"When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there for a day without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland."--Newton N. Minow, FCC Chairman, Speech given May 9, 1961
Mr. Minow's observation 54 years ago that TV was a "vast wasteland" seems like an understatement in retrospect. "Trash TV" is about all that is aired these days, and we're paying the price as a society. I don't sleep well at night thinking that a generation of Maury Povich-watching idiots are sitting on juries, teaching children, and getting elected to public office. I can't help but wince when I hear the vapid nonsense spoken by most young girls these days, but what can we expect when their role models are "The Housewives of (Fill-In-The-Blank)?" Whether it's Atlanta, New York, Beverly Hills, or wherever, these "reality shows" are all the same---self-centered, narcissistic, irreligious women obsess over their looks, money, and next sexual exploit. The only time you hear the name of Jesus Christ is when they use it in vain.
Now, this may actually start looking benevolent compared to what's coming. Fox Television is getting ready to air a new television show called Lucifer, which actually portrays Satan as a good and helpful being. We are told “the TV series centers on Lucifer who, bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.” (See http://deadline.com/2015/02/lucifer-pilot-order-len-wiseman-director-jerry-bruckheimer-producer-fox-1201376635/)
First, it is a blatant deception to portray Satan as “the Lord of Hell.” That is a lie which is actually taught by some Satanists whom have been misled to believe that they will somehow rule and reign with Satan in Hell. However, while Jesus did say that Hell was created for Satan and his angels, it was not created as a place for him to rule, but as a place of eternal punishment:
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’.” –St. Matthew 24:41
Second, Satan is not in the business of helping the police. He is one of the three enemies of the soul: the devil, the flesh, and the world. What exactly does Satan do? According to theologian Ott:
- The Devil possesses a certain dominion over mankind by reason of Adam's sin. The Council of Trent names, as a consequence of Original Sin, humanity's subjection to the power of Satan. The Church's belief finds liturgical expression in the ceremonies of Baptism. Christ calls Satan, "the prince of this world" (St. John 12:31), and St. Paul calls him "the god of this world." (2 Cor. 4:4). In the General Judgement the dominion of the Devil will be completely and finally broken. (2 St. Peter 2:4).
- Satan and the fallen angels (demons) seek to do moral injury to people through temptation to sin. "Be sober and watch because your adversary, the Devil, goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5: 8).
- The evil spirits also seek to hurt mankind physically also, through the causing of physical evil (e.g., Tob. 3:8, Job 1:12, 1 Cor. 5: 5).
- In some cases people are possessed, in which case the demon takes forcible possession of the human body, so that the bodily organs and the lower powers of the soul, but not the higher powers of the soul, are controlled by him. The possibility and reality of possession is firmly established by the express testimony of Christ, Who Himself drove out evil spirits and Who bestowed power over the evil spirits on His disciples (Church's power of exorcism---St. Mark 1:23; St. Luke 10: 17 et seq) (See Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma , The Mercier Press, 1955, pgs. 121-122).
Over the last several years, Hollywood has given us such "heros" as a chemistry teacher turned meth dealer ("Breaking Bad"), a sociopath that kills other killers ("Dexter"), and now the "father of lies" himself; Satan. I shudder when I think of the number of people who will watch this as I recall the aphorism, "What goes into a mind comes out in a life."
Addendum: Book Review: They Must Pay For One By One by Terence Lee
One of my readers has published a book last year entitled They Must Pay For One By One. It's available on Amazon and is composed of sixty (60) short chapters of two or three pages each. The topic? Hell, in all its eternal misery. It chronicles the lives of sixty people bound to enter perdition and the reasons why. Although only first names are used, he places some infamous people among the damned. The author is also careful not to claim anything definitive about their fate.
His purpose is pretty straight forward: Hell is real and many there are who go that way. It is a place of great and everlasting torment, and contrary to Fox TV, Satan is definitely not a "good guy." In this age of near universal apostasy, 99% of the Vatican II sect clergy never preach on this point (as they don't believe in it themselves). It is well-written and I found it unsettling-- in a good way. It reminded me not to be complacent with my life but to "work out thy salvation in fear and trembling" (Phil. 2: 12) all the more.
Mr. Lee is to be commended for his strong pro-life stance which comes out quite clearly. The one major disagreement I have with the author is his belief that Vatican II was not Modernist and heretical, but was "Modernist driven." He thinks the problem lies in the interpretation of the texts of Vatican II, rather than in the documents themselves. This is only mentioned in a few chapters, however I urge Mr. Lee to rethink his position and cut all ties with the Vatican II sect.
With that one caveat in mind, I can recommend his book to my readers as good Lenten reading. Its easy to read one or two chapters a day and reflect on the Four Last Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven, and HELL. Then if we continue in the True Faith with good works we can hope for the greatest gift of God--Final Perseverance.