You come to my house for a lil somethin' somethin' (read: 'a party') and sitting on the table are my world famous brownies. Everyone is delighting in them, complimenting me on my amazing baking skills. "These are wonderful," they all exclaim. "Delicious!" "Delightful!" "Amazing!"
As is usually the case when someone enjoys a certain food (and even more so when a traditional favorite goes above and beyond his/her expectation), they ask me what I put in it that makes it so good. I spout off a list of ingredients:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. "Did she just say poop?" You can't believe what you're hearing right? Surely it's a joke. But it's not. A fresh helping of doggy doodoo went into these. But they're still good right? You still want them, don't you? I mean.. just a second ago you were talking about how wonderful and amazing they were. You were just telling me what an amazing cook I was! You mean you don't want to eat them now? But why? Oh you mean because now that you know there is poop in the brownies you don't want any? (At this point you're probaby scraping your tongue and washing your mouth out with the nearest disinfectant, right?)
So now that you know the analogy, let's do something with it. Let's apply it to life. Imagine that the brownie is a movie. It's funny and thought-provoking and seems like the best movie ever made. And then there's the handful of provocative sex scenes. But hey it's got these really great themes to it and even if the characters are having premarital sex and you're basicaly watching what the catechism would define as porn that doesn't mean that there aren't these other great elements for you to enjoy! Okay.. then here, have some of these poopie brownies. Sure it's got a few lumps of poo in there but hey, it's got all of these other great elements for you to enjoy. The poop doesn't affect you, right? Just pretend it isn't there, like you probably do with the movie, and it'll be alright.
If you don't like the movie comparison then use it with a certain clique you want to be a part of (or are a part of), a certain group or activity, or any number of other things. Listen to some of the music on the radio and ask yourself if it's okay to listen to. Sure it's got some AMAZING bass and drum solos and man, that beat sure is kickin.. but what about the derogatory language and the portrait painted of women as objects? The theater department that puts on amazing shows but that asks you to submit yourself to immoral scenes. It asks you to dance on stage half naked and passionately kiss your fellow actor. But the sets are unreal! And the costumes.. the COSTUMES! They could win awards. So let's just forget about the lustful acting and complete lack of purity and chastity in all areas. Okay.. how about some poopie brownies to go with that fornication scene? Bet that'd be 'hot'. *Gag me*
We should never subject ourselves to such activity. Activity that promotes or condones actions contrary to our beliefs as Catholics (or Christians or Jews, but especially as Catholics) is not activity that we should have ANY part in. To participate or to be linked back in any way not only makes us look bad, it makes the whole Church look bad. "But I'm just one person. Just because I do this doesn't mean every Catholic does. Just because John Doe is a drunk doesn't mean we all are!" This is true. But you may be the one Catholic a person knows. It's possible!! I live in a big city and I have several friends who only know one Catholic: me! They may have met some others from time to time but I am the only constant contact they have with the Church. They experience the Church through me. (Scary thought, huh?) So I must live out in every action this faith which I claim to hold so dear.
And it's not just for others that I should do this. I am not putting on a show for others around me. I am doing it.. for the love of God. (!!) I am doing it for the love of God in me and the love of God in my neighbor. Going back though, I should not only seek to protect my soul, my purity, my everything from evil, I should seek to protect my neighbor from that as well. I should love my brothers and sisters in Christ enough that I would keep them from just as much. But which passage comes to mind here? "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:4-5)
I seek, above all else, to do what is pleasing in the sight of the Lord. And as we all know, it's a hard thing to do! In order to increase my chances of remaining pure and holy, I must decrease the nubmer of opportunities to sin. This also means ridding myself and my life of occassions that could lead to desensification. In our society today we are already at a greater risk of sinning at times than our brothers and sisters who came before us. The world has led so many to believe that what they're doing is okay. But it's not! And sure, knowledge of the sin would be required for it to be a sin, but is ignorance truly bliss? We should seek real answers - Truth. We should seek to know and do what is good and holy and right. So I must purge from my life the things like disrespectful music and pornographic movies or shows - despite the presence of pleasing qualities. And I would challenge each person I know to do the same.
Poopy brownies anyone?