We live in an age where there are awful temptations that are not just hidden, they are out there in full view. You don’t even have to look for them, they find you. In some cases in spite of your best efforts you can find yourself tangled up in them. The statistics on men who are hooked on pornography is one stat that shows the problems we face. A man may not be driven to a bad site or a story once in a while, he may be seeing those sites a dozen times a day just scrolling the internet for an answer to something like sports trivia. You can even look up religious subjects online and often find scantily clad woman in a “nun” costume when you are looking for a real nun. Or your mind can be sent in another direction when you are looking up a priest to find say an address and you get a barrage of stories on the priest scandal. I don’t mean to suggest that those stories have no place, but it just seems odd that the search engine sends you there when you have keyed in terms that in my opinion should not lead to that direction.
TV and movies are even worse. The average TV comedy today is likely to have a group of characters who are primarily involved in what most of us would call sinful behavior. And by this, the show often depicts the characters in bed who really have no reason to be there.
Some in the media like to go back in time and discredit stars on older shows that followed a moral compass. “If you think this TV mom was a saint here’s what so and so says about her now.” The media keeps going back in time and rewriting the past to show it more corrupt, violent, and sexually explicit. As a country, we are seeing a lot more bad things than good.
Remember the stories of how New York cleaned up their crime, in part by erasing all the bad signs that seemed to suggest the city was all about filth. It might not have been the most important too that they used, but it helped reduce the bad.
I am not going to argue about whether the Hollywood of say the 1950s didn’t have a dirty backstory, but do we need to keep hearing about it?–particularly in light of the fact that these stories might be crowding out the good. People fall prey to temptation and sin throughout history, but if we don’t try to focus on the good will we very get past most of it. The bad stories are usually not out there to show us “how not to do something,” they are there to satisfy some odd curiosity and they feed on the feed.
I do believe that many people are past the fascination with others sin. Do we really need more “tell all” books and films? I can tell you for example, that I have some friends that know about each others failings. And if someone wants to allude to something that he did in past, frankly that may be OK, but my friends really don’t want any details. Too much information can change your perception. “Tell it to the priest,” they might say. That is the truth about today, we’ve heard enough.
If someone commits a crime, then it needs to examined, but do we really need to know all of trivial news that makes the headlines today.
So at Sporting Chance Press we have been promoting the good. Our Sports and Faith Series is all about athletes, coaches and others who live well, who live exemplary lives. They are not perfect by any means, but we are covering something decent and good, we are not uncovering anyone’s worst.
In our book Sports and Faith: More Stories of the Devoted and the Devout our author Pat McCaskey writes about people such as Father Burke Masters, Bob Cousy, Stan Musial, Tom Monaghan, Father Mike Lightner, Frank Allocco, Dan Duddy, Terry Brennan, Bill Thierfelder, and others. These are all people who exemplify something positive. They are not perfect.
In our book called Pilgrimage, McCaskey writes about Sister Miriam James, Sister Catherine Mary (Kristin Holum), Christiana Hill, Chase Hildenbrinck, Sister Rita Clare Yoches, Bishop George Rassas, various saints and many others. Again, these are all people who exemplify good and we can use their example.
In our Worthwhile Struggle, McCaskey writes about Sister Jean of Loyola, Fr. John Brooks of Holy Cross, Coach Wayne Gordon, Oswald Chambers, Jordon Roberts, Gene Pingatore, Bill Wennington, and many other athletes who had done great things.