Super Bowl Show: Trying to Make Hell Look Cool

I don’t know what it is, but that Super Bowl half-time show disturbed me. It was…sort of obscene and hellish, but wow, quite a display.

I’ve heard that a lot of people were disturbed by Beyonce’s half-time show in Sunday night’s Super Bowl game, but rather than discuss all that seemed wrong on the surface, I want to point out something underneath it all. I only saw a few minutes, but six words sprang to mind immediately: Trying to make Hell look cool. I think almost anyone who saw the show had the same thought, but sometimes people are not comfortable talking about Hell and demons.

Make no mistake, these kind of shows have demons in their presence, and it is no accident your eyes are drawn to them even when you know there is nothing virtuous, good, pure, beautiful, or true about the destiny of the human spirit in it. It’s exciting, it’s surreal, it’s fantastical; it stirs emotions in you that are hard to describe. You are mesmerized, but beware “for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

I see this for what it is, not because I have been too much of a “frump fundamentalist” to give modern music performance a chance, but because I lived such a lifestyle for the better part of a decade and I know firsthand about the delusions that accompany this sort of display. It doesn’t matter the time or venue, a stage is a stage, an audience is an audience, power is power. The idol is on stage to be the star, to appear excellent beyond all excellence, to be worshipped. She (or he) dons the image of Goddess (or God), nothing else will do, and assumes a God-like superiority. In that drunken, shining, pedestal of power, the person appears to be, actually, elevated, adored, and glorified beyond the merely human — to be superhuman. Am I right?

 

Oh, but you’re just over-reacting. This is an art form, harmless entertainment.

While it is true that people can call anything art that they want to label as such, true art is a reflection of our human dignity, something inspired by the good, true, and beautiful beyond us, and there are plenty of musical performances that do that. However, Satan is very skilled at distorting our perception of true beauty, and we should not underestimate that power. Our culture drinks this up because it appears so sophisticated. The evil angels are fallen angels, but they are angels nonetheless, and the stupidest angel is so much more intelligent than the most brilliant human, that we cannot even fathom the separation, it is something akin to the separation in intellect of Sir Isaac Newton and a slug.

Fortunately, the loving God who fills us with grace and clarity is infinitely more intelligent than the most intelligent creature, and infuses our minds with the ability to know the difference between good and evil. Just ask yourself whether what you see on that stage is what you hope your daughter becomes. Is that what you want your son to worship? Is this really the behavior of a free woman? Or is it the behavior of someone on a leash, someone who is not free, someone who is a slave to something outside the realm of goodness and truth. Is the obscene really glorious? Don’t we all know the difference? Come on, when did rocking your hips in an ecstatic seizure of booty-vicious-ness become the epitome of female empowerment?

Further, consider the Blessed Virgin Mary, the creature with the most sway over demons. St. Louis-Marie de Montfort writes in his True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nos. 106-110, that her ten principal virtues are: deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom. Those are the virtues we should strive to emulate. Do you see those virtues being praised on that stage? Or do you see the opposite? Unstinted pride, self-worship, moral pollution, and sexual degradation. Who is being glorified? Who are people worshiping? Perhaps they are worshiping more than just a human artist.

It was a common joke among the people I knew who lived this lifestyle that we were like vampires. In the daylight, we shrank, but at night we came to life in the makeup, the costumes, the artificial lighting. It all appeared so glamorous, but it was all a façade that vanished in sunlight. We shone a fake light in public, but alone we avoided facing our own lost souls like the plague, even if it meant seeking out strangers. Why do you think such a lifestyle is accompanied by promiscuity, alcohol, and drug dependency?

The stage becomes like an escape, but it is hell, a hell on earth and if you find yourself there, you do your damnedest to make it look cool. To admit it is hell is to admit defeat, to admit you are really not that powerful. People know deep down when their souls are lost, and facing that is just as scary as flinging yourselves into an abyss. That’s how the lies of Satan work. He deludes you into thinking you need the power he offers, and even as you know it does not really make you happy or confident, even as you know you are imprisoned, you are powerless (or so you think) to walk away from the power you seem to need like you need air itself.

