Incredibly, and without our realizing it, an entire generation has lost it’s family values, traditions, and roots. Never before in history has an era existed in which everything was questioned, changed, or compromised. The family has become a democracy of individuals with no real direction other than the values society and culture dictate to it. How did a God-fearing nation turn away from His so quickly and lose its spirit of righteousness? Fifty years ago, abortion, murder, corruption, pornography, and the multitude of evils which plague our society today would never have been tolerated. Society would have revolted!
It was well calculated, planned, and cultivated over a period of time. TV was introduced and we enjoyed the antics of I Love Lucy, Brady Bunch, and the fine entertainment of Lawrence Welk. TV introduced a whole new world of new, exciting, and fascinating entertainment. America took the bait and we never saw the hook! We left our backyards, quit spending time with our families on our front porches and got busier and busier. Man became more reliant on himself and less reliant on God. When we quit praying, we became less holy. Because of our lack of virtue, we became more prone to sin. This lack of holiness was a breeding ground for the great sins of our society.
This is the challenge: TURN OFF THE TV!
The pictorial history of Television describes TV as a magical, electronic “modern wizardry”. The Church Fathers tell us that “The eyes are the windows of the soul.” If protected, innocence dwells; if exposed to the world, filth dwells. If the body is poisoned through the mouth, the heart is poisoned through the ear. Television is often used as a habitual way to ‘wind down the day’ and relax. Tragically, it is used to baby sit for our children and to keep our youth from making demands on our time. There are three areas in which this medium is used to destroy our American culture:
MATERIALISM, SEXUAL REVOLUTION, PRIDE
The unending and loud ads at commercial time (which is now nearly one-third of air time) pound into our sub-conscious our need for endless savory comfort or luxury items that promise happiness and health. We are programmed to believe we ‘deserve the best’, we ‘owe it to ourselves’! This is directly opposed to the Gospel, the life of Christ, the message of Our Lady at Fatima:
The entire sexual revolution has been launched by television and brought into the sacred confines of our home, imprinted on our minds, and is a constant torment to the natural piety and modesty of our souls. The American Heresy is planted firmly in both the young and the old: “I am #1, I will do it my own way, I gotta be me!” It is an entire philosophy of self-glorification, instant and complete, which has snuffed out the noble deeds of sacrificing oneself for the sake of one’s brethren.
Padre Pio was disturbed and disgusted by television. He realized that, in time, it would destroy family life and told everyone not to allow this devil into their homes, saying, “SIN ema: the devil is in it”! St. Cyprian said, “Theaters are a school of impurity and a place where modesty is prostituted”. St. John Crysostom stated in 347: “All should fly from theaters as from a plague”. Jesus Christ said, “Whoever allows adultery into his heart, commits the sin”. Doesn’t TV constantly put in front of its viewers innumerable accounts of infidelity and adultery, and are these not occasions of sin? A man is a fool to think that he can sit in front of this mire of impurity and not be affected by it.
American saint, Elizabeth Seton, had a vision which she could not drive from her mind. In the early 1800’s, she saw in “Every American home a BLACK BOX through which the devil would enter.” Pope Pius XII made a prophetic statement about TV back in the days of Ozzie and Harriet:
“Children can often avoid the transient attack of a disease outside their home, but cannot escape the disease when it resides in the home itself. It is wrong to introduce any occasion of sin, whatever, into the sanctuary of the home.”
We should replace the TV with an altar and get rid of our mountains of newspapers and magazines! These are the tools of propaganda the enemy uses to deceive even the elect. Listen to God! Never let a day go by without doing your spiritual reading and praying the Holy Rosary. The television, especially the commercials, is the most destructive thing that has ever been unleashed against the souls of mankind. The shepherd of the family is the father, not the TV!
The Medium is the Message
It is the TV that shapes the people. The greatest disaster of the 20th Century may well be “American Television”, a vast wasteland of blood, thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, lust, gangsters, cartoons, and endless commercials. Watching TV is a passive sport, which promotes loss of imagination, fantasy and day-dreaming. Soap operas and sitcoms entertain the heart with thoughts that are in constant violation of God’s precepts of holiness and purity. Their message reaches people of all walks, even those who cannot read. Television entrances people, and seduces them by its dictates while entertaining the tendency to sin. Television’s BLACK BOX is everywhere and its margins are nowhere. It is all-seeing, omniscient, all-pervasive, all-encompassing; television comforts us in our loneliness and is always there in our time of need, ministering and giving unceasingly, and this free of charge!
