The Urge to Purge

Sunday, July 28, 1991
| 2 Samuel 12:1-14

W. C. Fields once said, "I have spent a lot of time searching through the Bible for loopholes." Haven''t we all? Today''s Old Testament text reminds us of the urgent necessity of confronting our failures, foibles and follies, and confessing our sins before God.

It has been called the "Urge to Purge." Or even "Psychic Bulimia." Confession, it seems, is now seen less as something good for the soul and more as something good for publicity. These days any casual flip through a magazine is likely to reveal at least one carefully crafted, simulated, shocking exercise in celebrity self-expose. Movie stars, musicians, politicians, government officials, stockbrokers and bankers are all rushing to confess their addictions, weaknesses, foibles and faux pas and the more bizarre and pathetic the behavior being admitted, the better.

Liz Taylor describes her food fetish in nauseating detail. Kitty Dukakis lets us in on her creative use of hair spray and nail polish remover in her quest for a high. David Crosby reveals his vast pharmaceutical expertise. Addictions to drugs, sex, alcohol, food, giving or taking physical or mental abuse, almost appear to be necessary elements in the lives of the rich and famous.

With so much dirty laundry flapping in the...

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