Must We Be Shocked Every Time a Celebrity Does Something Outrageous?

by Jim Geraghty

The first Morning Jolt of the week examines Turkey’s election results, the upcoming special House election in Illinois pitting Darin LaHood against Mike Flynn, and then this observation about how conservatives interact with celebrity-driven, controversy-driven culture . . . 

Must We Be Shocked Every Time a Celebrity Does Something Outrageous?

Friday Bob Costa and Philip Rucker wrote an article entitled, “Caitlyn Jenner comes out, and social conservatives take an apocalyptic view.” The piece concludes . . . 

Bryan Fischer, a firebrand who bashes minorities of all stripes — Muslims and Mormons, blacks and gays — said on his American Family Radio program Monday that he refuses to refer to Jenner as a woman.

“If you want one snapshot of just how corrupt — how morally corrupt, how morally bent, how morally twisted, how morally confused, how morally bankrupt — we have become,” Fischer said, “all you’ve got to do is take a look at the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.”

To quote Tonto, “What do you mean, ‘we,’ paleface?”

Do you control what Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner does? Did you make the decision to put Jenner on the cover? So how is this your fault?

Fischer doesn’t mean “we.” He means “they.” And here’s what I don’t get — was the cover of Vanity Fair ever really American Christians’ preeminent measuring stick for moral corruption, confusion, bankruptcy, etc.? Remember the 1991 controversy about pregnant, nake Demi Moore? Demi Moore’s painted body? Cindy Crawford shaving K. D. Lang? (There is no punctuation rebellion in this dojo.) Tom Ford’s naked actresses? Paris Hilton topless? Miley Cyrus’s topless photo shoot? Tony Soprano with a naked blonde? Tiger Woods looking thuggish?

Did we ever look to the cover of Vanity Fair for wholesome images of all-American figures, exhibiting Christian modesty?

What’s your measuring stick for America’s moral health? The abortion rate is at the lowest it has been since 1973. Teenage pregnancy and birth rates are down sharply, too. Doesn’t that seem like a bigger, and more consequential deal than Jenner being on the cover? The divorce rate has been falling for more than three decades.

If you’re absolutely convinced America’s strength as a good country full of good people is dependent upon the good judgment and behavioral restraint of Hollywood stars . . . well then, we’re in trouble.

It just feels like we should all be beyond the point where any of us exclaim with shock, “I can’t believe that member of the Kardashian family did that!”

UPDATE: Further evidence out this morning: “Nationwide, the AP survey showed a decrease in abortions of about 12 percent since 2010.”

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