Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
But in our culture, it seems goodness can only be praised with a tone of irony. This might explain the negative response to Brent Musburger’s genuine, gentlemanly praise of Katherine Webb, Miss Alabama and girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. During ESPN’s coverage of the BCS National Championship Game last week, as the camera lingered on Miss Webb, Musburger said, “You quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women. What a beautiful woman… Whoa!” For this, he was widely mocked and derided. ESPN felt it necessary to apologize.
We take offense at all the wrong things. The integrity of women is demeaned on reality shows but when someone praises a woman’s good looks, in a respectful, “aw shucks” manner he is considered indecent! Too often, prodded by the media elites, we instead elevate what is base, crass, violent, profane. A culture that tends to ignore or even despise what is good recoils at appreciations of true beauty.
What Musburger said was the opposite of so much of the ironic spite that fills our airwaves. Most of us at home watching the game likely agreed with his sentiments, but the media elite could not stand such a sincere recognition of something wonderful. Miss Webb herself said she appreciated the praise and that the apology was unwarranted.
We need a cultural recalibration. I hope you’ll be inspired to be part of the effort that is gaining ground every day to resuscitate these values, which people are realizing are so critical to a well-functioning society. John Adams said “ Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” A free, virtuous people do not need a government to control every aspect of their lives, they do not need word police to censor their thoughts.
But when a society has no compass, when those who praise the good are labeled bad, the moral chaos that ensues gives tyranny a chance to take root, as our Founders warned. We have a decision to be a country inspired by values or virtues, or governed by rules and regulations. If our focus is on the opposite of good, the disorder in our souls will be reflected in our culture–and our politics.
Brent Musburger, I thank you for who you are, for your kindness, and for the polite way you recognize one of the realities of God’s beautiful creation. There is beauty everywhere–most especially within each and every human soul–but if we can’t even recognize evident outward beauty, how can we begin to acknowledge the more profound goodness that cannot be seen?
We all need to encourage those who criticized Brent to be open to more than the narrow way of looking at life that the statists are attempting to impose. It’s well and good to appreciate the goodness all around us!
Here’s a clip of Musberger praising Miss Webb (33 seconds).