Ruth Speaks Out

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ON THE SUPERBOWL ADS

Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2018

by James V. Schall, S. J. (close friend of Dr. Morse)

As I watched the Super Bowl, which turned out to be a very good game, what rapidly grew in my conscience was the sustained egalitarian propaganda in so many of the unavoidable ads we watched. One could not but notice that Turkish Airlines was a major sponsor, though we are by now used to ads from the Emirate airlines in many sports venues.

The rhetoric of the ads and the story line presented obviously had something to do with the NFL’s problem with player protests against America. Some of this may have been manifest, but if so, I missed it. T-Mobile seemed to sponsor the egalitarian line in almost evangelistic fashion.

Three sequences in particular are worth recalling. The first one showed a taxi drive up to a Catholic church. A vigorous, rather tough-looking young cleric in Roman collar got in the cab. This scene was followed by stops at the local mosque, Buddhist center, and at a synagogue where clerics in colorful garb also got into the same cab. The viewer could have gotten the impression that this country is mainly populated by eastern religions.

But the message all along was that we all can and must get along together, no matter what our doctrinal differences. Live and let live. We can all enjoy the same games, no problem. The message had, to me at least, a bite to it. That is, these religions better get along together in this land. No conflict can exist between the culture and any religion. We do not tolerate anyone who cannot go along with the reigning civic orthodoxy.

Another sequence showed acts of charity and kindness, gays and poor, and minorities being helped by others. We just needed to get along. Everyone needed to help everyone. We can change, we are again and again told.A new day is dawning. The media now take an active role in changing views to conform to the reigning orthodoxy.

The final series was perhaps the most disturbing. In a nursery, we suddenly see one infant after another lined up next to each other. One is white, one is black, one Latino, one Chinese, and others of some other hue. The point was, evidently, all these little tykes are pretty much alike. How could anyone think otherwise?

Yet, these babies were all but recently born. They were shown without their parents, almost as if the parents were irrelevant. The children were not seen as members of a family. What was not mentioned or indicated was that any one or all of these infants could have been legally aborted with no questions asked had their photos been taken in utero a couple of months earlier.

So my brief conclusion from this year’s Super-bowl ad-watching saga is that we are being subjected to a heavy dose of propaganda about equality. The swirl of the myriads of identical dancers at half-time left the same impression. Besides a universalized egalitarianism, no other distinctions about the human good are permitted. Fundamental differences of belief, custom, genes, virtue, and prospect are evil and must be eliminated, evidently by what? My guess is the state, or perhaps the NFL.

 

James V. Schall, S.J. taught political philosophy at Georgetown University for many years until recently retiring. He is the author of numerous books and countless essays on philosophy, theology, education, morality, and other topics. His most recent book is Reasonable Pleasures: The Strange Coherences of Catholicism (Ignatius Press). Visit his site, "Another Sort of Learning", for more about his writings and work.


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