Wild, Wacky, Worship…REALLY???

its the solemnness of it 2

by Kenneth Justice

~ Each time I go to Washington D.C. I’m always amazed at the Lincoln Memorial. There is something larger than life about the massive stone Abe Lincoln that sits out and looks down upon the city; as though he sits in the seat of justice. Outside the memorial, on the steps leading up to it, people are loud and noisy….but a simple hush falls over the crowd as they move closer to the giant statue. In the side room of the memorial is the script for the Gettysburg Address; this adjacent room is even quieter and tourists seem to treat the room in an even more sacred manner as nearly everyone who enters silently read’s the entire speech.

I’ve often thought the feeling that sweeps over you as you’re near the Lincoln Memorial must be as close to the feeling that the ancient Greek’s experienced when they were on Mount Olympus gazing up at the various statues they created to represent their gods.

Don’t you find it strange that humans can create something which feels, almost….otherworldly?

I can still remember the first time I walked into a Cathedral in London, England and how intensely the feelings of sacredness and solemnity swept over me as I walked inside. Even though there were no services going on in the cathedral I found myself whispering; as though to speak out loud would somehow be disrespectful to all those visible…..and invisible.

Growing up in a Christian home I often thought the bible stories about adult men and women who carved little idols out of wood, stone, and precious metals….only to bow down and worship them seemed rather absurd.

“Why would any rational adult bow down to a golden calf or a bronze serpent that were made my human hands?” I would ask myself when I was younger.

It’s pretty nutty don’t you think? Stories of people in ancient times often make the people out to be like little children;

—) Romans worshipping a dude name Caesar and calling him a ‘god’

—) Egyptians worshipping the Sun

—)  Israelites worshiping a god whose box (the Ark of the Covenant; think Indiana Jones) they carry around with them through the desert

It’s not very hard to begin thinking that we people who live in the 21st century are far more intelligent than people of yesteryear. ‘Science’ has set our minds free and we are no longer trapped by the simpleton thoughts of savages and unsophisticated peoples…….Right???

OR, perhaps we’ve gotten it all wrong. Perhaps in the midst of all of our science and sophistication; we are no more intellectually advanced than people who worshipped the sun.

Think about it, in our day and age the overwhelming majority of Western Culture has propped up celebrities to such a degree that entire websites, magazines, television shows, and more are devoted to the singular task of letting us know what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast and what dress Kate Middleton is wearing to dinner.

If we are going to be honest with ourselves, did the Egyptians spend even 10% of the time we spend ‘worshipping celebrities’? I mean c’mon….we’ve got celebrity fandom and worship down to a science!

Of course, worship means, ‘reverence and adoration toward a deity’ and while you and I agree that Kim and Princess Kate are definitely not gods……have you ever seen the way people literally faint when they come into contact with these larger than life celebrities?

—-) Rock stars write auto-biographies about their sexual escapades with fans; fans who will do anything to get even a millisecond of time with the celebrity of their choice.

—-) Just last week a fan was sentenced to jail for trespassing on Kid Rock’s property, he was trying to get close to the singer he loved and was willing to risk his freedom to do so

—-) Remember the singer Bjork? She had one fan that was so in love with her that he was plotting to murder her so nobody else could be with her other than him

The list is endless…….celebrity worship has clearly gotten out of control.

Even with the field of science….one could argue that things are getting out of hand. People listen to the likes of Stephen Hawking as though he is some kind of god or oracle that sits and utters unquestionable truth. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the work that Hawking has done, but recently every time he gives a new speech or makes a new comment his words are treated more sacredly than the bible itself.

Hawking is human……he’s no closer to the ‘truth’ than you or I.

Kim Kardashian is human…..she is no prettier or important than you or I.

The place these people have in society is our fault. It’s the people who sit at home and waste their lives following the celebrity’s every moment that are feeding the machine. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We have nobody to condemn but those of us who have given our attention (dare I say ‘worship’) to people that have no business being worshipped.

I really need another coffee


Categories: Religion

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. Well said. In South India, you will find temples of famous movie actors!

  2. Make it black and dark roast.
    We do not need to be scientist to understand we lost the plot. Just that somehow we rather deny. i for one do not know what it is with celebs.and the whole idolizing thing. And Hawking is most likely to be more human to admit he doesn’t know everything. His work is just as questionable as everything else.
    Will we ever know the truth? No we will not, except the truth we found ourselves in our own time of living, and even that is questionable.
    About the church or cathedral. Even a none believer whispers. In respect for the ones who are praying. Thats me at least.

    • “We do not need to be scientist to understand we lost the plot. Just that somehow we rather deny”

      There is definitely a lot of denial going on in the world today. And it is so bizarre to me how much focus in Western culture is given towards celebrities.

    • Hold a dream in someones face and see how fast they forget the things that matter. All of a sudden the shoes thar Madonna is wearing are the bomb. Uggs so Ugh. but focus is diverted. a plottheoratical would say its croud control

  3. The same can be said about Superstar athletes…I’m a sports guy, but I don’t (worship) any one individual athlete. They are human and I reserve my worship for God.

  4. I believe the answer is the new word I learned from a blogger today..Weltschmertz In German it means “mental depression caused by comparison of the actual size of the world with an ideal state.” We are often disappointed in the human failings of our politicians (see Bill Clinton and blue dress) so we look back at the forefathers as if they were gods. Many find their own lives so dull they fantasize about being a princess. It is obvious what men in our society worship that is larger than actual size in women. Picturing you in the London Cathedral I can say I feel that every time I hold hands and say the Lord’s Prayer. It is an awe in what people can do together. Build a Cathedral to meet or join to help other people. Awe is good for us. It elevates.

