By Cloyce Sutton II
He’s the Grand Poohbah of partiology! He’s one party-loving, happening dude! He’s the original party animal! He’s Spuds MacKenzie! He’s also a dog. And he’s also America’s idol.
Most of you have seen Spuds. He is the “spokes-creature” for Bud Light Beer. He is a white English bull terrier with a spot around his left eye. Not only can he be seen in television ads, but also in stores. In many card and novelty stores, you may purchase all manner of official Spuds MacKenzie paraphernalia.
Spuds has become a symbol to Americans. He represents to us “the good life.” He leads a spoiled and pampered life. Beautiful, and immodestly dressed women attend him. He lives in a fabulous mansion. He is driven to and fro in a chauffeured limousine. He gives daily attention to his tan, pedicure, and massage. He enjoys a splendid party every night, whether at his private pool or on a public beach. All America is captivated by his extravagant charm. Indeed, we long to be like him.
My concern is not so much that we adore an animal. Indeed, men may learn valuable lessons from some unlikely creatures (Prov. 30:24-3 1). My concern in this case is twofold: what Spuds MacKenzie represents, and what our adoration of him represents.
Spuds MacKenzie is an advertising representative for a beer company. He symbolizes a lifestyle given to revelry. He tells us that drinking is an important part of the good life. But what he represents is clearly condemned in Scripture. Drunkenness, carousings, and social drinking can have no place in the life of a Christian (1 Pet. 4:3-5). These are the deeds of darkness (Rom. 13:11-14). Those who are charmed by alcohol can never know the good life (Prov. 23:29-35).
Of greater concern to me is what this phenomenon says about us as a society. Man was created in God’s image and given dominion over all other animals (Gen. 1:26-30). Yet we have taken a rather unattractive dog and made it the object of our veneration. We want to be like it. It is our idol. We now worship a dog.
But why do we worship a dog? Because we do not worship God. In Romans 1, Paul describes the condition of men who put aside the knowledge of God. When men will not acknowledge their Creator, their only alternative is to worship something less. In verses 22-23, Paul says,
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
When a nation sees fit to idolize dogs, it is only because they no longer see fit to glorify God.
Our adoration for Spuds MacKenzie is a sad commentary on the moral climate of our nation. Our only recourse is to turn back to the God who created us. May we learn, as did the early Christians, that we must “turn to God from idols to serve a living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9).
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 8, p. 231
April 21, 1988