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Til’ the Ink Dries Do Us Part
Perspective on the News
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Rebecca Droeger

Not that I should be surprised by anything the liberal news media covers, but it appears shock waves are being made across America because of a wedding story the New York Times featured.

So what could possibly be printed in the New York Times that would cause such uproar in America?  Apparently Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla were married to someone else when they fell in-love.  They both broke up their own marriages to marry each other.

Infidelity and divorce are not new to American society.  It happens in Hollywood all of the time.  Nearly 50% of all marriages in the US end in divorce.  If that isn’t bad enough, just tune into any talk show during the day and you’ll see your share of infidelity, divorce, and any other scandalous deed you can dream of.  You can’t even get out of the supermarket without seeing some tabloid covering some celebrity’s latest “exemplary” endeavor.

What makes this particular story so special?  Why the outcry now?

Apparently, readers of The New York Times expect the publication to cover “honorable” news stories and not “tabloid-like” material.

The wedding feature was covered in the “Vows” column of the newspaper.  The column usually reports on high profile weddings; so most readers consider this material “trash,” and “unflattering” as it glamorizes unfaithfulness.  Who knew that the New York Times could actually cross a line even liberals find deplorable?

The fact that this story is newsworthy at all speaks volumes about how far we have sunk into depravity.  Just look at what is now acceptable versus what was considered taboo within a generation.

Once upon a time, unwed mothers were unthinkable.  If a girl became pregnant, she was either forced to get married to the father of the child or be put to open shame.  Girls would often be kicked out of their parental home and shunned by the family.

Nowadays, unwed mothers are provided special financial assistance and education funding if the father of the child has abandoned the mother and child.  A measure of assistance to a struggling unwed mother has become a type of reward for promiscuity.

Then, just looking at movies that are only 23 years old reflects how far our standards have fallen.  When watching the “Running Man” with Arnold Schwarzenegger a few months ago, the list of crimes cited against the lead female in the show would be seen as no big deal nowadays.  One of the crimes was “sleeping with more than one man in a year.”  If you watch modern sitcoms, sleeping with more than one man in a year is a “slow year.”

Over time, our society has become desensitized to various offensive stimuli.  If the entertainment industry barrages the public with “enchanting stories of average Americans overcoming the odds,” it can often glorify undesirable behavior.

Stories about repentant sinners, underdogs beating the odds or fairytales coming true often appeal to the average audience.  So, when a story like “Pretty Woman” hits the movie scene, America ate it up:  a prostitute who shows an uptight business man how to be human, then winds up being a couple in the end; well, it’s a dream come true!

Granted, I enjoyed the movie at the time it came out.  I thought it was a beautiful, witty love story.  A high-school drop- out who was down on her luck has to resort to prostitution to make a living.   She happens to meet a lost business tycoon; and sparks fly.  Heck, it was magical to an insecure teenager.  It was a fairytale come true!

Looking back on it, and re-examining it from a parental point of view, I think to myself “what message is this sending?”  Even though the movie did not blatantly glamorize prostitution; it makes you think “what kind of man is willing to sleep with a prostitute; even though he was ‘reluctant?’  Sure, both characters grow; but still, he gets involved with a prostitute!”

This is not about bashing “Pretty Woman,” or suggesting movie preferences for anyone; I’m just merely making an observation about our moral decline.  “Pretty Woman” came out in 1990.  Would that same movie been such a hit 15 years earlier?

At least America hasn’t lost all of her sense; at least the majority of her citizens disapprove of the New York Times’ reporting of the distasteful union between a couple that were married when they “hooked up.”

About Rebecca Droeger

Last week: The Forgotten War

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