I almost never open an issue of People magazine, but it has somehow started appearing in our mailbox every week. (No one seems to know how or why). I made the mistake of opening it this last week to read the cover article on the Bachelorette and why she had dumped the man she had “chosen” on the show. The sub headline declared her reason, “I could never marry a man who lied to me.”
In the article Hannah Brown describes her horror when she discovered that her chosen man had, at the beginning of the show, failed to disclose the fact that he was in a relationship with another woman. (She apparently believed that only the most upstanding of men would sign up to compete for the affections of a stranger on national television.) She assails the man’s character in vicious terms.
Any sympathy I might have developed for her flight quickly evaporated as I read more of the article. After describing her sense of betrayal, she went on to say how badly she felt for others judging her about something she had done. That “something” involved her spending the night with another one of her suitors, having sex with him repeatedly, and then announcing that fact on the show! (In spite of the fact that she declares herself to be devout Christian.) How dare anyone, declared the article, judge her for her faith or her sexual choices!
I almost laughed out loud at the absurdity, which was apparently lost on Hannah Brown and the writers and editors at People. In their system of values, it is a mortal sin for a man to go on a TV show and pretend to be interested in someone he had never met, but perfectly acceptable for a woman of professed faith to go on the show and fornicate with a man she barely knows. (Hannah ungraciously used another word beginning with “f” to describe her intimate pairing.)
The problem I see is in the value system Ms. Brown’s words and actions reveal, a value system based on personal convenience. She declares lying as terrible but her sexual immorality as understandable. Her sins are minor, the sins of others are defining. This seems to be the way of our world now. In politics, social media and everyday life, we attack others and defend ourselves.
The end result is that no one changes for the better.