OK, OK, so what do I do?

First, stop watching it. If you do watch it, protect yourself in prayer and see it for what it really is, and then blow the disguise off of Satan’s delusions. We do need to be able to warn others and to explain why the demonic is so dangerous when it seems so innocuous.

Second, pray. The legions of angels doing God’s work are far larger than the minions of Satan. You might be surprised at all that a single prayer can change. Ask your guardian angel to illuminate your mind so that you see evil for what it is. Ask you children’s guardian angels to protect them.

Third, never forget that Hell is real, and Hell is eternally painful. Besides praying for protection for yourself and those you love, pray for anyone you see on a stage trying to make Hell look cool because for all the power and dominance exuded in public, those people are still human just like all the rest of us, creatures made in the image and likeness of a personal God who gave them free will and loves them very much, and as such, they too have a soul that is eternally responsible for its choices.

*All images screen shot from publicly available videos.

34 comments
  • Margaret BFebruary 5, 2013 - 6:20 am

    That is one of the reasons I had no interest in the Super Bowl. It is no longer family friendly. I am not a fan of Beyonce & was not anticipating a virtuous show. Thank you for your insight. Well done.ReplyCancel

  • ShaneFebruary 5, 2013 - 10:04 am

    Everyone knows that Beyonce can sing but why did she have to dress like that? She looked like a stripper. Other than that the halftime show was good. I really liked the video effects.

    I don’t think Beyonce was raised to dress like that. She needs to wake up and smell the coffee that thousands of girls look up to her as a roll model and now want to dress like her. How many of those girls actually do and something vary bad happens to them like rape or something. We need to pray for a conversion of heart for Beyonce.ReplyCancel

  • Susan M.February 5, 2013 - 2:12 pm

    Thank you, Stacy, for a much-needed post.

    Somehow my family always seems to get roped into some kind of Superbowl party each year, and each year the event is incongruously linked to the meeting of our church small group. Is that a tactic of the Enemy or what? I watched about fifteen minutes of it and left. I will not subject my children to lies about reality. A lot of people weren’t raised to do a lot of things; the problem is that we catechise, or we baptise, we send to Sunday school, or to RE, but we do not disciple our youth.
    Then it becomes sort of a hackneyed cliche that “of course”, so-and-so will have their wild side, or their free fling, we chuckle, refusing to calculate the pain and damage that is being done. Believe me, the damage is being calculated, but not in heaven. I also am happy to see that somebody finally mentions the powerful demon-smacking side of Mary. The epithet “mirror of Justice” comes to mind…ReplyCancel

    • LkmomFebruary 5, 2013 - 5:37 pm

      So true. I felt the same way- she looks more and more like some imprisoned sex droid when she does those moves. Not at all female empowerment.ReplyCancel

      • TerriFebruary 5, 2013 - 5:53 pm

        Had no interest in watching it. From the reports I’ve heard, I made a good decision.ReplyCancel

  • Alice MFebruary 5, 2013 - 6:55 pm

    My first thought was that we have now reached the point to selling sex on national tv. Not a role model for the young that’s for sure.ReplyCancel

  • AllisonFebruary 5, 2013 - 7:07 pm

    “Worldly” music still gives me hives (grew up fundamentalist) and we have no interest in professional sports anyway, America’s god. You’re right on.ReplyCancel

  • […] same thought, but sometimes people are not comfortable talking about Hell and demons. Continued- Super Bowl Show: Trying to Make Hell Look Cool – Catholic Sistas __________________ Your socks stink. To view links or images in signatures your post count […]ReplyCancel

