From St. Paul:
"for we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph 6:11-12)
There is nothing sometimes more surprising than being blindsided by something or someone we have taken an interest in.
In this case, I have caught the last few episodes of a new TV series called Defying Gravity.
The show is well done with there being key emotional hooks to grab our attention such as the adventure dynamic, technology displayed, special effects, and sexual interest/tensions between the characters on the space ship and on the ground supporting them.
So, not having caught the first couple of episodes, there are a few elements missing in my understanding of the show. Keep this in mind when it comes to my opinion on it.
So, what do I mean about being blindsided?
Given what I have seen so far, my expectations as far as the characters and their development were fairly on the level. There were some pretty straight forward interactions between the characters on the space ship that would seem to be pretty typical for a group of folks living in what is essentially a small container for a long period of time.
Last night, in the episode named Rubicon which means the point of no return, the characters were called to let go of something from their past. They had to pick something they brought with them and put it in a "time capsule" container that was to be left in space at the Rubicon point to be picked up on the way back.
As we were shown the various things the characters were looking to choose, we were given flash backs to the point in time where the objects acquired their value . in most cases.
In those flash backs and some of the current time interactions between the characters we discovered:
- Casual sex is seemingly okay (not unusual for any media).
- NSA - No Strings Attached is one theme between Maddux and Nadia Schilling.
- No consequences to the heart or spirit.
- Shifting between different partners has no consequence or impact on future relationships or self.
- Religious objects are "crap" not needed for faith.
- Discussion between Morales and Wassenfelder when she was deliberating between a Miraculous Medal necklace or a dog collar from a pet of hers for the time capsule. Her expression after that conversation made it pretty clear that she had to struggle between them.
- Tarot Cards hold the "truth".
- Zoe's mom "reads" people using the cards. Her "reads" are seemingly accurate.
- A vasectomy is okay.
- A flash back for Maddux Donner to him discussing his vasectomy with a doctor . which was apparently not there.
- Abortion is okay.
- Zoe Barns got pregnant sometime during the early phase of the training and weeding session all of the candidates were going through. I think I caught that one of the other characters, Maddux Donner, was the father.
- Zoe has to decide between continuing the pregnancy and losing the chance to get into space or having an abortion which is quite "illegal" according to the abortion doctor she talks to.
- Needless to say the decision was made by her to lose the child and not her chance at space.
It's only a TV show and the characters are only human right?
If we stop, and take seriously what St. Paul is telling us at the beginning of this post then the answer is clearly a resounding NO.
Recognizing that there are spiritual influences, sometimes very subtle until they really show themselves as they did in this particular episode of Defying Gravity, takes a lot of prayer and discernment.
- We are what we eat.
If we take to the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confession on a regular basis, then this statement certainly holds true.
If we feed ourselves on media and other content that is very subtle about its message and who is delivering that message, then where does that lead us to? What, or whom, do we become, and what do we believe if we continue to watch? How many justifications and excuses will it take to continue down that path?
As a husband and father, it is ultimately up to me to be the spiritual bastion upon which this type of content must bound off of. Thus, I need to know if the content of the show is leading me, and thus my family, closer to Jesus or if it is taking us away from Him.
I take that responsibility very seriously as I am a weak and sinful man. That means many confessions, receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist as often as I can, and begging for His Mercy and my family's forgiveness for my failings regularly.
Some external links:
- Defying Gravity (Wikipedia)
- Opus Angelorum: St. Paul 6: Discernment
- While specific to the need for a priest to discern, this article is an excellent read to discover the various resources needed to learn how to discern.
- Previous Blog post: Discernment of Spirits Our Lady's Way.
- Our Lady Queen of Chastity, pray for us.
- Our Lady Queen of Fidelity, pray for us.
- St. Joseph, pray for us.
- St. Augustine, pray for us.
- + In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.