Ah, yes! We’ve waited a whole year. It’s time to put down that snow shovel, gather ’round the television, and participate in the annual national bonding event known as the Super Bowl. Now, I’m not talking about the game itself, but about something far more important to most Americans: the commercials!
While many of us are still in the icy grip of this recession, pro football’s championship game hardly seems to have noticed. Thirty-second spots—selling everything from corn chips to luxury cars—are going for a cool three million dollars each. That doesn’t even include all the money needed to produce these big-budget sales pitches.
Every year, however, some proposed ads don’t make the cut because they are too “controversial.” You’ll recall that one starring Tim Tebow and his mother last year was almost pulled because of its pro-life message. Thank heavens it aired! But this year, there’s one ad I’m very glad to say you won’t see. It’s an ad that promotes the website of a company called Ashley Madison.
This site isn’t offering career help or a new line of women’s clothes. No, Ashley Madison promotes good, old-fashioned adultery. In the ad, a scantily clad woman, played by a porn star, apparently is getting excited by the fact that her husband is cheating on her.
The Fox network, rightly, rejected the ad. Ashley Madison responded by claiming that it is evidence of—I kid you not—an unfair bias against porn stars. Folks, you can’t make this stuff up! I hope there is still some kind of bias against porn stars on prime time television.
The fact is, though, that in this morally confused culture, we face constant pressure in our media, in our institutions, and in our daily interactions to do the wrong thing, to cut corners, to indulge in self-gratification, to cheat. For example, a new movie called No Strings Attached starts off with the increasingly popular notion that some of us are just too busy to work on relationships, and so having sex with no commitment—no strings attached—is a perfectly acceptable “lifestyle choice.”
And we wonder why the rates of divorce and broken families are soaring, not to mention sexually transmitted diseases. Rightly did the existential philosopher Albert Camus warn, “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world.”
Of course, our “ethically challenged” problems go far beyond our sexual misbehavior. As I’ve said many times, one of the biggest reasons for the economic crisis is that we—Main Street, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill and the people—refused to live within our means.
We need to get back to ethical fundamentals in this country—and fast. That’s why I’m very excited about a new, six-part video series we’ve put together called “Doing the Right Thing.” It focuses on restoring ethical decision-making in a society that has been, from the bedroom to the board room, less than ethical.
“Doing the Right Thing” features Robert George, Brit Hume, and many other key thinkers on this vital topic, and you’ll want to get a copy for your church or group. It’s going to be released in March. But you can to Colson Center.org today for more information, or to pre-order “Doing the Right Thing.”
When you watch the Super Bowl, count how many ads promote doing the wrong thing, and how many promote doing the right thing. I’m guessing when you do that, you’ll agree with me that we need a re-birth of ethics in this country.