Blessed Is the Tiger Blooded, for He Shall be on Today Today and Tomorrow

As Charlie Sheen nears his millionth follower on his newly opened Twitter account, this is worth a read:

While covering the Sermon on the Mount, I had students read the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew and then create a list of “Modern Beatitudes.” I told students to imagine the perspective of, for example, the head of MTV or the publisher of a popular magazine. From that perspective, I asked, what makes someone happy or blessed?

Here are examples of what students wrote:

Blessed are they who have problems, for they will be given attention.
Blessed are those who get pregnant at 16, for they will get a TV show.
Blessed are they who have money, for they will have anything they want.
Blessed are those who are angry, for violence is the only way to power.
Blessed are those who don’t eat, for they shall be “beautiful.”
Blessed are those who play music, for they bring joy to the world.
Blessed are those who are intelligent, for they gain respect from their peers.
Blessed are those who overcame drinking and drugs, for they will be on Oprah and Dr. Phil.
Blessed are those who get plastic surgery, for they shall remain ever young.
Blessed are those who have many Facebook friends, for they shall never be lonely while browsing the internet.
Blessed are the stoners, for they will not have to deal with reality.

Teen pregnancy, plastic surgery, drug use, “problems,” technology, social networking sites, violence—this is the stuff that a group of 15- and 16-year-olds believes its culture prizes. This is the stuff our students walk into, and out of, and back into, every day.

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3 thoughts on “Blessed Is the Tiger Blooded, for He Shall be on Today Today and Tomorrow

  1. Francis says:

    This is the culture we ALL walk into and out of every day, not just the kids. Those students seem to have made some very clear observations based on the assignment. It doesn’t mean that all the students agree that this is healthy or good, but that it shows what the media (MTV, etc.) value. Most of the teens I know are capable of discerning what “Hollywood” says will make us happy from what leads to true happiness. If you read the actual article that these snippets are taken from, one of the more disturbing comments in that article is the lack of any type of faith structure in the families of these kids. The parents do not go to church or take time to instill the value of faith in their kids.

  2. Tony from Oz says:

    Ummm, yes, I agree that these may well be the views of 15-16 year olds, but, I also detect a healthy note of irony in many of the mod beatitudes cited. I cannot believe that many of them citing the prize (at the cost of public humiliation) as appearing on TV, as a teenage pregnant girl, for example, could have been intended as anything other than in an ironic sense! I think it has been taken as a fun exercise by the kids – even if Charlie Sheen is too dumb to have intended it that way.

    PS: I am told that many Americans are unequipped with an ‘irony button’, but I refuse to believe that all the younger demographic responding above were devoid of this intention. They were rather witty, in part, I thought!

  3. Brian C says:

    “Blessed are those who play music, for they bring joy to the world.
    Blessed are those who are intelligent, for they gain respect from their peers.”

    Not to detract from your overall point, but these two seem out of place, as they are the only two that would seem to be also true in a ‘just’ world.

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