In a recent post, Chad Ragsdale regrets the decline of morality in western civilization. He argues against the laying down of arms in the culture war, and starts his argument with a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (which he says is all-but-required when you visit Cleveland).
As you walk into one of the exhibits, you are greeted by a bank of televisions broadcasting in mostly black and white. Each television is playing looping videos of angry preachers with bad haircuts and cheap suits decrying the great moral evils of rock and roll music. It is a not-so-subtle lampoon. The silly, morally panicked preachers are displayed as trophies, heads mounted on the walls of this temple to rock music. The theologian/preacher in me stood for a moment and payed homage to these preachers, listening to their messages. Despite being a bit over-the-top, I had to admit that they weren’t completely wrong. Listening to the filth that has become commonplace in the music landscape, it’s hard to make the case that music hasn’t encouraged moral degradation in our culture and especially in our youth. If you think I sound old fashioned or alarmist just remember that a song about female genitalia spent four weeks at the top of the charts in 2020.
There’s no shortage of think pieces with the intent to persuade us of the futility in engaging with cultural protest. Ragsdale takes the opposite side, draws his sword, and wades into the thick of the fight. He does, however, think we need to pick our battles.
Some battles are mere distractions. Some battles are futile. Some battles are just foolish. For instance, in 1997 did we really need to lose our minds over the Harry Potter series? Was this a battle worth fighting? In my opinion, no, it was foolishness born out of paranoia and ignorance. We expended resources and energy on a futile and foolish battle.
He uses an interesting example, because someone recently mentioned to me that the priest in the church he grew up going to frequently railed against Harry Potter. What are the hills on which we are prepared to die?