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