What do you do when you realize that the music you've been singing out loud in the shower has some questionable lyrics? How about when your coworker forwards you an email that says you should never buy from this not-so-short list of companies who support Planned Parenthood? Or maybe your pastor mentions in his homily how we really shouldn't be watching some of the shows on tv because of the lies and propaganda they push. What if you find out that the ingredients in your favorite dessert are cancer causing, or hear that the shampoo you use is terrible for the environment?
I've always maintained the staunch position of Don't Ask, Don't Tell when it comes to bad news. If I don't ask what's going on in the world, then don't tell me. Phil is my phil-ter when it comes to what I need to know to be a semi-educated adult in our society. He lets me know what politics I should be concerned about and what is going on in the world. He does not let me know about the crazy man in the town next to ours that raped a five year old in the public library (terribly true story) because I can't handle news like that. I know bad things happen but I want to know as little detail as possible so that I can sleep at night.
This ignorance is bliss policy card I hold comes even more into play when there's a morality element involved. For instance, I've been on an Adam Levine kick lately. His songs are so catchy and great to sing along to in the car, plus he's easy on the eyes and seems nice on tv.
But when I found myself singing along to his newest song and realized that I am glorifying a man having a one night stand with a woman who's mean to him, I realize I should not be listening to this. Sure, just singing a song doesn't make me go out and have a one night stand, but maybe over time the bouncing beat will make that situation seem a little less sinful and a little more fun?
And don't even get me started on the tv shows available right now. Where have the days of Full House and Family Matters gone? It seems every show has the token gay couple, unmarried parents, alcoholic Aunt, cheating Mom, absentee Dad, violent Uncle. Look, I understand that art imitates life, but should I be supporting and glorifying art that imitates lifestyles I do not agree with? Just because you call it "normal" doesn't mean it's right.
I love watching shows where the characters have vices and temptations that they fight to overcome in order to be better. What I don't like is shows that portray these immoral acts as good. Whatever happened to good overcoming evil instead of just showing evil and calling it good?
When I was a freshman at good old Steubie U, I remember a sign in the common room (the only place you could watch tv back then) that read "Would Mary Watch This?" It's a spin on the whole WWJD mentality. It used to drive me bonkers because Mary didn't even have a tv ;) And it wasn't the only reminder. When I was getting dressed I would pass by the mirror in the hallway with a sign that read "Would Mary Wear This?" and the rebellious 18 year-old in me would think "Um, no, Mary would not wear pants and a button down shirt because they didn't even have those clothes available, but it doesn't make what I'm wearing inappropriate!"
But now I see that it means would Mary (insert any idol/mentor/hero) wear that if she were alive today? Would she watch this show if she were sitting on the couch next to me now? See how much smarter I've become since I got those degrees? Ha!
Now that I'm a Momma Bear, whenever my children are around I am suddenly aware of all of the objectionable music, inappropriate shows and unhealthy foods that surround them. I would never want them to be exposed to immoral ideas presented as normal, acceptable, or even good. I don't let them eat sweets all day, I make sure they exercise and brush their teeth and say their prayers.
I want to protect them (body and soul) until they are wise enough to make their own educated decisions.
And it finally dawns on me...Mary (our Heavenly Momma Bear) wants to protect my body and soul as much as I want to protect my children.
If I won't let my kids watch/listen/eat/play with something, why should I? I can't fall back on being ignorant to things that are detrimental to my soul. I can't knowingly support sinful ways while claiming Heaven is my goal. While ignorance may be blissful in this life, faithful stewardship promises eternal bliss in the next.