Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Preacher’s Corner
Are you addicted to the Weather Channel? Check symptoms!
Recently some folks I know who live out in the country acquired a satellite dish. They were very impressed with all the channels they could receive and were generally enjoying this new luxury which they had uncharacteristically allowed themselves.
A grandson from Atlanta, sophisticated in the ways of the world, stopped by to visit and inspected the new dish, carefully placed in a flower bed in the front yard (so as to have the necessary southern exposure to sweep the sky for signals). He shook his head, walked back in the house, and pronounced the situation “a case of ‘high-tech-rednecks.’”
I do not have a satellite dish, and as a minister would be reluctant to get one, even since I saw an ad for a mega-church in Florida that proclaimed the congregation to be “Independent, Fundamental Bible-Believing, Pre-Millennial, Soul-Saving, Missionary, Separated, and Satellite-Connected!”
Even the sawdust trail seems to have gone high-tech, as the revival tent has given away to “tel-evangelism.” (I am always interested that those who proclaim the “old-fashioned gospel” are more willing to embrace new methods than those who claim to be “progressive” in their theology.)
Some years ago I officiated at a wedding in a very fundamental church (their term, not my description), in which — I vow it to be true — there were more technicians controlling the sound, lights, taped music, recording, photographing, and videotaping of the ceremony, than there were invited guests.
For reasons of reverence, my congregation does not encourage photography during weddings, so that I found this “high-tech wedding” somewhat amusing, especially since the church where it took place insists on reading only from the King James Bible, and that there be “no new ideas” from the pulpit.
We are closely aligned with our televisions, except for those who are able to access TV programs from their computers and smart phones. Sometimes this results in addiction, and for some reason this situation applies particularly to the Weather Channel. I suppose this is better than being addicted, say, to one of those tel-evangelist channels, for at least, the Weather Channel does not ask you to send in money.
I know a gentleman in Holly Springs who swears his wife is addicted to the Weather Channel. I am sure he is right. Several of my relatives show similar distressing propensities.
You, or someone you love, may also have a similar addiction. Before jumping into a 12-step treatment program (Hi! My name is Maria. I am a Weather Channel addict…), here are some of the symptoms.
If the Weather Channel has been on at your house all day, but you cannot tell me what the forecast for tomorrow actually is, then you may be a Weather Channel addict (my eyes glaze over).
If you or family members unconsciously hum the Weather Channel jingle music, you may be a Weather Channel addict! (I am informed that you can actually purchase a CD of Weather Channel music. Now, here is a present for that “hard-to-buy-for” individual!)
If you find yourself becoming hysterical about approaching “severe thunder storms” in Oklahoma, or a hurricane four states away, then you may be a Weather Channel addict. (Have you noticed that ever since the Weather Channel came into being, there are no more plain old rain showers or lazy afternoon thunderstorms? Every thunderstorm is “possibly severe” and every shower is a “potential flash flood.”)
If you have long conversations with friends that it is hotter, colder, wetter, drier, etc., than it has ever been in history (how silly when you realize that the world is billions of years old, and that detailed weather records have only been kept for about a hundred years), then you may be a Weather Channel Addict!
If you find that you are partial to this or that Weather Channel meteorologist, and comment incessantly on their clothing tastes (a la Vanna White), or have decided opinions pro or con about whether one should do the weather when pregnant, then you may be a Weather Channel addict!
I suppose the people who pay for the commercials on the Weather Channel believe they will get more viewers for their money if the anxiety of the forecasts is ramped up as much as possible!
A similar set of signs exist for CNN and FOX addicts as for WCA’s (the scientific acronym for the Weather Channel syndrome we have been describing), as well as for the older and better known Soap Opera Addiction Syndrome. By the way, I never understood why anybody who lives in Holly Springs needs to watch a soap opera! Real life here is much more interesting! And now Football Widow Addiction is grounds for divorce in Nevada.
We won’t even talk about the “I Love Lucy,” “Andy Griffith,” or “M*A*S*H” rerun syndromes. Some of these things are just too personal. And if you have someone with one of these conditions at your house, please don’t call me for counseling. Just get two televisions.
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