  • dixieFebruary 5, 2013 - 8:00 pm

    I absolutely wholeheartedly agree. It was uncomfortable to watch.ReplyCancel

  • MikeFebruary 5, 2013 - 8:04 pm

    The show was all flash and special effects. It highlighted dark acts of inappropriate sexual innuendos which unfortunately drive sales by appealing to masses that know no better. Did she really sing? I didn’t hear much singing. Dancing and a lot of choreography proved to be what made up that show. It was not the least impressive and if she did have any talent to show and share it was not evident there. I think they should regress and turn back to nationally recognized college marching bands they show cased in the first super bowls….but at $2000 a seat…most folks surely want to see a bit more. BUT is it more than they actually bargained for? Certainly the wrong types of seeds!ReplyCancel

  • BoydFebruary 5, 2013 - 8:09 pm

    Isaw parts of the show next day on newscasts, and you called it right.ReplyCancel

  • LindaFebruary 5, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    I couldn’t watch for any length of time. But I couldn’t figure out why I was the only one at the party that was disgusted.ReplyCancel

  • BryanFebruary 5, 2013 - 9:35 pm

    Besides the fact that I had no interest in either team playing in this year’s Super Bowl, I have noticed a disturbing trend in the Super Bowls of recent years, most particularly in the commercial advertising that accompanies them. For each of the recent Super Bowls, many of the advertisers seem hell-bent on crafting more and more debauched commercials. I am the father of a five-year-old girl. My wife and I are trying very much to shield her innocence from the depravity of our culture. Given this increasing trend of commercial depravity, we avoided the Super Bowl altogether and instead, we watched the Puppy Bowl. Reading your column confirmed for me that my wife and I made the right decision.ReplyCancel

  • annFebruary 6, 2013 - 6:11 am

    Well said. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl but just looking at the pictures was enough. For several years now the half time show has been just a competition toward more depravity. A window into the sickness of our culture.

    As you so rightly said, what a contrast to the beauty, purity and humility of Our Blessed Mother. It reminds me of the pictures of people in Beijing in the midst of such thick pollution that they have to wear masks, yearning probably for some sweet pure air. We have to wear masks over our souls so we don’t breathe in this toxic mess. I yearn for the sweet pure air of the Reign of the Immaculate Heart.ReplyCancel

  • Long LuongFebruary 6, 2013 - 6:44 am

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR NOTICE……. I just look at these images and
    look away because they are temptations and come from hell…Be
    carefull…try to keep your souls in a state o grace so you can
    feel the real peace from Our Lord.ReplyCancel

  • philipFebruary 6, 2013 - 8:50 am

    Well done!
    Your commentary was excellent.
    I too had a past linked to the allurement of false freedom. The pull on the senses is overwhelming and satan is a relentless owner. The chains were severed thanks be to God, and now I enjoy being who God created me to be. My rock and my fortress, my hope, my future, my all rests in Him who is love.ReplyCancel

  • FamijolyFebruary 6, 2013 - 9:30 am

    This piece was very well put together; hopefully, it will be circulated among Christians trying mightily to live a Christ-centered life amidst the plethora of temptations and allurements from the Enemy.

    As a pro football fan, I do enjoy the Super Bowl game but I have not watched the halftime show in many years. If I am at a gathering, I strike up a conversation in an area away from the TV set. In the occasional years that I have watched the Super Bowl alone, I change the channel for about 15 minutes, or make a phone call or anything to get away from the network televising the Super Bowl. I think the last Super Bowl halftime show I watched featured the family-friendly musical group Up With People, and that had to have been in the early 1990s. The one Super Bowl I’ve attended in person, Super Bowl VIII, featured a college marching band for the halftime show.ReplyCancel

