Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Warning About Making Heroes Out of Celebrities

We need heroes. We long to look up to someone and say, "I want to follow in the footsteps of a great man or woman like that." To be able to see good examples of what it means to be fully alive and to live life for all it is worth, while still doing the right thing, helps to give us the courage and motivation to attempt it ourselves. This is why we are so quick to latch onto someone and make them into the next cultural hero. The problem is that every time we do this, we are latching onto a sinful person who could just as easily let us down in a single moment.

Think of Mel Gibson.

There is nothing wrong with looking up to others, but we have to be very cautious in who we look up to and we have to be careful of putting them on a pedestal that is too high for them to live up to.

We even do this with the Saints. A Saint is someone in whom the Church has found heroic virtue. This does not mean the didn't have personality flaws, moments of weakness, or that they didn't sin. Of course they did. But, we sanitize the lives of the Saints all too often, because it is easier to digest them without flaws. But, this isn't good for us to do. They are Saints because they overcame their flaws, through Christ's grace, not despite them.

So, with this very long disclaimer, I offer this video of a man who seems to be trying to live a life close to Christ, through his Catholic faith. Even though the public is watching his every move.


catholicreligionteacher said...

My only question is: What of the ultra-violent movies he's always in??

Seems to me like he probably has enough money to decline offers to film movies that might lead others to sin or, at the very least, continue to desensitize them to sins (whether that be violence, non-marital sex, or whatever).

Marcel said...

I believe he has declined a number of roles because of sex scenes. Violence I am not sure about.

I agree he could be much more prudent about it all though.

Hydra said...

My sister would agree with you, catholicreligionteacher, but I have a little different approach. (Disclaimer: I haven't seen a very large number of his movies, so much of this is based on hearsay.)
To me, his movies seem to show that strength and goodness can live even amidst weakness and evil.

Have you ever read any Dean Koontz books? Koontz puts into his books pretty much every kind of content problem that exists (drugs, sex, language, violence... you name it). But amidst all the messiness is a ray of hope - there are redeeming qualities in nearly all his characters, however flawed they may be.

Wahlberg's movies seem to be like that. They have warts, but those warts only make the beautiful parts that much more powerful.