In 1979, underground Australian Christian “rock” band Alpha Cristo / Deo Corum managed to quietly sneak a toe-tapper-cum-brain-puzzler of a ditty onto the secular radio charts – including the Billboard AOR (Antichrist-Oriented Rock) rankings – that encapsulated, satirized and mildly sanitized the descent of popular culture into the nether regions of nefarious moral ambiguity. Originally titled “The Excitable Mr. Luther’s Extravagant Path-taking to Perdition” (remember, it was the era of prog rock), we know the song today as simply “Highway to Hell.”
Truly, what at a prescient song it was. For as the proceeding decades rolled forth in a stronger and stronger tidal wave of turpitude and derpitude, those of us standing along the shoulders of Route 666 dodging spiritual detritus and crying like a 1970s pollution-hating indigenous person could tell where this road frequently travelled was headed. Straight to Run-On Sentence Land (second-worst theme park ever). Also, Bobby Beelzebub’s House of Pain. While many of us have stepped into the breach (from the Latin meaning “poo”) in defense of truth, justice and Jehovah’s way, it’s been nigh impossible to stop a horde of moral relativists who believe truth lies within each individual except when it comes to the truth of God which is, obviously, wrong (among other internet troll-worthy invectives).
Of course, the more monumental moral failures of post-modern modernity have been well documented in the annals of today’s Christian journalistic endeavors, including The Daily Harumpher, Grandma Mimi’s Monthly Moralizer, and CosmoGirl. What’s equally sad, yet hopefully much more humorous, are the myriad small ways in which biblical virtues have been removed from the public space and replaced with copious amount of breach. Do you sense some examples coming on? Well, quit dabbling in the occult, Kreskin, and get at it:
Quinoa – The word “quinoa” comes from the Mayan phrase meaning “grain of Satan.” As a member of the goosefoot family of plants, quinoa may also be considered a weed. And once you’ve accepted eating a weed as part of this nutritious breakfast including orange juice, milk, berries, toast and a CoQ10 supplement, moving on to the weed we commonly refer to as weed is little more than a trip to the curiously busy dry cleaners away. Yes, quinoa is a gateway weed for the yoga pants set. Speaking of which…
Yoga Pants as Appropriate Mall Wear – They’re stretchy. They’re ooshy, cooshy and comfortable. They’re like you’re not wearing pants at all. Exactly. Now step away from the Lululemon and put on a pair of dungarees. Your soul will thank you. As will your children. And your wife.
Participation Trophies – As a father of three, I fully understand the need to nurture a positive self-image within each of my individual spawnlings. I also fully understand that part of this process includes, from time to time (that is, 6:30 to 7pm nightly), completely, utterly and mercilessly crushing them in a spirited go-around of blindfolded dodgeball. If they can learn to rise up from such Nerf- and Koosh-based beatdowns to eventually defeat daddy at his own game (as if), they will be parsecs ahead of the Generation Whine offspring weaned on “everyone’s a winner” Certificates of Existence and other echoes of social(ized) tomfoolery. Learning to lose is key to learning what it takes to win. And it ain’t plasticized marble statuettes acknowledging the suspect moral victory of adequately riding the pine. It’s gumption. Sorry, Gumption.
The Continued Existence of Regular Cap’n Crunch – If there was a ever a subtle sign of the fallen universe in which we live, regular Cap’n Crunch is it. I know people who eat Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. I know people who lean a bit hippie that eat the Crunch Berries variety. But regular? Not even a 40-something suburban seller of $80 Norwex facial tissues hopped up on the quinoa will go near it. And do you know what the Cap’n’s real name is? I don’t either, but I’m going with Aleister. The good Cap’n Crowley undoubtedly sold his T-A-I for everlasting shelf life.
Selfies, Both in Word and Deed – Not all self-portraits are evil. But the fact that 98.3% of Instagram photos are of unfortunately tanned social climbers looking like constipated waterfowl may indicate a creeping narcissism amongst the masses. And the word “selfie” is just puerile. Disagree? Come at me, bro. My logic will hit your hard. As will my Taser.
Maroon 5 – Dude, c’mon.
The Belief That People Who are “Spiritual, But Not Religious” are, Indeed, Spiritual. – “Spiritual, but not religious” is a valid selection on most online dating sites that aren’t founded by Dr. Neil Clark “Bar” Warren. Well nice try, Potsie (from the Mayan – they got around linguistically, didn’t they – for “Oprah”), but only your fellow self-absorbed quinoa enthusiasts believe it. Unfortunately, the ranks of such maharishis of navel gazing have swollen faster than a soaking bowl of steel-cut oats. And now we’re left with millions of people who sincerely believe that their search for fulfillment lies within the self and not within the Savior. They’ve even colonized their own city and given it a quasi-religious name: San Francisco (literally, Saint Sourdough). On the plus side, they gave the world Rice-A-Roni.
Do any of the above rise to the level of wars and rumors of wars? Maybe not. But each indicates a fraying of our collective moral fiber that may never be repaired. And I suspect at this point the Lord will not break out the Iron-On Patch of Providential Postponement any time soon. To which I can only say, come, Lord Jesus, come and blot out The Yoga Panted Quinoa Toker Who Moves Like Jagger. Amen.
Jason Fox writes from Omaha, Nebraska, and prefers jeans of the “relaxed fit” variety.
This piece originally appeared in Chatter Magazine and may, if you’re lucky with links, be found here.