Abstinence from this medium gives us the ability to think more clearly and to discern more correctly. The family that gathers before this medium is mesmerized, and no one dares to interrupt the sound. Family and friends become fools sitting together in silence while the sound blares all around. There is a real sound of silence with no communication between loved ones. Silence, like a cancer, grows! It kills the social exchange between one human and another. This anti-human medium can make a can of soup dance across the table, giving life to that which is without life, while real life is diminished.
To allow our children to see a movie produced by people whose lives they believe are normal, but whose lifestyle Christianity teaches to be an abomination, makes about as much sense as letting our children play with rattlesnakes. Do I want the immoral to define for my children what family, home, or environment is? Television is a thief, stealing from us time that could be given to prayer, good works, and visiting the sick. In this late hour, when Satan firmly controls most of television media, our only recourse is to attack the instrument. When a gunman is at our door, poised to kill the family, we cannot address a letter to our congressman, nor are we even interested in attacking the instrument holding the gun, but we take our aim directly at the deadly weapon, in order to save our family. Our only recourse is to get the gun out of his hands. While we cannot say that TV breaks our free will, its enslavement comes as close as one can get without doing so, and that in itself is dangerous and a violence to the free will God has given man.
We accepted this “thing” without question. We quit praying and we were deceived. How can we expect to lead holy lives and possess spiritual wisdom without praying? We wake up to the TV, get out of the shower to it, get into the car with it, jog with it, eat with it, and are put to bed with it. We cannot escape it: public stores, bathrooms, restaurants, all resound with its message. What else has honored Satan and promoted his interests so much? What kind of beast could have authority over every language, let alone “nation” “people” and “race”?
Science has shown us that TV deceptively stamps an image on the right side of our brain while bypassing our logical, analytical left side. There are one-hundred-million-dollar companies guided by people who understand these powerful methods. They use them to sell products, and to influence the viewers politically. More and more, everything bought and sold is beginning to come under the control of this unseen force.
“In Wonderment, the Whole World Followed After the Beast!”
Our children are gifts from God. As parents, we have been entrusted with them and asked by God to lead them to holiness of life. Television interferes with our role as parents. The BLACK BOX is an eye and, through this medium, it will watch your children for you, making them docile and quiet. This is a very tempting thing for a parent who longs for a little quiet. Where are the children who gathered around the fire, listened to stories, helped with chores, and sat at table with mom and dad for the evening meal? What dealt the death-blow to the Family Rosary? The TV is the real, living, thief, stealing memories and joys while implanting its godless ideals. To keep it in your home is to harbor a burglar within the confines of your sacred dwelling.
Recently, when asked what is the greatest threat to Russia, a professor from Russia said: “TELEVISION! TV is a total waste of time, crushing creativity and destroying the youth in Russia. It leads to the destruction of respect, honor, and values. It is sadly sweeping through Russia, leading the youth to all kinds of fads that lack purpose and wisdom. Since TV entered our homes a short time ago, crime has drastically increased; divorce, which was unheard of among those who are Christians, is rapidly increasing, and families are breaking up… We survived Communism, but we will not survive TV!”
We might argue that some programs are still good. Still, it is important to note that Satan always packages things this way, presenting some good, which he hates, in order to be successful in bringing about much bad. Even if shows of merit are viewed, the time might have been better used for the greater good of prayer, works of charity, reading, or being with family. Life without television can only blossom if we fill that space of time with something wholesome. Sweeping our house clean leaves a vacuum for vice. This will take effort, sacrifice, love, and courage. Read aloud to the family lives of the saints, tell stories, share the special joys and challenges of your day, play games, visit shut-ins and take time to listen to your children and your spouse. Appreciate each other and cherish the presence of Christ in each family member.
Be vigilant, therefore, and hold fast to your faith! Take care to see that the numerous dangers and temptations by which you are surrounded do not darken the light of faith within your soul. Through constant vigilance that light of faith will shine with increasing brightness, guiding you and your family on your heavenward journey.