Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A New Nadir: "Arranged Marriage" TV Show

NPR ran a piece today about a new reality CBS-TV program called, "Arranged Marriage." Couples actually marry by arrangement by third parties. Then the couples are filmed over a period of time to discover how it works out. They are, in a sense, media prostitutes: they both get paid to get married and have sex.

The holy institution of matrimony is now an entertainment experiment. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with arranged marriage, but it does not fit the American ethos very well. Moreover, the commentator was not worried about "the premise" of the program as long as it was all treated with respect. But how is that possible? What vows could be taken for such a marriage: "...as long as the ratings are up?" This program, a desperate bid for ratings, is intrinsically disrespectful of marriage and of those stupid enough to participate--"the actors"- in the program. Moreover, as the interviewer pointed out, what if children are conceived? What chance do they have to being raised in a loving, stable family? Maybe they'll grow up to imbalanced TV stars themselves.

Sadly, CBS is capitalizing on the breakdown of marriage as an order of creation, the rise of cohabitation (experimenting without committing, which is the real "premise" of the program), and a society entertaining itself to death.

I cannot prove it, but I once heard someone say that Francis Schaeffer was asked what a radical Christian thing to do would be. He answered, "Stay married to one person until one of you dies."

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