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Lost at Sea: The Media and the Tiger Woods Story

A few weeks ago life for Tiger Woods, the most popular athlete on the planet, was dramatically different than it is now.  An inconspicuous and simple crash into a neighborhood fire hydrant eventually led to the revelation of numerous extra-marital relationships.  The details, the few that are known, are somewhat bizarre, and the story remains largely nebulous to the public.  Regardless, Tiger Wood’s life has changed forever.  Golf has been set aside for the near future, his relationship with his wife is likely over, and his image before an ogling public eye is permanently tarnished.  I find myself praying for Tiger Woods and his family.  Like every other human being on the planet, Tiger needs Jesus Christ.  His sins can be atoned.  There is good news.  However I also find myself disgusted at the attention that this saga has drawn from the American media.  I’m not so nauseated by the fact that it is being talked about as much as I am struck by the radical contradiction and confusion on display.

Any number of television shows, as well as films, regularly glorify and  endorse extra-marital affairs.  On top of this, any number of these shows also endorse sexual activity without any sort of boundaries.  “Big Love” an HBO series, is the story of a polygamist family.  Shows like “Rome” discuss and promote bestiality.  And there is hardly a show on television without a homosexual character or relationship, not to mention the rampant and common place fornication (as if somehow unfaithfulness before marriage is not as bad).  Charlie Sheen’s character on “Two and a Half Men” is the more promiscuous of the two main characters, portraying the more exciting and desirable life.  “Glee” a popular new television program, has as its main storyline a music teacher stuck in an unfulfilling marriage and who is pursued by and drawn to several other women at the school he teaches at.  Another new tv drama entitled “Mercy” tells the story of a female doctor that has an affair with another doctor while in Iraq.  She returns home to a husband that confesses his own infidelity upon her return, yet she keeps her own quiet.  Then, the other doctor she had committed adultery with in Iraq returns to practice at her hospital, hence the show’s conflict.  The examples are endless.  One is likely to find every single form of sexual deviation possible in the American film and television industry today.

We live in a country where many are doing all that they can do to eradicate any traditional understanding of marriage and sexual activity.  It is in this context that the condemnation of Tiger Woods becomes somewhat bizarre.  Certainly I believe the choices Tiger Woods has made are wrong and should in no way be condoned or endorsed.  I believe this as a Christian that views morality, marriage, and sexual activity as being designed and outlined by God as revealed in the Bible.  But for the American media to condemn Tiger Woods for his choices is notably inconsistent and hypocritical.  When you’ve spent all of your time and energy tearing these boundaries down, don’t be surprised when people do whatever they want.  Tiger Woods may be lost, but America is no more grounded or fixed in its own understanding of morality or sexual restraint.

The Tiger Woods story is simply another example of how morally lost and confused America indeed is.  Without a compass we will not only deviate from God’s design but exhibit remarkable disorientation and confusion in the process.  To listen to TV show hosts talk about Tiger Wood’s mental health (as if medication and psychiatric help, and not spiritual renewal and transformation will make everything better), or listen to their condemnation of Wood’s addictive lifestyle and unfortunate “sickness,” is tragic.  We simply have no idea how to make moral judgments.  We are a ship that has thrown aside its anchor.  This is but another example of how lost we are and how desperately we need light.  The light of the world.

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