If you don’t pay attention to celebrity gossip, you may have missed that a video of Justin Bieber‘s deposition was released via classy news organization TMZ last week. The 5 minute video is a compilation of the most outrageous moments from the six hour deposition. Many of us watched it, and found ourselves laughing at Justin Bieber.
I watched it with a couple of my former students who were back for Spring Break. All of us watched in awe as he acted like the most entitled, disrespectful child star we’d ever seen. After five minutes of guilty laughter, someone said what we were all feeling, “Are we supposed to be watching this?”
As I let that question sink in, a far more meaningful question came to mind:
“Are we supposed to be entertained by this?”
Laughing At the Fool’s Folly
Society’s dark obsession with laughing at either downward spiraling celebrities or freaks and weirdos who sign up for reality shows is really all about us laughing at their sin and foolishness. In the majority of these cases, we’re laughing at someone who is being or has been exploited; whether for their talent (child stars) or freakishness (reality stars).
From a distance, I’ve been judgmental of people who watch Honey Boo Boo. The entire entertainment value of the show comes from laughing at a 6 year old girl and her mother who is ruining her life. Are their antics absurd and fairly hilarious? Of course they are. That doesn’t mean we should laugh. Our hearts should be broken over their foolishness. While I hypocritically judged those who watch Honey Boo Boo, I have no problem laughing at Charlie Sheen or Justin Bieber. I just drew my line in a different place.
In the case of Justin Bieber, as best I can tell he was raised in the church, and has openly spoken of his Christian faith. Every time we laugh at his antics, we’re laughing at someone who is likely a brother in Christ who has drifted far from the Lord. We should be heart broken for his soul but, instead, we’re entertained by his folly.
I Am Guilty
- I am guilty of laughing at and judging Justin Bieber’s behavior without caring for him as a person.
- I am guilty of repeatedly watching insane Charlie Sheen interviews without once praying for his salvation.
- I am guilty of waiting for the next breaking news story about Miley Cyrus’ antics but not for her escaping her obsession with attention.