of this attempt to “add” something to Juneau culture, says there is comedy in the show. I guess if you can introduce funnies, the fact that young adults are showing skin to the audience is thus somehow sanctified. Hey, it’s humorous.
You might say those young adults have a job and are doing this willingly. It does not follow that they are not being exploited. Money will change hands. Moral sensibilities will be coarsened, to some degree. The result will be people watching folks undress, for all to see. It’s one of a 1000 cuts bleeding out shame in our culture, which is a God-given gift to help guide us in right paths. (This does not mean it cannot be used and held onto to destructive ends.)
All week I have pondered this. How can anyone decide, in the sexualized culture in which we live, and in which rampant selfish misuse of sex is decried, that such a mission is just what we all need? How can doing this be seen as an antidote to the rot in our culture?
Do some worldviews render an individual incapable of making logical conclusions and decisions about behavior?
This seems to me like holding a kegger for alcoholics. We live in a nation of sexaholics. Can some reader please tell me how this helps?
I am unable yet to come up with a pattern of logic that would lead Rachel Byrd, or others like her, to the conclusion such activity can help us be better people.
I think there’ll be something other than respect felt by the viewers, in relationship to the performers. “Take it off, because we like it! Har Har.”
This, in 2018. Surreal indeed. It is like some folks are unaware of their surroundings.
My personal hope is that it falls to dust, and that no young adult will go down the road of deepening coarseness and the sale of themselves for the leering masses.