Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Weavers Are "No Earthly Good"

So now I'm gonna do something I never thought I'd do on this blog. Comment on a reality TV show...

Claymama and I watch "Amazing Race" with Caz1996 because it is usually fun to see the different parts of the world that the teams travel to and I'm a sucker for game shows (which is, essentially what this show is).

The most recent incarnation was the "Family Edition" where groups of FOUR relatives raced (rather than the standard TWO). There is typically a favorite or two. Teams who just are likable and you find yourself rooting for them. Occasionally there are teams you root against. This edition's villains were the Weaver family. It's a widow and her 3 teen-ish age kids (1 boy, 2 girls). The problem with this family is that they proved themselves to be mean-spirited, heartless, self-righteous people - all while claiming to be the only family who is trying to "lead a Christian life."

The evidence? Here's only a few examples. They...:

* tried to direct the drivers of other teams' vehicles to go slow (more than once)
* made fun of a member of another team because he is a garbage man
* had judgmental nicknames for every other team (while most teams came up with nicknames for other teams, they were not mean-spirited)
* said "I hate her" after one of the "Desperate Housewives" tried to show one of the girls some empathy while they were at a race track (the Weavers' father was killed on a race track recently)
* and in one inexplicably rude moment, the youngest (the boy, Rollie) yelled (unprovoked) at a bicyclist they passed "You WISH you were Lance Armstrong!!"

The weird thing is that they kept praying to God to help them in the race!! I'm thinking God might have a few more important things to worry about. Now I'm all for people being free to express their religion, but the mom prayed to God to help them through these goofy little obstacles and races so many times that it became almost funny.

I think it's important to note that I'm suspicious of editing on these "reality" shows to make things look like a "good guy/bad guy" situation all the time, but in this case these people SAID THIS STUFF! It wasn't like the editing made them mock a garbage man.

I do feel a little bad about the the Weavers in that I would hate to be filmed 24 hours/day for 30 days and then the footage aired on national TV. I'm sure I would be proven to be the hypocrite/jackass/pervert/dork that only I know I am. I think it's a good lesson to think about what you claim to be to others. Many people claim to be "good" (fill-in-the-blank - citizens, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Carpenters, workers, friends, etc) but really aren't. This family just didn't get away with it.

Another lesson from this show is that the team that won was the team that really enjoyed themselves (whether in first or last place in a race) and didn't fight with each other (some teams seemed to ONLY fight with each other). In life: get along with each other and have fun. I believe in that and this dumb TV show reinforced that belief.

I kept coming back to one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs when watching the Weavers. It's called "No Earthly Good".

Johnny described his motivation for the song. "That's a song I wrote for phony pious Christians." He said people like that "...give Christianity a bad name. And it should have a good name, because it's a wonderful thing. Wonderful. And I don't like it, it makes me very angry, when charlatans abuse and misuse the Gospel of Jesus Christ..." Amen Johnny.


Blogger Melissa said...

Right on! I watched this season and I was disappointed with the lack of travel. :( The Weaver family is so infuriating. This family personfies the term "Jesus Freaks."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger flyingoyster said...

I'm not so crazy about the term "Jesus Freaks" because it too simply categorizes people...and maybe assumes ALL Christians are "no earthly good" which is certainly NOT what I'm saying. I've known so many Christians whose faith has helped complete them, make them really delightful, compassionate people.

Re: the Weavers - I haven't seen or heard any interviews where they may have commented on their portrayal in the series. I'd love to know how they felt about it. They were rather quiet on the one bit I DID see the day after the series finale.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 9:58:00 AM  

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