No, Not Everybody’s Doing It!

Ed Johnson


Does it seem that everyone drinks and cheats on his or her spouse, has no real scruples about honesty and curses like a peg—legged pirate?  To non-smokers it seems that everyone else smokes.  Beyond debate, many people do these things and think nothing of it.

However, not even the majority of our fellow citizens so behave.  The average American drinks 16 times more coffee and 12 times more milk than he does liquor.  In spite of much promiscuity, he most of our population still lives within the framework of marriage and family life.  A newspaper editorial some time back suggested that the average person does not always lace his conversation with profanities and he may even be growing weary of those who do.  According to the American Lung Association, at the time of this writing, only 28% of our population smokes.

Why then, does It seem that “everybody’s” doing such things?  Perhaps many factors are involved, but surely, chief among them is the illusion created by the news and entertainment media.  A large percentage of the current rock and country songs glamorize one or more of the practices mentioned above.  The impression is left that everybody behaves this way.  I remarked after seeing the movie “Earthquake” that it is amazing how much sex and drinking and profanity can work into an innocent subject.

At a recent annual conference of the National Council of Alcoholism in Washington, Nicolas Johnson, of the National Citizens Committee on Broadcasting, referred to “the gross disproportion in the showing of the use of alcohol on television and the actual liquid consumption patterns of the American people.”  Mr. Johnson reported that on TV, liquor is used 24 times as much as is coffee and 120 times as much as milk in real life.

So, how can we overcome the despair that comes from seeing sin glorified and glamorized?  We can remember that most people are still basically decent and want to do right NOT EVERYBODY’S DOING IT!  We can also remember that as Christians we are instructed, “that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12).  Our world needs such beautiful examples so desperately!  And remember Paul’s words, “evil companionships (even via the news media) corrupt good morals” (l Corinthians 15:33 ASV)