“All hell is about to break loose.” That is what I am hearing from political pundits as the presidential year unfolds. That is what I see as I watch more and more situations of lawlessness displayed, sometimes glamorized on television reports. That is what I see when terrorists attacks increase and wars and rumors of wars swell. Big screen entertainment often loads the bank on shows and images that depict all hell breaking lose.
We need a 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas, moment. When the show appeared on CBS that holiday season, nearly 50 percent of the viewers tuned in. The TV Guide read:
“Happiness is watching ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ See them all—the whole Peanuts gang—in their first television show.”
Confident that “there will always be a market for innocence” Charles Schulz, in 1965, pushed back against the trends of secularism in public television. The philosophy of television executives is much like it is today in that professional sphere—It doesn’t align with spiritual faith, especially on broadcasts designed to make money from advertisers. Initially, CBS executives were extremely disappointed and felt the show would be a flop. They didn’t pull the show because of advertising commitments and not enough time to produce something else. With the executives fearing the “explicit religious message” they sheepishly agreed to let the show air.
The show did make millions and millions happy. The letters and phone calls poured in from a broad audience of believers and non-believers. One advertising professional from CBS, John Allen said of the days following the airing of the show: “All heaven broke lose.” (See A Charlie Brown Religion: Exploring the Spiritual Life and Work of Charles M. Schulz, by Stephen J. Lind; Chapter 3, more particularly pgs. 70-78).
We need something to help heaven break loose. Maybe it will be another television show? A book? A movie? A song (please don’t argue for REO Speedwagon’s song)? An event? Thankfully there are writers, producers, executives who still understand that there is a market for innocence. We just need more to understand that the hearts of many desire innocence and need it. A return to innocence and virtue can change individuals.
Author Elaine S. Dalton has extended the invitation for “each of us to arise and unfurl a banner to the world calling for a return to virtue.” This will require a change of heart and direction for those with large stages in life, like Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000). It will also require a change of heart and direction for those laboring in the walls of their own homes and neighborhoods with little or no notoriety.
Tragic events from Mother Nature or from the disturbing behavior of wicked individuals has a way of opening heaven in many of us. I don’t think we should sit around waiting for the nudge. Each of us can contribute and has the power to help unfurl the banner.
Virtue and innocence will allow all heaven to break loose.