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Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Confession is good for a ratings boost

Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Confession is good for the soul, much like abusing alcohol and tobacco are bad for the body. It is ironic that the confession booths and altar calls of the last century have given way to the talk show confessions and magazine disclosures of today.

I'm sure we all lost sleep not knowing whether Rosie was gay. But for her own peace of mind she had to come clean and confess to the world, via interviews, magazine covers and her obnoxious and foul monologue that she is in fact a homosexual.

She is not alone. Confession is big business. Confessing to drug problems, alcohol problems or mental problems has become so common that some people make a comeback every few years simply by acknowledging yet another vice or revelation; Elizabeth Taylor comes to mind.

Replacing the fevered preachers of the revival circuit, commentators give dewey-eyed smiles to these celebrities as they reveal their innermost feelings of the moment and both collect large sums of money for doing so. Emotions flow and painful experiences are told as the person being interviewed is allowed to "come clean" before an audience of millions. Like staged conversions at a revival tent, these only serve to make the hearers cynical and weary

They are skeptical of the latest "news" knowing in time they will live to see Rosie's confession about returning to heterosexuality when it suits her or her program needs a ratings boost.

Man is proud and even in his failings and foibles he loves the attention he receives. Confession also brings attention and we enjoy being on center stage. What it can't bring is peace of mind, unless it is accompanied by the desire to change and leave behind that which we are confessing. Then we glory not it the deeds of our confession but in the anonymity of daily overcoming that which tries to enslave us.

Being at peace with oneself doesn't make an exciting topic for talk shows or the stuff of papers. But it will speak even when no words are uttered and those who hear will be inspired.