Something Wicked This Way Comes
The broadway musical Wicked got me thinking. In it, the story of the Wizard of Oz is turned on its head as the story is told from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. The Witch is the protagonist in this story and presumably the Wizard of Oz is the bad guy. This flip flop of good and evil gave me an insight into the current state of man that I wish to share:
Seventy years ago when the original Wizard of Oz movie came out, there was no doubt what good was and what evil was. Right was right and wrong was quite wrong. But it seems that even our language today confirms that we have lost our way and we have lost our sense of right and wrong.
Have you ever heard of something good being described as wicked? That's a wicked ride. That's some wicked coffee. That movie is wicked good. Something that once was evil is now thought of as good. But has the term really changed or have we?
I learned somewhere that the best villians in movies are not evil for evil's sake. The best villians believe that they are the good guys. Something bad happens to a character that tragically sets him on a course of evil and destruction. Darth Vader is one example if you watch all six movies in succession. From Darth's perspective, he is doing right and working to restore peace and order to the galaxy.
Even more notably, some stories are told from the perspective of the antagonists. We call these characters anti-heroes. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are perfect examples of anti-heroes: Murderers, bank robbers and thieves. Yet in the movie it's easy to root for them, for in the movie they are the good guys.
The same works in real life: Adolf Hitler, bad as he was, believed passionately in his ideas about the future of Germany. He was evil yet saw himself as good. Osama Bin Laden has no problem killing thousands of Americans because in his eyes, he's doing the will of Allah. No doubt, the Red Chinese of today also have no problem with torturing and killing people with little regard to their civil rights. And thus, horrible atrocities are committed every day.
The question I ask is, have we also lost our way? What if we too, we who believe we are doing good are the ones who have lost our bearings and instead of doing right are doing wrong?
In the past, our movies reflected wholesome values and goodness. But now in the name of free speech, we allow movies with the most depraved subject matter to be produced and distributed throughout the world. Muslims think they have a point in trying to kill us. We call them the evil ones, but have we lost our way?
We think that marriage is just a piece of paper. Have we forgotten that it is a sacred promise made between two people and God to love and honor their commitment to one another? We say the words, "We fell out of love" far more than we say "For better or worse." Have we lost our way?
Today, for a guy it's considered a compliment to be called, 'Pimp'. 'Porn star' is a logo that our women proudly display on their shirts. Have we lost our way?
We think it's bad when a child gets molested by an adult, but when Abercrombie and Fitch shows young kids with minimal clothing in their ads, we call it free speech. Have we lost our way?
We glorify the stealing and killing police offiers in video games like Grand Theft Auto. Have we lost our way?
We turn Christmas break into winter break. We turn Easter break into Spring Break. We turn Thanksgiving into Turkey day. Merry Christmas becomes Happy Holidays. We have stripped all the meaning out of the holidays. The Salvation Army is now banned from in front of many stores, yet we're handing out condoms in schools like they are candy. Have we lost our way?
Has what was wrong become our right? Have our minds changed and do we no longer know what right and wrong is? Have we foolishly turned our hearts from what we know is right to what is wrong?
I read this passage in Genesis and I think about what the people must have been like just prior to Noah's time:
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
Let me ask you: What sorts of wicked things do you think the people of Noah's day were doing? Could it really be much worse than what we do to ourselves each and every day? I believe our generation invents evil along with the best of them, and all the while we pretend we are good.
I long for the day when we rediscover the true meaning of the word wicked, when we no longer take pleasure in its use. I for one, long for a day when we can return to the true pursuit of goodness in America.
Will you stand with me and begin standing for goodness in America? Let's make right, right again.
Those are my thoughts. Thanks for listening.