  • LucyFebruary 6, 2013 - 10:13 am

    I too watched this half-time debauchery and was appalled by this “show”. I received a phone call and had the sound down and thought I was watching Hell on Earth. I also was waiting for the poles to show up on stage…Pole Dancing, something found at “Gentlemen’s Clubs”. Gentlemen used in loose terms. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the lights went out, half of the stadium in light the other half in darkness. I think the spiritual war is at half-time and the score is tied right now. If you watched the commercials, the Devil even made an appearance. Something diabolical about Wilem DaFoe playing the Devil, and Christ in the Last Temptation by Scorsese. We all need to pray for our country and our families. God Bless.ReplyCancel

  • LizEstFebruary 6, 2013 - 10:23 am

    It was absolutely lewd.ReplyCancel

  • DebbieFebruary 6, 2013 - 10:29 am

    While watching the half-time show, I was thinking exactly the same thing- the three of them (Destiny’s Child) all looked like black demons from hell. The ring of fire around them affirmed that. I kept thinking to myself, “This looks like a scene out of hell, like they are trying to glamorize it. This is very wrong.” Sad, sad, sad. I am thankful to see that I am not the only one who could see that. Beyonce has issues- she is full of herself and expects everyone to bow down to her. Unfortunately, it is a house of cards for her. That will not last.ReplyCancel

    • Vicky HernandezFebruary 7, 2013 - 2:48 am

      “Beyonce has issues- she is full of herself and expects everyone to bow down to her…”

      Indeed. Her tour from a year of two ago was titled, “Beyonce. I am.” Very telling.ReplyCancel

  • AdamFebruary 6, 2013 - 11:53 am

    Hi Stacy – just a few questions/comments.

    You say “these kind of shows have demons in their presence” and “I know firsthand about the delusions that accompany this sort of display” but you never define “these kind of shows” and “this sort of display”. When do live shows become demonic and delusional? Is it the lewdness? The idol worship? Because obviously a different band, like U2, can put on a tasteful, respectful, and profound Super Bowl halftime show.

    You state: “The idol is on stage to be the star, to appear excellent beyond all excellence, to be worshipped. She (or he) dons the image of Goddess (or God), nothing else will do, and assumes a God-like superiority. In that drunken, shining, pedestal of power, the person appears to be, actually, elevated, adored, and glorified beyond the merely human — to be superhuman. Am I right?”

    Again, where is the dividing line? I’m not aware of any widespread religious boycott of American Idol, for example. But that show is engineered to be creating divas, loved and adored by fans the world over. But a lot of live music doesn’t use these mechanics of “God-like superiority”. Many artists, like Moby for instance, are actually very self-effacing and spend their free time tweeting about art gallery visits.

    I’d like some clarification on this statement: “The evil angels are fallen angels, but they are angels nonetheless, and the stupidest angel is so much more intelligent than the most brilliant human, that we cannot even fathom the separation, it is something akin to the separation in intellect of Sir Isaac Newton and a slug.”

    I have been a practicing Christian since 1994 and a Catholic since 2010 but I have never actually heard anything like this before. My understanding is that angels simply operate on a different level than humans and thus can see what’s going on in the spiritual plane. This allows them to strategize in a way humans can’t, as CS Lewis famously fictionalized in the Screwtape Letters. A lot of Bible translations render Hebrews 2:7 to say that humans are “a little lower” than the angels, but you’re saying that we’re a lot lower.

    St. Louis-Marie de Montfort’s list of the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary is very interesting. Ironically however, artists often need a lot of blind obedience, constant self-denial and heroic patience to crawl their way to the top. Where artists really fail is in the prayer/purity/heavenly wisdom department.

    I think in a lot of ways, the Super Bowl represents what’s wrong with Western Civilization – there’s a large amount of consumers who are watching and idolizing sports and music heroes while they scarf down unhealthy food and expose themselves to a stream of ungodly advertisements. People need to watch less TV and spend more time praying and playing with their kids.ReplyCancel

  • Diane ThereseFebruary 6, 2013 - 1:58 pm

    Ditto to every comment. My teenage daughter and I watched the puppy bowl. So glad we did. We wanted no part of it. The lights out….how perfect….God trying to convey how people are living in darkness. They are asleep. HE has sent Mary to Medjugorje to convert us back to Jesus. Amen.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy TrasancosFebruary 6, 2013 - 2:03 pm

    Adam,

    Thanks for the questions and comments.

