Reading, Writing, and Reflecting


Steve Willis



In my last “Reading, Writing and Reflecting” I reported on the male rock singer who goes by the name of Marilyn Manson. My information was, taken from an issue of the Alberta Report which read: “Manson, 28, a skinny, chin- less Floridian who wears androgynous make-up, Nazi-style clothing, and fishnet stockings, is a Church of Satan minister. He drinks his own blood and has (had oral sex with) male groupies during concerts.”

Since then, Manson has come to Alberta. With reports like the above abounding, his act was shut out of a performance in Calgary, though he did appear in Edmonton. Articles appeared in the newspapers, both for and against the performance. In one of the articles, it was revealed that the American Family Association was helping to spread the an- ti-Manson news by distributing “affidavits from two teenage girls who allege they saw live homosexual acts, child abuse and animal slaughter on stage at one of Manson’s shows.” When Manson’s lawyers sued the AFA for defamation, “it backed down and admitted the ‘affidavits’ were fabricated” (from Medicine Hat News, July 12, 1997, B6).

Now if he didn’t do the acts, I certainly want to withdraw the allegation that he did do the acts. Perhaps there are no affidavits to say he did. However since that issue, there has been another issue of the Alberta Report with Manson as the cover article (July 18, 1997). Manson’s guitarist is quoted from Rolling Stone magazine, as saying, “We’ve done much worse things than that. I had my 11-year-old brother onstage in one of the shows completely naked. It was like child pornography” (34).

I’ll leave it to the magazines to sort all that out. It seems clear enough from other things reported that this is not a musical group that you’d want your children to see, or probably hear.

Dont Do as I Say!

One recent phenomena in music is the spoken word set to music or sound samples: Rap. There are several varieties of this format. One is called “gangsta” rap. Some songs exhibit brutal feelings of men toward women. Others are against the police and have advocated killing the police.

Many include offensive language, and are marked as such in stores. One producer, Sean Combs, was questioned about gangsta rapper Biggie Smalls, who was gunned down in LA. Smalls had been in a verbal feud with another rapper who was also killed in gunfire. Combs was asked: “You’re a father. Do you think hard-core rap records should carry stronger parental warnings?” He replied, “I don’t have no problem with that. I think kids shouldn’t be able to listen to some albums till their minds are fully developed and ready to digest an album with certain realities on there. There are realities that may be too harsh for young ears. Even though it’s a reality and needs to be said, it may not need to be said to a 10-year old.”

The follow-up question was, “What about a three-year old? Do you let your three-year-old son Justin listen to gangsta rap?” Combs reply, “Well, he can’t listen to the Biggie album (the recently released “Life After Death”). Some things on my album he can’t listen to. He just listens to the singles. The clean-up singles” (Time, Aug. 4, 1997, Canadian Edition, 44). How about a few more “really” cleaned up songs?

Passive Smoking Can Harm You

Passive smoking is defined as smoke you breath when another person is handling the cigarette. Many recent studies have found that smoking is bad for one’s health. This year airline stewardesses filed legal claims that they were physically harmed by having to work in past years in planes where people smoked. Also, tobacco companies made a major a $368-billion capitulation in court cases involving U.S. states health insurance claims. Some companies are even turning in evidence against the others that smoking is harmful and company leaders knew just that.

What is the effect of second-hand smoke on you? Last summer, Time reported, “Get out the gas mask. A major study concludes that non-smokers double their risk of heart disease when regularly exposed to the thousands of chemicals in passive smoke. The researchers warn: if you can smell it, it can harm you” (June 2, 1997, Canadian Edition,

16). So, can you smell it?

Later, under “Where there’s smoke” Time reported, “Boys born to moms who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to exhibit aggressive, destructive, or other problem behaviors. Nicotine may disrupt fetal brain development” (August 4, 1997, Canadian Edition, 10).

Does the love of tobacco or the love of Christ control you? (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14).

Whats Quicker than a Quickie Divorce?

Married couples in Utah, California, and Arizona can now get a quicker divorce than the “quickie” divorce. All they need to do is find the closest Quick Court machine. It resembles an automatic bank teller machine, and will produce divorce papers about as fast. After the papers are later certified by a lawyer, their divorce is official. This process started in Arizona with three machines in 1993. It became so popular in that state that it plans to have 150 machines by the end of 1997.

Compare that to Louisiana’s recent attempt to make marriages more permanent by instituting “covenant” marriages which limit the reasons that a couple can be divorce. I thought Matthew 19 limited the reasons to one! (Info from Alberta Report, Oct. 6, 1997, 43).

More Divorce Statistics

“If your parents divorce, you’re also more likely to do so” says an article in the August 25, 1997 issue of Time. “Now a study finds that if you experience more than one divorce as a kid, you’re four times as likely to go through multiple marriages as an adult” (Canadian Edition, 12).

