Some people will do anything to be considered normal. Others will do at least as much to avoid that description. Sometimes the same person will do both. Is this normal?
The dictionary defines normal as “conformity to a common standard.” But in a culture wherein few standards are shared, most anything can pass as normal. Without standards, who can discern whether “normal” is an insult or a compliment? Are you confused?
In biology, normal usually means that one is free of infections and deformities. In psychology, it describes one who is fairly well adjusted. In math, it means something most normal people can’t define (something about perpendicular lines). In chemistry, it refers to an equivalent weight of the constituent in question in one liter of a solution. In statistics, it is a distribution of probability as seen on a bell-shaped curve. In fields wherein standards still exist, “normal” actually can be defined. Not so in today’s deeply confused American culture.
America’s entertainment media, with millions of passive minds at their daily disposal (and I mean disposal), know that normal can be changed on a dime. Do the math: Subtract all standards and normal becomes anything and nothing at the same time. With uncommon ease, Hollywood sets and resets most of our social standards today and makes its values mainstream. Its most powerful weapon remains television. In my life, I have seen nearly every healthy code of morality, modesty, sexuality and respectability in sight eroded into a “new normal” over and over again by BIG entertainment.
Are deception, extramarital sex, profanity, teenage disrespect and homosexuality casual staples for normal living? They are on TV. Is frank sexual banter normative for public dialogue? It is on TV.
Now, NBC plans to release a new TV comedy show titled The New Normal. It is reportedly about an LA couple that wants a baby and gets a single waitress with an eight-year-old daughter to be a surrogate baby-maker (the word mother does not apply here) for the couple; Bryan and David. This show aims to shatter whatever moral standard related to the family that may remain in your archaic mind. A new generation is being effectively recruited into hardline homosexualism. According to the Huffington Post, the show’s creator, Ali Adler, relishes the joy of “having nothing be off-limits.” Sad to say, nothing off-limits is already the new normal.
In the late twentieth century, a U.S. President was revealed as an adulterer and liar. His Democrat defenders shouted, “Everyone lies about sex!” In other words, it is normal. But their defense was a lie. Everyone does not lie about sex. But it became normal to think so. Normalizing immorality is nothing new.
The question is not, “What is normal?” It is, “What are your standards and from where do they come?” Nothing normalizes sin like TV. Nothing stigmatizes sin like the Bible. When sin is normal, we all lose. Today, it is abnormal to spend more time with your Bible and your church than with your TV. Dare to be abnormal!
NENE LEAKES: HER NEW SHOW & CONTROVERSY: Retrieved August 20, 2012.
The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.