Crime Does Not Pay – Except on American Television

It seems almost impossible to find a prime time television show that doesn’t have something to do with crime. The huge popularity of the CSI kind of show is amply embellished with dozens of other crime shows that fill the venue to the brim almost every night of the week. Far from being a comprehensive list here are just some of the offerings from the American idea of crime and punishment. CSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York, NCSI, Forensic Files, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, Law and Order SUV, The Closer, Shark, Cold Case Files, First 48, Missing, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, City Confidential, Psychic Detective, Mission Road, The Shield, etc. What remains after these shows may also be filled with violence, shows like, Alias, The Unit, Smith, to just name a few.

Do we have a stomach for this much violence? And where are your kids when these shows are on? The question “Do you know where your kids are tonight” might have lost all of its import because if they were in front of the TV they will no doubt see more crime than they might ever encounter on the street.

The nature of the crimes shown is changing as well. Perhaps the producers are driven by competition but the graphic depictions of the crimes are becoming more morbid and extreme. The shows also must be digging down to the bottom of the barrel to find the newest twisted offerings of the criminal element. Bizarre seems to be the best word to describe the new trend toward totally off the wall murders and violence. Must we see the bullet as it rips through every muscle and tissue of the body? Do we have to wade into the mind of the criminal who plans out every twisted detail of a crime that most of us could not imagine if we wanted to? When is enough, enough?

Wrestling and ultimate fight shows take up the slack and they are often watched by children. They almost serve as a primer for when parents will let them sit and watch the blood and gore of the crime shows. Are they just innocuous fillers? Children don’t know that the wrestling shows are choreographed, rehearsed and already decided on long before they get to the arenas and TV Screens. But here’s the rub, millions of adults don’t know it either or they just don’t want to know.

Harmless entertainment? The next time you see a wrestler thrown from the top of a ladder to a table outside of the ring or being beaten over the head with a metal chair look up. Look up at the thousands of youngsters with their eyes and jaws stretched open to the limit. Those children are the most likely candidates for becoming the next subject of the crime shows.

Media in general doesn’t care about countless studies that positively link violent shows and games to school violence and later to street crime. There’s a buck to be made and who’s worrying about your kids?

The law enforcement figures in the crime shows are touted as heroes. They doggedly persist with forensic tools, savvy and determination until the criminal is finally stopped. There is a kind of falsehood about their heroism because it is like the case of the person who constantly sweeps out the cobweb but never does anything about the spider. Men and women who espouse a change of heart in individuals like preachers and evangelists are ignored or labeled as bible thumpers or charlatans that pander to the meek and those who are not as self reliant.

The public trend is to view the preacher as someone on the level of a used car salesmen and thereby dismiss the message of the messenger. As in any profession not all preachers come out pristine…so what. This is a quiescent or passive form of hypocrisy. No one ceases to see the doctor just because some of them have been sued for malpractice. No one refuses to call the cops when their in trouble just because some cops are dishonest. The message will stand regardless of how many preachers fall. What is that message?

Put simply the Bible says that the real problem with society can always be narrowed down to one single element and one single person at a time. The problem is the individual human heart; it is as prone to its own selfishness and devices as it was thousands of years ago. It can only be dealt with by conversion. Reformation, religion, police, psychiatry, social programming and nothing else can permanently change the human heart. Christ alone through the indwelling power of God’s Holy Spirit can change the human heart. Christ deals with the spider not the cobweb.

If man was intrinsically good and every heart was a wellspring of benevolence then our world would not be in the shape it is today. Crime shows would be non existent. And the scripture would not say…The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

Of course the great and mighty god we know as the dollar will keep the crime programs on the production line regardless of what a few preachers say, that’s understood. And just how much does crime pay. There are no clear statistics on the matter but a safe guess would be in the multi billions of dollars. The producers, actors and others making the crime shows have little doubt that the old adage “Crime Doesn’t Pay” is just a bunch of phooey.

The accountants who keep the books for the media could readily prove that for the moment crime does pay. Those who keep the book of life would remind us that…”The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23

The sponsors of the crime shows are paying dearly to have their products aired on these shows and we are paying dearly by having our senses bombarded to the point of numbness. The cost to our children is that they have become a generation of violence fed future potential crime suspects. The weak minded, misguided and violent prone are taking advantage of an education in crime brought to them at no cost replete with ideas for crimes they could never have generated on their own.

Do we actually love violence? It would seem we do and every great nation, kingdom or empire before us did as well. In fact a careful examination of the historical pattern would reveal that every major power in this world has experienced a rise in violent activities just before they reached the peak of their power. Unfortunately the only thing that remains after reaching the peak of power is the fall from power and that too was usually very violent. The love of violence or just a preoccupation with it has consequences on a larger scale. That too is what brought ancient kingdoms to their end. America can produce nothing that would cause it to escape the same fate unless we awake. Although the call may not be heard above the roar of the trendy crowd and the noise of money it still stands. What is that call and what is that warning? Come see.

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Psalm11:5

Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. Psalm 58:2

Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. Jeremiah 22:3

My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it. Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. Ezekiel 7:22, 23

They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Isaiah 59:5, 6