I heard of a veteran missionary to Brazil telling a group of church people that Brazilians were a fundamentally immoral people. After my inicial outrage at such a paternalistic remark, I began to think. Is there any people in the world today who can be called fundamentally moral? Certainly not us! In case you somehow believe that our culture is superior morally to others, let me just burst your bubble by reliving some events of my day:
I was sitting in the tire shop (see the “I Love Flat Tires” entry for details) and watching the TV provided in the waiting room. There were two cartoons, back to back. Both of them were filled with sexual inuendos and overtly disguisting imagery. Cartoons! Whatever happened to Bugs and Elmer?
Decidig that there were probably more edifying things to look at, I picked up a nearby computer magazine. To my shock, in between the articles about copyright infringement and the newest PDAs were advertizements featuring computer parts and less than appropriately clad ladies.
Why do I need to see this when I am buying computers? More importantly, why do these ladies feel that their only value is to be used as merchendising for computer parts?
How, then, does it come about that Brazilians are more immoral than us? The first thing that comes to mind is Carnaval–that time of fleshly decadence for which Brazil is famous. Of course, we have our own Mardi Gras, spring break, bike week, etc. So I guess we aren’t any better on that score.
So, we are back to wondering how Brazilian culture is more immoral than ours. This is made more difficult when you are familiar with Brazilian culture. For you see, the family unit in Brazil is by and large stronger than ours. The divorce rate is less. It is considered an honor for a girl to be a virgin when she marries.
Now, I am not out to say that Brazilian culture is fundamentally moral. All human culture is heavily influenced by the sin nature (Romans 3:23). I guess what I am saying is that we as Americans need to pay a little more attention to the beam that is in our own cultural eye. Every culture has issues, including our own.