Question: What is your opinion of the Super bowl controversy?
Answer: Television has the potential of being either an asset or a detriment to society and to the families which make up society. But just as we must carefully choose the literature we read – newspapers, magazines, books, and so forth – we must be selective about what we view on television. The channel selector is usually the biggest and most important knob on any TV set, second only to the on-off switch.
All of our media ought to be selected with an eye toward improving our understanding of the world around us—toward making us better Catholics and better citizens. There is a place, of course, for entertainment, but it should never be of the sort that would embarrass us if Jesus and Mary were with us in the living room. Able bodied people ought to give consideration to engaging in appropriate sports more often than watching them. The idea of just turning the TV on when entering the room is bound to be a source of time wasting if not outright corruption.
More than ever before Catholics need to spend their spare time learning more about the Faith and the society around them. Only the informed Catholic/citizen can reason properly in order to make the critical choices that face us in twenty-first century religion, politics, and economics. Too much TV watching can have the same effect as the “bread and circuses” which distracted the citizens of Rome from the concern for the destruction of the Empire. If at all possible, families ought to plan their viewing times in advance – and plan to read and do other things together apart from the scheduled times.
Remember that even the most intellectual programs may contain an anti-Christian bias, making them unsuitable for those unable to reason independently. An awful lot of the media content today is devoted to telling people what they saw and what they are supposed to think about it – from the pre- and post-game shows, to the “expert analysis” that surrounds important political events and other public happenings with a moral character. As Catholic citizens of the Republic we are obliged to form a sound conscience apart from what is espoused by the “talking heads.”
Finally, remember that enormous amounts of money are spent by television sponsors trying to sell their products. The most effective way to influence the content of TV programs is to let those sponsors know that we liked or disliked what we saw and intend to buy or boycott their product.