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From “Leave it to Beaver” to “Game of Thrones”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If an intelligent being from another planet wanted to gauge the moral condition of America based on the recent Emmy Awards, what conclusions would that alien draw?


Aside from the dazzling fashion display on the red carpet – what odd, non-functional clothes these humans wear! – and a few inspirational moments provided in some of the acceptance speeches, the curious alien might well conclude that America is in a serious moral crisis.

According to the official website, the Emmy Awards “recognize excellence within various areas of television and emerging media,” and while the awards reflect the viewpoint of the voting panel, the awards also reflect the popularity of the shows themselves.

What was the Emmy Award winner for the Outstanding Drama Series?

It was the HBO series, Game of Thrones, which received a negative rating of 5 out of 5 stars for both violence and sex on the Common Sense Media website.

Describing the show, this family-friendly site noted, “Parents need to know that Game of Thrones (based on the novels by George R.R. Martin) is big-budget fantasy series that frequently depicts brutal battles and graphic, detailed acts of violence (including those against children and women), as well as lots of nudity and no-holds-barred sexuality. The latter is portrayed in an especially iffy manner, with explicit discussion and depiction of incest, adultery, and rape. Strong language, including ‘f--k,’ is frequent. Although the series is well produced, even the most sympathetic characters make plenty of iffy choices, and the over-the-top content is questionable for all but adult viewers.”


That appears to be an understatement, given how the series shocked viewers earlier in the year with an incestuous rape scene (which took place next to the corpse of the baby of the brother-sister couple) and then with an extended scene featuring the full frontal nudity of one of the lead characters.

The Outstanding Comedy Series was Veep, of which Common Sense Media wrote:

“Parents need to know that strong language is the biggest concern in the HBO comedy series VEEP, with ‘f--k’ (and every imaginable variation of it), ‘bitch,’ ‘t-t,’ ‘s--t,’ and ‘d--k’ being the major offenders in the anything-goes dialogue. Sex and drinking are lesser concerns but do arise, though more as conversation points than anything else. Clearly this content isn't appropriate for most teens, who probably won't fully appreciate its satirical take on the political process as a whole anyway. But for adults, it's a scathing, laugh-out-loud glimpse at what might go on in one of the most questionably effective political offices in the country.”

How wholesome!

The Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series was Jeffrey Tambor from Transparent, which also received a negative 5 out of 5 stars for sex on Common Sense Media.

To quote from their review again: “Parents need to know that Transparent focuses on a divorced father of three who's navigating a major life change: transitioning to living life full-time as a woman. You'll see some simulated sex and occasional full-frontal nudity, and hear unbleeped swearing in the form of ‘f--k’ and ‘s--t.’ Some characters also smoke pot and drink socially.”


In fact, Game of Thrones and Transparent did so well that one major headline focused on these two series as the big Emmy winners. How telling.

Regarding Transparent and its role in transgender activism, the flagship gay publication The Advocate noted, “Will & Grace [which helped advance the gay activist cause] had the advantage of being availabe [sic] on network television. The big question now is, will Transparent be popular enough to have that kind of impact?”

To give one last example, winner for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series was Jon Hamm in his role in Mad Men, which received 4 out of 5 negative stars for Drinking, drugs, and smoking on Common Sense Media’s review.

Certainly, there is much talent behind these shows – actually, I assume there is, since I haven’t watched them myself – and there are probably some redeeming moments and important lessons along the way.

But the saturation of sexual immorality, sexual perversion, glorification of gender confusion, extreme violence, profanity, and substance abuse paints a terrible picture of America in 2015, making us wonder again if entertainment influences culture, reflects culture, or is a combination of both.

But to intensify the picture just painted, imagine that this same alien visitor had spied on America in the early 1960s and watched some of our hit TV programming back then – shows like Andy Griffith, The Flintstones, and Bonanza. Would he have believed he was visiting the same planet and country?


Just imagine him reporting back to his people saying, “America has gone from “Leave It to Beaver” to “Game of Thrones.””

It really boggles the mind.

The good news is that moral purity outlasts moral anarchy – it’s one of the tenets I lay out in Outlasting the Gay Revolution – and so I believe the tide can turn in our nation. But it will require a massive awakening, beginning in the church, where, sad to say, many of us are entertained by moral trash like this.

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