Theology and Politics As Seen On TV

Theology and Politics As Seen On TV December 18, 2016


I have the most brilliant internet friends.

The other day, for example, my friend had a brilliant idea which I think will make our political discourse just that much more tolerable in the coming years.

I’ll let Ksenia tell you about it in her own words:

Proposal: draw attention to the ridiculousness of TV personalities trying to take on serious jobs for which they have no experience or qualifications by referring to them as “TV’s [whoever]” as in “TV’s Frank.” So for instance, “can you even believe that TV’s Jesse Ventura was actually elected as the governor of a supposedly stodgy and grounded Lutheran state in the upper midwest?”

Pure genius. I’m going to implement this right away. I was tired of calling the president-elect “Manitos Cheetos” anyway; from now on, he’ll be “TV’s Donald Trump.” Or, “Be-wigged Reality Television Personality and Amateur Politician Donald Trump.” I’m feeling better already.

I’ll even extend and modify the idea to apply to other personalities I’m supposed to take seriously, not because of any merits the person themselves may or may not have, but “because I saw them on EWTN.” This happens quite a bit. I’m often expected to revere TV’s Mother Angelica more than any canonized saint and take her personal opinions as dogma. I was once told I had to “prepare to be humbled” when I was shown a list of books that TV’s Father Mitch had penned. When I expressed that I’d rather study John of the Cross than familiarize myself with the Ouvre of TV’s Father Mitch, I was ridiculed.

NB this is no reflection on Father Mitch himself or on his qualifications to teach. His writings are probably quite good and I’m excited that he’s bi-ritual. This is merely a reflection on how tired I am of being expected to take anyone as an authority, in theology or politics or anything else, merely because they appeared on your favorite television channel. And I don’t care if that channel is Fox, EWTN or the Cartoon Network. The phrase “As Seen On TV” should not strike the ear as a ringing political or theological endorsement; it should call to mind products like these:

I actually do want a Perfect Meat Loaf pan, by the way.

And yes, before you ask: a certain sacrilegious political shill of a priest will hereinafter be referred to as “TV’s Frank.”

(image via Pixabay)


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