A sad reality of our society today is that celebrity scandals in the news are no surprise to us anymore. Headlines about the rich and famous having nude photos leak or getting DUI’s just make us go, “Meh,”.
If you know me, you know that I am definitely not a huge sports fan. I understand the general idea of most sports, some sports have a ball and some don’t and the one who’s fastest to the finish line gets something that’s big and shiny; but that’s about the extent of my knowledge of sports. However, because of the media’s obsession with celeb shame, I am aware of famous athlete’s missteps.
One of the latest scandals concerns Lance Armstrong. He was found guilty of doping during his Tour de France wins and was accused of forcing his teammates to dope with him (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/othersports/usada-says-it-has-conclusive-and-undeniable-proof-of-lance-armstrong-doping-conspiracy/2012/10/10/b8dafd3e-12fd-11e2-be82-c3411b7680a9_story.html).
As punishment, Armstrong was stripped of his sponsorship from Nike, stepped down as chairman of his Livestrong cancer charity, had his Tour de France victories stripped, and his bronze medal won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics are currently under review; and rightfully so, nobody should be rewarded for cheating.
In 2009, another sports-related scandal was of Tiger Wood’s infidelity. As many of us know, Tiger Woods was caught red-handed cheating on his wife with multiple women. However, unlike Armstrong, Nike didn’t drop Wood’s sponsorship.
But something that surprised me was people’s reaction to the news. Many said, “Who cares? A lot of famous people cheat on their significant other and get away with it.” I’m sorry, but that’s not an okay response with me. That’s like saying, “Who cares? A lot of people like going around punching babies in the face for fun, just let them live their life, dang it! AMURRCA!” (Well, not to that extent, but you get the point.)
Cheating, No Longer a Big Deal?
As an advertising major, I’ve studied the usage of sponsorships in marketing campaigns. The reason why Nike didn’t drop Tiger Woods is because they believe he still represents the message the brand wishes to convey, which is that strong athletes use Nike’s high-quality product. Despite the scandals in his personal life, because Tiger Woods is still strong and successful, he was not dropped as a Nike spokesperson; whereas Lance Armstrong, because he used steroids to improve his performance, is no longer seen as a strong athlete.
So this leaves me asking, where has society’s priorities gone? I mean, both Armstrong and Woods are weak men. Armstrong is physically weak, compared to his competitors, and wanted to win so badly that he cheated and used steroids. Woods is emotionally weak so he gave in to the temptation of women.
Our society sees cheating in a game is much graver than cheating on your wife. Is family no longer a priority in our society?
What Does God Have to Say About This?
God shows us how family should look through the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph were faithful not only to each other, but also faithful to God’s plan. Mary fully embraced God’s plan for her, even though it meant that she might be stoned to death. Joseph followed God’s commands with a child-like attitude, whereas the average Joe-Shmoe would’ve divorced Mary and let her be stoned to death in the town square.
But Joseph was faithful to God and he was faithful to his wife. Because of their faithfulness to each other and to faithfulness to God’s plan, God blessed them with the physical presence of Jesus. Pretty cool, right? Through this, God shows us how awesome a family can be when modeled around Christ and when we practice faithfulness to God and to our spouses.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “This girl hasn’t ever experienced the pain and suffering of being cheated on, so how would she know anything about this at all?” Well, we can all learn from the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ bride is the Church. We are unfaithful to Him almost every second of everyday, yet He still loves us unconditionally.
He is the ultimate example of forgiveness, something else that is definitely not revered in our world. Jesus is the ultimate example of how we should live our lives, so we should learn how to forgive like He forgives, no matter what wrongs have been done against us. It’s only in doing this that we can become one with Him.
What Does This Mean For Me?
I know for a lot of us college students, starting a family may seem like something very very very far in the future; but we can start preparing for ourselves for our future spouses right now. When we do things like flirt with someone just for funzies, dress immodestly (modest is hottest, ladies) or date the nearest living thing without first discerning the relationship, we are being disrespectful to our future spouse. I’m not saying to turn all crazy Amish person, but just think in terms of, “Would my future spouse appreciate me doing this?”
So, let’s all practice purity of heart, mind, and body and forgiveness for all peoples, just as Christ has taught us. Together, we can all show His light to the world, making it just a little bit better place to live.
“For, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for present and for the future.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
Laurelin Ontai is a media intern for Campus Renewal Ministries. She is currently a junior at the University of Texas at Austin and active in her ministry at the University Catholic Center. If you have any questions or comments, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org