restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


War Must Never Be Trivialized

 David Alan Black 

Today, tragedy has become comedy. Conditions that should compel the nation to wear sackcloth and ashes become subjects for wisecracks and ridiculous monologues. This is the case, not only with jokes about drunkenness, or broken homes, or ruined marriages, but with the current political crisis with Iraq. I cite only a few examples as evidence.

  • Craig Kilborn: “New rumors that Saddam Hussein is planning to flee to a castle in Libya with 10 billion dollars. Now President Bush doesn’t know whether to nuke him or give him a tax cut.”
  • Jay Leno: “Saddam Hussein has told his people that U.S. troops will commit suicide when they get to the gates of Baghdad. That’s when you know you have a bad army, when your only hope for victory is that the enemy’s troops kill themselves.”
  • David Letterman: “A lot of folks are still demanding more evidence before they actually consider Iraq a threat. For example, France wants more evidence. And you know I’m thinking, the last time France wanted more evidence they rolled right through Paris with the German flag.”
  • Tina Fey: “According to military analysts, an invasion of Iraq by U.S. forces could cost between $20 and $50 billion. The Pentagon announced that it would offset those costs by referring to it as the Verizon Wireless/Pizza Hut War Against Iraq.”
  • Conan O’Brien: “Saddam Hussein has agreed to let UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. But he also said under no circumstances will Geraldo be let back in the country.”
  • Jon Stewart: “Some would argue that the president himself benefited from a form of affirmative action because as a C student, he only got into Yale because his father was a wealthy alumnus. But the White House counters that Saddam is a menace and must be stopped.”

Such mockery springs not only from the desire for ratings and viewers. It springs from a low regard for the holiness of God. The Almighty has become a benevolent waiter who winks at heartache and nods at sin. Nothing is sacred anymore, and flippancy has invaded even the church sanctuary.

Proverbs 14:9 states, “Fools make mockery of sin.” The Scripture says we are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds—not merely nonconformed but transformed so that we may prove by our experience the will of God, that which is good, pleasing (to Him!), and perfect (Romans 12:1-2).

It is a well known fact that violence is a learned behavior, and that movies and television have always had a profound influence on society, especially the young. TV teaches children that violence and illicit sex are glamorous, thrilling, and accepted as part of everyday life. Perhaps the worst offenders are the daytime talk shows. Today’s children are likely to see “My Mother Was a Slut” or “Women Who Cheat on Their Husbands With Other Women” or “Identical Twins Who Swap Sex Partners,” or the infamous Oprah Winfrey’s afternoon show on “Women Who Have Sex with Animals.”

As our brave military men and women are placed in harm’s way, it is shameful for pundits to trifle with them. War must never be glorified, never trivialized, and never free of consequences. While there are some excellent educational programs on TV, they are far outnumbered by stupid or blatantly violent programming.

It is a sad day when people laugh at things that should make them cry. Fools may mock sin. But God is not mocked.

March 19, 2003

David Alan Black is the editor of

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