A disturbing trend has been taking over movies, books, and television shows. It isn’t only the endorsement of relativism but something a little more insidious. It’s taking what is evil and making it good or at the very least misunderstood.
Earlier this year, I read a book called Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gillman. On reading the summary, I thought the author took the broad devil archetype and applied it to her novel. (In some ways, my secular liberal arts degree still lulls me in a false sense of security regarding books.) Unfortunately, I learned that the author very much based this Devil off the Lucifer who St. Michael will fight at the end of time. The novel mocks Christianity and Christian ideals at every turn.
In Silver on the Road, the Devil is a “fair” gambler who takes care of his people. He’s part of the “misunderstood evil” trope that has been becoming steadily more popular.
Another example is the television show Lucifer. Invented in part by Neil Gaiman (author of American Gods, so we shouldn’t be surprised), the show follows a Satan who’s so bored in Hell that he starts solving crime. Again, it’s the evil that can be good.
A third example would be the popular television show Supernatural. Crowley is a demon who reigns over Hell, replacing Lucifer. A self-serving, power-hungry tyrant to be sure, who only helps the Winchesters when it serves him best, the show at one point tries to redeem Crowley. Also in the show, the war between God and Lucifer boils down to Lucifer having “daddy issues”. Angels became winged thugs who hate humanity.
Switching from fiction to nonfiction, there’s a plethora of “reality” television programs that promote mortal sin. TLC’s Sister Wives shows a polygamist happily living with his multiple wives. The purpose of the show is to prove that such arrangements work, that they are only misunderstood. That they should be as accepted as homosexuality and transsexuality.
Honestly, it’s not that big of a step. If marriage can be redefined to include people marrying members of the same sex, then why not one man marrying multiple women and vice versa? It’s a simple case of escalation.
I could go on with nonfiction and fiction examples of various forms of media taking the taboo and evil and making it acceptable or, at the very least, misunderstood. However, I think you have the idea.
In Isaiah 5:20, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah, saying, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
We live in a world today that very much has flipped the true order of things on its head. This world seems oblivious to its own ironies and self-contradictions.
In a society that champions “safe spaces”, women and girls are sometimes denied the privacy of a bathroom for their gender.
In a society that wants to throw away all labels, some websites list over sixty genders and small children are forced into sex change procedures if they show the slightest hint of transsexuality.
People call for free speech—until that speech contradicts their world view. Then, things can become violent. For example, in August, violence broke out during a free speech rally at Berkeley when antifa protestors began throwing smoke bombs. Five hundred police officers were used to prevent violence during another rally in Boston.
Discourse is only desired when it favors the progressive.
At the same time, however, should we really be surprised? History has shown a steady trend of God being removed from the public square. At one point, the Church and daily life were deeply intertwined. Today, it’s considered strange for someone to keep to simple virtues.
In the Gospels, Christ warns over and over about judgment and the end of days. He tells His disciples that a great many terrible things—famines, wars and rumors of wars, and persecutions—would all occur before His return. For centuries, the Virgin Mary has made numerous appearances, most notably at Fatima, calling for repentance, conversion, and reparation.
During the July 13 apparition, Our Lady granted the three shepherd children a vision of Hell. Lucia later recounted the vision, saying,
Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly: You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.
Despite the sins of the world, Jesus and the Blessed Mother call for repentance. But only repentance. We cannot live in this world without being faced with its topsy-turvy, self-contradictory hedonism. Our Lady doesn’t want us to remain passive in the face of such sin. She calls for us to have devotion to the Immaculate Heart and pray the Rosary, so that sinners can be saved.