April 2004 – As Kid Rock finished screaming his part of the Super Bowl halftime show and the camera faded away, he took the American flag that he had cut in the center and draped over himself like a poncho, and flung it to his drummer who dropped it on the floor where it stayed during the rest of the show. I’ve thought about that and about how the whole fiasco was symbolic of where much of American popular entertainment is today. Except it’s not on the floor, but rather in the gutter.
The whole halftime show was raunchy. There was Nelly grabbing his crotch as he rapped to the cheerleaders who danced around him before they stripped off part of their outfits. It is very common in the “hip hop” culture for the men to grab themselves as they sing/rap. So it could not have come as a surprise to CBS that Nelly would have to grab himself during his performance. He was just doing what rappers do. Then Kid Rock followed with his couple of minutes of jumping around before Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake went into their romp around the stage to the Timberlake song “Rock Your Body.” Wonder what CBS thought that song might be about? Basically, it was sex with their clothes on for 90 million spectators around the world.
The Super Bowl halftime show made you proud to be an American, didn’t it? By the way, you did see that right. Men were dancing around in garter belts when Jackson was singing solo to open the show. And then, of course, we had the intentional breast exposure at the end.
The people to blame here are CBS. And the NFL. They hired MTV to produce the show. What Jackson, Timberlake, Nelly and Kid Rock did during the halftime show – that’s what MTV is all about. It’s what they do every day. It’s how they make millions by entertaining the youth of America.
So I hope the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hits CBS as hard as they can. The FCC has the authority to levy a $27,500 fine against any television or radio station which violates the federal indecency statute. CBS operates on the free public airwaves and is licensed by the FCC. This is different than say HBO, which is a premium channel and not subject to the same rules. If the FCC brings down the hammer it could be $27,500 for each of the 200 plus stations that are a part of the CBS television network.
But what has been going on in the popular (entertainment) culture for several years now with respect to sex is a direct frontal assault on Christian teaching that sex outside marriage is immoral and a sin against God. That “puritanical” ideal is openly mocked and scorned in our country today. This moral teaching comes from Jesus Christ, who taught in Matthew 5:27-28: “You have heard that is was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
So while Jesus says sexual lust is a vice that causes harm to us and separates us from a right relationship with God, Justin, Janet, and the rappers sing that sexual lust is something to be celebrated. That’s where we are in America today. And millions of people, especially those 30 and under, will tell you when it comes to sex, they will go with Janet and Justin over Jesus. There is no wonder why we have seen an explosion over the last 30 years in teen pregnancy, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases. Seventy-five percent of black babies are born out of wedlock in this country, while rappers are selling millions of CDs singing about young girls being “hoes” (hip-hop slang for “whores”). And sadly, very few of the high profile African-American leaders are saying anything about this degradation that is doing more to destroy the black family than anything Al Sharpton says President Bush is or isn’t doing. Some of these guys have figured out that you can’t keep the “racist America” theme going by confronting the rappers.
I guess there was one positive that came from the Super Bowl sex show: it proved that at least there are some people who still care about such things. I’ve noticed the cool thing to do on many of the news shows is to act like it was no big deal, to say America is overreacting. The worst thing you can be in America today is “intolerant” or “judgmental.”
So we have been conditioned to tolerate anything and everything. I don’t think that prude Jesus would go over too well with the MTV crowd today.