“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.
Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D. is a scientist turned homemaker raising seven children with her husband in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She is pursuing a MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and she is Editor-in-Chief at Ignitum Today and Catholic Stand, and a Senior Editor at Catholic Lane. She writes about popular science, dogmatic theology, and mountain life at her website.