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Is America the Home of Celebrity Worship?

Is America the Home of Celebrity Worship?

What is it that fuels the engine of celebrity culture? There is no single answer—the reasons are complex, even contradictory. We want our celebrities to be ordinary, just like the rest of us; then again, we want them to be extraordinary, not like the rest of us at all. That is just one of the dilemmas of what many refer to as the cult of celebrity. And, cults are replete with idols.

There is no question that the cult of celebrity is precisely that—it goes beyond mere interest into obsession, and often into worship.

Every religion has certain characteristics that are similar. There is a deity, generally regarded as all-powerful, all-knowing, and omnipresent. There is a liturgy, or order of worship. There are sacred documents. There are certain locations where the deity is worshipped. There is a financial support system. There are worshippers. All of these things are present, to a greater or lesser degree, in celebrity culture. Let’s distill the concept.

While celebrities are certainly not all-powerful or all-knowing, you couldn’t tell that by the way their star-struck fans behave. Celebrity endorsements are sought by corporations that depend on star power to market their merchandise. From automobiles to cruises, from insurance to investments, from restaurants to resorts, celebrities auction their images and voices to the highest bidder. Their goal is to cajole and convince consumers to part with their hard-earned money. Their ubiquity testifies to their effectiveness.

When it comes to being all-knowing, celebrity opinions are available by every known medium on every subject under the sun. They may not know any more about the subject they are asked to opine upon than the average twelve year old, but their views are magnified by their celebrity.

On the subject of omnipresence, celebrities are truly everywhere. Their countenances smile, or stare, or smirk at us from billboards, television, movies, magazines, internet sites, and smartphones 24/7 from sea to shining sea. An entire industry has developed around those who have acquired fame. Weekly tabloids that report on celebrity culture appear on newsstands and supermarket checkout lanes across the nation.

We live in a fascinating time. The wisdom of the ages is available to us, in the form of information that has become available literally in the palm of our hands. The touch of a few buttons can enable us to access a variety of viewpoints about nearly every subject under the sun, as well as quite a few that should never see the light of day. Why is it, then, that while the populace has access to the world’s accumulated wisdom, they spend so much time and effort pursuing the basest and most depraved of destructive impulses? Could it be that such content fuels the Adamic nature outside the redemptive work of the living savior, Jesus Christ?

To read more about Rod Parsley's Idolatry in America, visit

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