In the previous blog on idolatry, I hypothesized how we, mostly unconsciously, equate ourselves with God. I say “unconsciously” because most of us would not vocalize that we’re equal with God; we (most of us) simply don’t think that highly of ourselves.
Celebrities, on the other hand, we think very highly of them. We can’t get enough of them. Our culture seems to idolize celebrities. Too far fetched? Just think of the industry that has developed over celebrities. I remember, as a boy, that my mother had a subscription to Photoplay magazine. I believe it came to our rural mailbox about once a week. Photoplay died in 1980 and it’s staff went to Us magazine. As I recall, People magazine was one of the first modern celebrity magazines, followed by scores of others. And what network doesn’t have it’s own celebrity news program? It’s been reported that the celebrity gossip/news industry is worth more than $3 billion dollars.
My favorites are people who are famous for being famous; such as:
- Paris Hilton—what has Ms. Hilton ever done? She’s rich and has made some homemade porn videos. Whoopee!
- All the Kardashians—come on people, who are they and what have they accomplished? I think one of them posed for Playboy magazine?
- Jenny McCarthy—perhaps my favorite “famous for being famous” celebrity. You do have to give her credit for parlaying a stint as a Playboy playmate into millions of dollars and notoriety. Never been a fan of the The View, and now that she’s a co-host, never will be.
If these three women had heeded the words of Mark Twain when he said ‘Everybody looks better with clothes on,’ we probably would never have heard of them.
So, why the fascination with celebrities? Think of the recent court-case of Kerry Kennedy. NBC (and I’m sure others) Nightly News ran a story on her “driving while drugged” case for THREE nights in a row! How many other similar cases happen daily in our country that are not reported in this way? Or, more recently we’ve learned that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are getting a divorce. Obviously this couple has gone through some hard times and they’ve decided to end their marriage—why is that any of our business? Why should it make the “front page” of the digital edition of USA Today?
I think we worship celebrities because we’re living vicariously through them. Perhaps worship is too harsh a term? Haven’t we made idols of them? Don’t we, at least sometimes, wish we could be them? I don’t think it’s too far fetched to say that the celebrity gossip/news industry is driven by our need to fill a void in our lives—but it’s a god–shaped void that no idol, be they stone, marble, wood or matinee, can fill. It can only be filled with the Living God of the Universe, Jesus Christ.
worship |ˈwərSHəp| noun
the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity: the worship of God | ancestor worship.