RECENTLY I HEARD this stark conclusion about a celebrity who'd fallen into a personal crisis: "Stardom, it seems, has claimed yet another victim!" (Ben Brown, BBC News 24, Feb. 20, 2007).

My heart goes out to people whose struggles occur under the scrutiny of the public spotlight. Yet it occurs to me that the victims of stardom are not only the stars themselves, who might be falling, but also the rest of us—to the degree, that is, that we let ourselves get wrapped up in the amplified details of their private lives.

That's a temptation I've learned to resist somewhat, but only through experience. I once wrote a fawning letter to a celebrity news broadcaster, and immediately regretted doing so. Actually, it would be more accurate to say I felt a sense of "divine disapproval" for doing so. But what could I have done in writing an appreciative letter, you might ask, that would merit the feeling of having disobeyed God, whom I love and wish to honor through my thoughts and actions? That was a kind thing to do, and you could even argue that doing it was in line with honoring the work of the Creator through my thoughts and actions.

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beyond body worship
April 2, 2007

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