Monday, January 02, 2006

Whatever Happened to Cowboys

Remember the “good old days?” The truth is, the good old days were probably not that good. And yesterday’s cowboys were not exactly models of virtue.

I grew up seeing billboards of the Marlboro man. He was tall, lean, and self-assured. He wasn’t much like any of the deacons in the church where I grew up.

But America’s love affair with cowboys is taking a strange turn. We love our cowboys, but they aren’t supposed to be in love with each other. From what I remember from some of the old, B-westerns, they spent most of their time shooting each other. Evidently, we’ve come a long way.

I enjoy a movie with great scenery. A couple that come to mind are “Out of Africa” and “A River Runs Through It.” But I have no desire to see the scenery in the new, ridiculously promoted movie that features cowboys in love.

Let’s be clear about a couple of things. Love is a wonderful thing, and love between friends of the same gender is a good thing. But can we stop believing the lie that is told every day in our schools and on the streets that love finds its ultimate expression in some kind of sexual act? By all means, love, love sincerely, and love earnestly (1 Peter 1:22), but love expressed sexually is only to occur between a man and a woman who are involved in a “’til death do us part” relationship known as marriage.

Secondly, let’s be clear about cowboys. God is no more pleased by a philandering heterosexual than he is a “trying-to-find-out-who-I-am” homosexual. God is not pleased by a strong independence that has no room for one’s Creator/Redeemer; He is not pleased by crudeness or cruelty. Somehow, we have come to excuse some sins on the screen and exhibit outrage at others. We should put up with none of it.

But I still wouldn’t mind looking a little more like the Marlboro man.

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