Half-Time at the 2022 Super Bowl

John Winthrop, (1588-1649)
John Winthrop, (1588-1649)

“It isn’t hate to speak the truth.’’—J. K. Rowling

A few days after the Super Bowl, I had lunch with a group of men, most of whom had watched the Super Bowl. There was little talk of the game, the players, or the coaches. No one was in the least mean-spirited in their remarks, but most voiced an amused disgust with the half-time show and much of the advertising.  This year’s Super Bowl was yet another marker in America’s cultural and moral decline, which with alarming corporate business complicity is creating moral havoc in American society, culture, and government.

I also received a few emails expressing similar concerns.

“I don’t believe in “cancel culture” but in my household, professional football is canceled. We need to wake up and recognize right from wrong and stop the cultural drift to the left.”

“We  watched it, and it was a disgusting half time show.  I feel bad for kids growing up listening to rap crap and watching girls twerk on a halftime show.”

“I turned the halftime show off after about 15 seconds. To paraphrase a Supreme Court quote in response to a question about how we know what is pornographic and what is not, ‘You’ll know it when you see it.”

I also attended another group lunch and a group breakfast, where I might have expected to hear at least some comments about the Super Bowl game, but there was only very limited sports talk, and that was about local college teams and the Olympics. College football still has a strong following in North Carolina, but the NFL has largely been written off as a purveyor of anti-patriotism and morally depraved “woke” propaganda that is degrading to a huge percentage of its former fans and is an especially unwholesome, dangerous, and unwelcome influence on future generations.

It seemed  to me that this Super Bowl’s half-time entertainment and advertising were disproportionately focused on some counter-culture attitudes frequently attributed to young African-Americans and most recently inflamed by Black Lives Matter with the fawning approval of much of American media. Yet they do not represent what most African-American parents and families that I know want for their children. To the contrary, it was a gut-blow to Black parents and families who are already straining against the increasing moral chaos of American culture to raise decent children. They have this struggle in common with all responsible American parents and families.  This year’s Super Bowl half-time offered them an enticing celebration of social and cultural poison that could be their undoing.  

I am not for banning free speech or expression, but the American people need to wake up and smell the disgusting aroma of the malignant propaganda and moral and intellectual nonsense that spews from our Marxist Reset Media. I am cautious about organized boycotts. They can hurt too many innocent employees for whom missing a paycheck is a family calamity. However, we do not have to tolerate or endure what is clearly harmful to our families and communities and repugnant to our sense of moral decency.  We need to start saying, “No, not for me and my family” and sharing our thoughts with others in a cordial and informative manner. At a minimum, unacceptable half-times can be channel-switching and snack times.  But we must say no, and the irresponsible media and advertisers should pay a price. For example, I now know of a beverage brand I will not purchase. There are several other branded products now on my “absolutely last choice” list.  We don’t need to be witch-hunters, but we do need to be observant about how we spend our time and money and what influences might be harmful to our families.

Many of the destructive influences of our day come not only from the Marxist Reset Media, but also from public schools, universities, and many spheres of influence in our society and culture. Unfortunately, even many of our churches have been seduced by un-Biblical distortions of social justice and misguided “woke-leaning” outreach models.  

Parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, and they must still be attentive to that duty though others may be by necessity delegated to do the teaching. As President Reagan was fond of saying, “Trust but verify.”  That school boards, education administrators, teachers, and invited “experts” have widely inculcated our children with Critical Race Theory and Critical Gender Theory, which are ideologies extremely destructive personally and collectively to our children, is an outrageous, criminal, and disgraceful evil. 

In the era during and following the American Revolution, many pastors—this was especially common among the Presbyterians—preached a sermon on the Sunday before an election that emphasized godly responsibilities in voting. The sermons did not recommend candidates or parties and did not necessarily touch specific issues.  It certainly did not recommend voting for “whatever looks best for you today.”  It emphasized searching the conscience for what was best for your family, your neighbors, your community, and honest, orderly, just, and wise government, according to the teachings of Scripture. This was deemed necessary for the  security and spiritual and economic prosperity for both the present generation and future generations.

Our nation has been too much pointed to the irresponsible and inflationary spending and debt model of  “what’s good and popular for me right now” politics to survive much longer.  Moreover, the Super Bowl half-time spectacle was an alarm bell that our cultural foundations have been seriously undermined. We are not just in a cultural nosedive; we are in a spiritual and cultural tail-spin. The prosperity of lies, license, and evil eventually collapses upon itself. We must get back to thinking about elections in the wiser and more principled ways that inspired and seasoned us to become “a light to the world,” as future Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop preached on Matthew 5:13-16  to passengers on the ship Arabella sailing to New England in 1630.  

It is urgent that responsible  pastors, teachers, political leaders, and patriots in every sphere of political and cultural influence open their eyes and begin steering the nation’s course toward Winthrop’s providential vision of salt and light and “a city on a hill” and away from the cultural disaster that is now glaringly evident.  But we are too near a titanic collision with reality for that to be enough. It will take the courage, earnest prayers, and selfless efforts of many millions of Americans and their families to defeat the civilization-devouring Marxist Reset Dragon.

“My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge…”--Hosea 4:6

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