Homosexuals on TV

Last Spring, ABC’s Ellen show was featured on many magazine covers as lesbian Ellen DeGeneres’ character on the show decided it was time to make her homosexuality known. Here are a few of the “outing” covers: TV Guide, “Ellen’s Big Outing: Another TV Taboo Comes Tumbling Down as Ellen DeGeneres Opens the Door to Prime-time’s First Gay Lead”; Time, putting words into DeGeneres’ mouth, “‘Yep, I’m Gay’: Exclusive: Ellen DeGeneres ex- plains why she’s coming out/The changing nature of sex on TV,” Out (a publication to “outing” homosexuals) “Come on Out, Ellen! The Water’s Just Fine!” Well, it’s not just fine, according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 6:9).

TV Guide cited a poll that 63% of regular viewers of Ellen were not planning to watch the coming out show (Alberta Report, May 12, 1997, 29). Yet, the TV show was nominated for one of many Emmys. These nominations and voting for awards was by the Hollywood elite — remember the people who plan, write and act in shows on TV. This year the Gay and Lesbian Alliance is bragging that there are 30 (thirty!) homosexual characters featured in U.S. network series this fall. Spokesperson Chastity Bono, daughter of Sonny and Cher Bono, said that the number of homosexual roles is up 23% from the start of TV’s last season. She said that the outing of Ellen’s character opens possibilities for characters other than the “odd recurring character” (Alberta Report, September 1, 1997, 50).

Is it no wonder that people are getting fed up with some of the programming and policies of the media companies? Did you realize that the Disney company, originally noted for its family-oriented programming, had purchased ABC’s television and radio networks? Last year one large religious body threatened to boycott Disney for their “anti-Christian” and “anti-family” policies. They have released films that have been anti-religion and anti-family values. Homosexuals have used the Disney theme parks openly for gay pride days. Disney did not respond to the hints of boycott, so, this year the same religious group, plus two others decided it was time to boycott the Disney organization (Christianity Today, July 14, 1997, 72). Not long before this decision was made, the Ellen “outing” show aired, and following that show, were others in which the character and her friends tried to “deal with” her sexuality.

In a show aired in October, ABC at least put up a parental warning, for the script called for “Ellen” the lesbian to kiss another woman. This is not the first time there has been a same-sex kiss on TV. However, it may have been the first since the new TV rating system was revised. This warning/ rating has the real Ellen upset. It was reported that she had threatened to walk off the show — though on Larry King’s show the same night, her mother denied that to be the case. My feeling? Let her go.

While on the one hand, activists say that putting homosexuals on TV has no effect on people, TV advertisers are lining up for the best slots to influence people. Did you realize that the Vice President spoke on the matter too? In Los Angeles, Al Gore said, “So many television shows, songs, and movies have dramatically changed the way we see vital issues. In this sense, the very term ‘entertainment industry’ is incomplete. For while you entertain, you also open minds and hearts. . . . When the character ‘Ellen’ came out, millions of Americans were forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light” (quoted from the Larry King show on CNN, Oct 16, 1997).

Maybe it is fair to point out that another Vice President, Dan Quayle, also spoke about media’s influence on culture, condemning their influence for showing a single woman choosing to get pregnant on TV’s “Murphy Brown” show. Many, including the President, later said that Dan Quayle was right. We need to consider carefully the influence shows like this have on our families.

DeGeneres began her comedy career with a skit wherein she was on the phone to God. Maybe it’s time she and others actually listen to what God said in the Bible.

Is the Sauce for the Goose Good for the Gander?

Just see if it turns around fairly in the public’s view. A letter to the editor of the Alberta Report, addressed the is- sue of whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to adopt or foster children. So, they turned it around: “. . . Are homosexuals fit to parent foster children? To answer this question, let us take two gay men, dress them up in black suits with clerical collars, and jowl them out a bit. We now have two Christian Brothers from the Mount Cashel Boy’s Orphanage, who sexually abused young boys for years. Defrock these brothers, remove their titles, and a wonderful transformation takes place. They are now considered worthy, by our deluded politicians, to foster children. . . . The homosexual community accuses anyone of objecting to their death style as hating them, but they are sinners like the rest of us, needing mercy. However, they are not fit to foster children and never will be” (Allen Iddings, in Sept. 22, 1997 issue, 3).

False Prophecy

As I was doing a little research on another topic, I came across a “prophecy” about Diana Spencer (deceased), princess of Wales: “. . . I see her married and very, very happy. And there will be another child, a girl. Of that I am certain” (Betty Palko, “clairvoyant”; in March 1995 Miracles and the Extraordinary magazine, 10). Just how wrong can one be? Let us not forget the Bible teaching about such prophets: “And you may say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:21-22).

Just a note: It may seem there are many quotes and references to the Alberta Report. Yes, indeed there are. Since moving to Alberta, I’ve found it a good source to keep up with this kind of information. I hope it is useful to you also.