Christianity Today posted a fantastic opinion piece about Jon & Kate Gosselin and the Evangelical/Christian fascination
Of all the viewers who followed the Gosselins, evangelicals were among the most faithful. Jon and Kate’s refusal to resort to “selective reduction” when they found themselves pregnant with sextuplets, their membership in an Assemblies of God church, and their Isaiah 40:31 T-shirts all helped to make them icons of evangelical piety. Churches from across the country clamored to be added to their speaking tours. In the last two years the vast majority of Jon and Kate’s presentations took place at Christian conferences or at evangelical churches, most often Baptist, nondenominational or charismatic.
. . . on the season five premiere, which aired on Memorial Day, the couple expressed no love for one another and made no promises about being together in the future. Both appeared ready to file for divorce.
. . . Viewers, and especially evangelical viewers, are aghast. How could such a loving, Christian family disintegrate so quickly? Is the failure of their marriage due to the stress of parenting multiples? Can it be attributed to Kate’s love of celebrity versus Jon’s desire to retreat from the limelight? Might it be the result of living under constant (albeit self-imposed) surveillance?
. . . We evangelicals tend to be easily impressed. We cheered on Jon and Kate’s decision to carry all six babies to term but rarely considered the prior question: Was it right for them to undergo risky fertility treatments in the first place?
. . .As fellow Christians, we should have reminded the Gosselins that life is a gift to be received in gratitude, not something to be grasped, purchased, or sold. In many ways, the last four seasons of Jon & Kate Plus Eight is the story of a family that seemed to progressively lose sight of this truth. Of course, they had help along the way from TLC, from the show’s producers, and not least of all, from their Christian viewers.
. . . The hope for us—and the hope of Jon and Kate—is to turn once again to the rich, complex, and difficult ethics of Jesus and to let those ethics form us into a more discerning people in the world. It is time that we look for role models who value self-sacrifice over material gain. It is time that we practice forgiveness and the healing of broken relationships and call fellow Christians to do the same. It is time that we take our own marriage vows seriously and hold our brothers and sisters to be true to their commitments as well.
I voiced my frustration about the Jon & Kate fascination earlier on my blog. I was astounded from the first time I watched the show. How could Christians actually watch and endorse this mess of a relationship and family?
The Christianity Today article goes deep into not only the show, but Jon & Kate’s ills before the show aired. More profoundly is calls the Christian community to do better in keeping on another accountable within their marriages and family structures and challenges us to be cautious of what we support.
What I want to know is why?
Why did – and do – Christians gravitate to this show?
What is is about Jon & Kate that is so intriguing?
Why did Christianity Today- through articles – and Zondervan Publisng – through two books, including one just this April –both support the show and the family lifestyle?
I have thoughts, but someone help me out here, please.