    By “these kinds of shows/display” I am referring to the sexual display. The clothing (or lack thereof), the sexual moves, the invitation to lust, the display that says, “Don’t you want to have sex with me?”

    Where to draw the line? A woman or man could act like that even with all her/his clothing on. The line should be drawn consistent with the commandments 1, 6, and 9.

    As for American Idol, the same commandments apply, plus I don’t see the point of using other people’s humiliation for entertainment. I tried to watch it a few years and enjoyed the competition for excellence at the end somewhat, but even that became too clouded by sexual temptation and human worship. I never could find the early episodes praiseworthy. There’s no “religious boycott” of that show, since we are free to make choices, but it’s among the many, many things on television I’ve ceased watching.

    As for artists that produce beauty in music, oh yes, many definitely do. Of course there are artists who produce beautiful art. Music has a special way of lifting the spirit.

    On angels: See the CCC #328-336, and scriptural references
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p5.htm

    Also Saint Thomas’ Summa Theologica Questions 50-64, particularly the ones on intellect (54-58). Sometimes when I’m browsing the ST, I just read the “On the contrary” and “I answer that” parts.
    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1.htm

    I also recommend these books, which I’m reading:

    The Angels in Catholic Teaching and Tradition, Father Pascale Parente.

    Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know about Them?, Dr. Peter Kreeft.

    Angels are pure spirits, intelligences or minds. They are higher on the hierarchy of creation than man, who is body and mind, “surpassing in perfection all visible creatures.” (CCC 330)

    The Newton-slug comparison was mine, for visual effect. How much more perfect is their knowledge and power? We don’t know for sure. The point is – do not underestimate it. 😀

    I hope that helps, and I appreciate you asking for clarification.

    Sincerely,
    StacyReplyCancel

  • Belinda HerringFebruary 6, 2013 - 2:28 pm

    I love sports, fun and clean sports that the entire family can enjoy together. What occurred at half-time is a total disrespect for the holiness of the family and the innocence of our children. We can make the decision not to participate and this decision can go across the board…do not attend the Super Bowl anymore and do not watch it on television. This goes for all television programing and movies that have become so perverted. Don’t participate. When the money begins to diminish maybe we will have their attention. If we do nothing, we are part of the problem. We do have a choice.ReplyCancel

  • Larry BradshawFebruary 7, 2013 - 4:48 am

    Do you know of any pilgrimages to the apparition sites in Equador? Betania?ReplyCancel

  • RemyFebruary 7, 2013 - 7:15 pm

    We watched the halftime “show”, and were reminded of a Beyonce interview where she once said that she has an alter, another quite different personality who takes over when she performs. Bey once had a lovely, peaceful face, but some of the still shots taken during halftime look quite different. Her face looks angry and fierce … and her alter goes by the name Sasha Fierce. Sasha seems to be getting more prominent based upon Beyonce’s recent “performances”. Her angry, hyper-sexualized act is not decent, let alone appropriate for prime-time. She’s quite literally dancing with the devil.ReplyCancel

  • Regina CoeliFebruary 9, 2013 - 1:19 am

    …Yeah pretty degrading for all concerned.
    “There are forces of nature in the strict sense and there are higher forces of spiritual good and evil which we cannot measure. Human life is essentially a warfare against unknown powers — not merely against flesh and blood, which are themselves irrational enough, but against principalities and powers, against “the Cosmocrats of the Dark Aeon,” to use St. Paul’s strange and disturbing expression, powers which are more than rational and which make use of lower things, things below reason, in order to conquer and rule the world of man.” Christopher Dawson
    … Christian convert in the comments http://www.thewarfareismental.net/b/2012/10/17/the-time-is-short/#more-5437 , thought last year’s Superbowl was pretty blatant too.