    • “Many find their own lives so dull they fantasize about being a princess”

      this is a very important point. I remember when I was a little kid and seeing that TV show with Robin whats-his-name “Life Styles of the Rich and Famous”. it was one of the first shows I was ever exposed to that felt like it was designed to make me jealous of other people. Rather than make a television show that helps us be more thankful for what we have….too much of Hollywood is designed to make us unsatisfied with what we have.

  5. You’re right: we’ve gotten it all wrong! People bow to everything except God. 1 Corinthians 2:5 says that our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, BUT IN THE POWER OF GOD!

  6. After all we also call them actors and singers Idols, don’t we? In Acropolis they had a giant ivory and gold statue of Athenae- the protector of the city which has her name. Actually the Idols-statues were nothing more than 3 dimentional icons, just like the ones we have in the churches. It is the meaning and value people invest in them that is different.

    • Vassilis,

      “idols” is exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote the article…

      One of my great missed opportunities is not having visited the ancient greek ruins when I was in Europe….it is on my top 5 bucket list and hope to do it one day.

  7. The cult of fame for fame’s sake is certainly upon us.

  8. This post is totally awesome! I adored it!

  9. Most worshiped the sun and various idols for what they represented to them not the actual thing.

    No man could see God so they worshipped the things that He created. Go outside and pick up an acorn, study it, see the huge oak tree and all it’s ingredients packed in that small container. . . start down that path and pretty soon it will become an object of worship. . . .far more important to you than a book.

    Study the human body long enough and pretty soon the same thing will happen. Look into a mirror long enough and pretty soon you won’t need a statue or an American Idol on your alter.

    Start down that path and pretty soon you will realize that every thing bearing life of any kind, is the same thing. Once you realize that . . . you will not worship anything . . . you will worship everything.

  10. Thanks for liking my post.

  11. My computer won’t let me ‘like’ this…so consider this a sort of ‘like’. I could not agree more! Too often we put people on pedestals (or take them down) and stop listening to what they’re actually saying.
    That being said, it is absolutely true that some of the things and ideas humans create are amazing!

  12. You made some great comparisons here between idols of the past and the ones we have now. And it is OUR fault that these celebrities keep making money and continue to spew the things they do. Not ALL are bad, but do you ever notice how the celebs with the worst morals are the most popular? And don’t get me started on how we “worship” negativity…

  13. Does this apply to worshipping coffee?? Haha – sorry had to ask. As you know – I totally agree. I get so freakin’ tired of the celebrity crap – it’s not their fault, it’s ours. The only thing I’d add is that some of that stalking business is also mental health issues for some of those folks. That’s not quite the same thing (that doesn’t apply to all cases but for some it does). It’s interesting you mention the religious factor and you asking the question about why bow down to those items. I think it hilarious that we do that because is it not in the Bible stating that idolatry is not acceptable? I’m an out of practice Catholic but I remember thinking it was somewhere in there that idolatry is exactly what SHOULDN’T be happening, at least not in that sense. It may even be considered the first commandment about not having any strange Gods before God so… so much for that commandment haha. It is ridiculous that people behave that way. *shakes head*

    • we’ve all got to have our vices Jen 😉

      and you are spot on; idolatry is one of the top things in the bible…yet idol/celebrity worship is such a huge thing that occurs in our country…pretty weird

  14. I think we worship with money too. I mean we’ll give 10% at church and spend what probably equates to much more on entertainment, electronics, etc. We pay professional sports players millions and counselors or social workers for abused children pennies in comparison. We pay plastic surgeons (I recognize they do more worthy things than boobs, but work with me here) millions to stretch skin and plump bosoms and pay teachers much less. And … please hear me when I write that I’m not criticizing any particular religion here because I know many Catholics that are devout and more spiritually sound than other Christians … but with the gold that covers walls and statues in the Vatican City entire third world nations could be fed and helped. That’s my ten cents and I’m not sad I spent it.

  15. I often think I worship science, I know many people who do (some also worship a god) but the scientists that give the information are looked up to as religious ministers are, rather than as gods themselves (in my experience). It’s also my opinion that those who worshipped the sun also worshipped science, all energy on this planet does come from the sun. Whether god put the sun there to give us that is unknown to me but there are are parallels between the way religion and science is viewed. There is much that science has not explained but there is faith that it will. There is text that explains existence, how we came to be here and why the world works. Science is seen as an omnipresent all knowing force (though it’s not a force it’s self but a study of them) that people dedicate their lives to and there are those who worship it the point where they believe it is the only truth and those who believe in god(s) are wrong and need “saving”. I find this an interesting parallel to the beginnings of the major religions of the world.

  16. I suspect that it is a human impulse to worship. So much so that I doubt there are true atheists. Those who deny the existence of God end up creating one. People who don’t believe in anything will believe anything.

  17. So glad you visited my blog, so I could do the polite thing and visit your blog, and find you!! Love what you have to say about things!

  18. Hi, Kenneth 🙂 read your writing, as I dive into your thinking. Smart, critical, and deeply, so I had to read it with thought. It was so great and weighty. I pray that God’s grace is abundant on you.
    By the way, thank you so much for the liked my post. i really appreciated it 🙂 Blessed you, Kenneth

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