Kids who sin die young?
"Hey! You've got a condition you need to get rid of! It's called sin!" said the middle-aged guy into a microphone, standing in front of a Christmas tree decorated with little American flags. Yesiree, I do have a condition, but I call it provocation. I periodically turn the television to the Daystar Network on Channel 19 to see what kids Christian programming is up to these days. I provoke myself.
I had been reading for hours and wanted to space out. The other channels were broadcasting infomercials for knives and real estate seminars and some Saturday morning show with kids dancing and talking with wildly exaggerated movements and expressions that I find SUPER CREEPY. There was also the Daystar Network.
The question What Does God's Voice Sound Like? was on the screen in the middle of a swarm of different colored question marks. They interviewed a dozen kids who all pretty much said a variation on the same thing.
"Ummmmm, it's deep and low and powerful and great and....mighty."
A few of them also said God is nice and/or kind. The only one who stood out was an overachieving Asian boy who quoted a bunch of scripture before rattling off the list. Well, I thought, I would have said something similar when I was ten: may not all the scripture, but God as nice old guy in beard and deep voice, staff in hand sort of thing.
Then it was time for Adventures in Dry Gulch, starring Gospel Bill and his sidekick Nicodemus. There was also a woman in gingham who ran the general store and who kept waving her rolling pin in people's faces, Mister Farnsworth, and Toby, Mister Farnsworth's grandson who was visiting from back East. The basic plot of this instructional drama was that Toby was a rascal who didn't obey his parents, particularly when he glued Nicodemus's boots to the floor, put Mister Farnsworth's false teeth in jalapeno juice, and let the horses out of the corral.
He was brought before Gospel Bill for judgment. Toby stuck his bottom lip out and scrunched his face up and denied everything while Gospel Bill lectured him on obeying one's parents. Toby was later overcome with guilt, fessed up, and ditched his bad ways.
Gospel Bill then turned to the TV audience to spell out further the perils of disobedience. He said that disobedience on a regular basis is like getting caught in Satan's trap and to illustrate his point he whacked a drumstick against a mousetrap so that it was caught. He gave the camera a moment to do a close up on the ensnared stick and satanic trap. He explained that the gospel says that if you obey your parents you will be healthy and have a long life.
"Well, if you disobey, the opposite must be true," and here good ole Gospel Bill held up two dinner plates that had HEALTH and LONG LIFE printed on them and he smashed them with his fists so that they broke into lots of pieces.