    …. in CS Lewis’ ‘Screwtape Letters’ the idea of the demonic risking being too open – but they’re in a bind, vanity demands . . .

    … mix Godly references with routines that are only a semblance of Ba’al fertility worship, long forgotten, and repeated as farce. GKC, ‘In Defence of Rash Vows’. “the decadent mystics say: ‘Let us have the fragrance of sacred purity without the sorrows of self-restraint; let us sing hymns alternately to the Virgin and Priapus.”
    …..David B. Hart ‘Christ and Nothing’ echoes GKC.
    “And so, at the end of modernity, each of us who is true to the times stands facing not God, or the gods, or the Good beyond beings, but an abyss, over which presides the empty, inviolable authority of the individual will, whose impulses and decisions are their own moral index.”
    [..]
    “How, though, to make war on nothingness, on the abyss itself, denuded of its mythic allure? It seems to me much easier to convince a man that he is in thrall to demons and offer him manumission than to convince him that he is a slave to himself and prisoner to his own will. Here is a god more elusive, protean, and indomitable than either Apollo or Dionysus; and whether he manifests himself in some demonic titanism of the will, like the mass delirium of the Third Reich, or simply in the mesmeric banality of consumer culture, his throne has been set in the very hearts of those he enslaves. And it is this god, I think, against whom the First Commandment calls us now to struggle.”
    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/12/christ-and-nothing-28
    … the nothing is offered by therapeutic elites [Rieff] as replacement for the sacred. They literally have got nothing. For them, and the public ‘order’ they propose it’s a time of Last Superstitions, Last Men, Last Things . .

    ….and when Our Lord informs [Matt 24:14] “This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” there is the duty to check in our internet age if some nations remain.

    ….Good advice re: cleaving to the BVM. Fr Corapi – on spiritual warfare (2min) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDwuLDAIgcU “take it up with my Mother” alas our priest might have, in fact, gone in where angels fear to tread, so to speak.ReplyCancel

  • OuchFebruary 9, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    ^^

    “I have not forgotten the blood Jesus surrendered for this life.

    And my former life lurks in the edges of my heart, shiny and still like a knife.”ReplyCancel

  • TiaFebruary 11, 2013 - 9:40 am

    In regards to the second comment:

    “I don’t think Beyonce was raised to dress like that. She needs to wake up and smell the coffee that thousands of girls look up to her as a roll model and now want to dress like her. How many of those girls actually do and something vary bad happens to them like rape or something. We need to pray for a conversion of heart for Beyonce.”

    Rape is never the fault of the victim. It does not matter how she dresses. Rape is the fault of the man who forces himself on her. He is a sentient being who can control himself, and is expected to.ReplyCancel

    • ShaneFebruary 11, 2013 - 10:39 am

      I never said they were at fault. Most rapists choose their victims according to the look of their victim. Dressing in a lustful manor will appeal more to those rapists. Dressing like that makes the woman look easy and right away from the moment the guy meets her he is thinking lustful thoughts because of the way she is dressed. Also look at the sex traffickers that abduct victims dressed in a very lustful manor. The way you dress can mean a yes or no decision for the perpetrator. I was not trying to imply that the victim was a fault just stating the fact of dressing that way can attract the wrong people. I apoligize if it sounded that way.ReplyCancel

  • MagdalenaMarch 21, 2013 - 12:07 am

    Well what did you have in mind? Have them dress in prairie dresses and sing Kumbaya? Please, that show was spectacular! It wasn’t even the Superbowl! It was a bunch of guys playing football at a Beyonce concert! BEST HALFTIME SHOW YET.ReplyCancel

  • RemyMarch 21, 2013 - 11:25 am

    Yes, no doubt that show was a spectacle! Now, listen to the words in her new album. That is not a happy woman.ReplyCancel