I was surprised by my reaction to Jack Black’s prayer to satan. Not that I expected a certain reaction, I hadn’t planned for that moment, but my response still caught me off guard.
Last year at an MTV awards ceremony, actor/comedian Jack Black came out ridiculously dressed in a crazy muscle outfit. As part of a gag, he asked the audience gathered there to pray to satan. Here’s the transcript of what he said:
“Since we’re giving a rock reward tonight, who wants to pray to the devil with me? Who’s in with me. Come on. Let me see those horns. Metal! Metal! Alright, now take the hand of the person next to me. Dear dark lord satan, I hope everything is good with you. I’m doing fine myself. Just want to say hi. And ask you to grant tonight’s nominees continued success in the music industry.”
To be honest with you, in my early 20s I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about that. Not that I ever take praying to satan casually, but prior to really focusing on my relationship with Christ, stuff like this didn’t phase me. But when I read those words of Black recently, I found myself unexpectedly bothered.
I liked his movie, “School of Rock.” I often find him funny, but to be honest with you, the prayer to satan thing is just not something I can get behind. And you can call it satire or a joke, I completely get that. Playing a murderer in a movie doesn’t make you a murderer, but I’ve seen the power of satire too often to write it off. For two years, we’ve collectively used satire on Stuff Christians Like as a way to engage each other in a real conversation about our savior. Comedian Chris Rock has often said that humor allows you to get people to listen to things they wouldn’t listen to if they weren’t laughing. I can’t spout off about my belief that satire is a powerful communication tool and then pretend Black doesn’t know that exact same thing.
And as I started to work through these thoughts, it hit me … I’m a lot more conservative than I used to be.
When did that happen? When did I start to care about things I used to ignore? The Black prayer is actually a bad example because it’s so extreme, but other smaller things have started to bother me. When did I start to feel frustrated by stuff like this? I’m not talking about in a political way, but when did I get so conservative?
The prayer isn’t the only thing I’ve noticed. Here are some other signs of my shift:
1. There’s a Christian radio station in Atlanta who has the motto, “Safe for the whole family.” I used to think that was funny until I had a “whole family.” Suddenly I was happy that I wouldn’t have to explain to my 4 year old what a “booty call” was because some DJ, who inevitably has the word “Dawg” in his name, does a segment called “Today’s hott hott booty call!”
2. I’m having a harder time justifying questionable television. I’ve written about this before, but I think “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is the best-written show right now. But it’s not that uplifting. (Feel free to quote Paul’s verse about what’s permissible.)
3. I’m actually happy when movies avoid unnecessary nudity. (Sorry 7th grade Jon Acuff, the day you thought would never come has. We’re happy about movies without nudity.) The other night when we rented, “From Paris with Love,” the main guy kisses his girlfriend and then they moved to another scene without any pointless topless scenes. Bravo, I say, bravo.
My wife swears this is maturity or sanctification and maybe she’s right.
But have you ever found yourself becoming more conservative? Has an album you loved suddenly lost some charm because the lyrics just don’t feel right anymore? A favorite movie, become not so favorite?
Am I the only one who has suddenly realized they are more conservative than they used to be?