I was stuffing envelopes and filing papers for my second grader’s teacher. I sat outside the door in the hallway, so as not to be a distraction to my child whose deepest desire in life (at the moment) is to be attached to my hip. It wasn’t a glamorous task but I did get to alphabetize which brought some small comfort. A fun loving young teacher rounded the corner, waved and stopped to ask if I loved the sopranos as much as she did.

      Now, I consider myself to be “up” on things but this time I was stumped.

     “Singers?” I asked.

     “No! The show!”

     “On PBS?”

     “No! HBO!”

     “Oh… we don’t ‘get’ HBO.”

      I decided not to pontificate.  “I’ve heard of the Three Tenors. Those guys are great.”  She looked frustrated. “No, no, no! I’m talking about the Sopranos. It’s a family. Aren’t you an Italian from New York? Where have you been? I can’t believe you haven’t watched it. You’d love it. It’s hysterical. Raw and real about a good guy in the mafia. You have to see it.”

It was almost lunchtime (when my seven year old would be expecting to
“attach”, so I smiled and offered a half-hearted promise to watch the Sopranos sometime.   I have not watched the Sopranos but I have seen a great deal of press on the Sopranos. I have since heard people discussing the Sopranos. I have noted that other networks have released Soprano-copy-cats. I can say with confidence that I will never watch the Sopranos. Close-minded? Box-headed? Tunnel-visioned? Yes and no.

Being a lover of words, imagery, metaphors, symbolism—I always cringe when (Christian) people criticize that which they do not take the time to learn about, let alone understand. While well known figures may not publicly (or privately) shout the praises of my Lord and Savior, I have never lumped secular musicians, authors, entertainers, millionaires and politicians all together in the “evil empire.”  Notice I didn’t mention athletes. They get some sort of special exemption from most Christian viewers.

So why won’t I watch the Sopranos in order to make a more informed evaluation?  There is so much information at our fingertips that it is no longer necessary to be on full time guard duty in order to monitor what will and will not pass into our households. I have more important things to do. There are plenty of resources to guide those of us who want to honor our Judeo-Christian values. (Log on to screenit.com)

But who’s to say that what is wrong for me is wrong for you? Nobody. Unless of course, you claim to love God with all your heart mind and soul. If that is the case, the whole subject of entertainment and recreation gets a lot more complicated. Check your Bible. Remember the verse about not looking at certain things? How about the  one which specifically tells us what we should be looking at and thinking about? You say you were caught off guard and didn’t realize what that “thriller” was about? Shame on you for wasting your money that way. Double shame if you didn’t walk out. And parents, don’t be surprised if your drooping standards cause the kids’ to sink as well.

(Article continued in: American Beauty: Part II)