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Ray Barone’s Not So Funny Anymore

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Recently the Today Show did a piece on working women who are deciding to conceive and raise children on their own. With the advances in science, and proliferating sperm banks, it is possible nowadays for women to start their families without that annoying member of the other sex called man. One woman interviewed for the story admitted she was scared when she conceived her twins. The first year was hard, she said, but now “it is the greatest thing.”

So how did we get from the traditional model of the family to thinking single motherhood is “the greatest thing?”

The Feminist Movement is a contributing factor, no doubt. The male-bashing that sounded from its early beginnings in the Sixties is now a part of American culture.

Ray Barone and Doug Heffernan are two of the funniest characters on television. I’ve been able to enjoy watching them for so many years because I think of them as an example of what a man shouldn’t be. They are to stupid guys what Archie Bunker was to racial bigots.

The problem is that, when All in the Family aired, its primary audience was white families. They would see how silly their prejudices looked every time Archie did something stupid, and they would feel ashamed. If the audience were primarily black, the series would have run the risk of offending the very people it sought to help.

Maybe too many women are watching Everybody Loves Raymond. While their husbands are out in the garage, they are sitting in front of their television sets thinking, “Men, who needs ’em?”

The answer is for men to put the Barones and Heffernans back where they belong–in the category of exceptions to the rule. That is only going to happen when they commit themselves to those virtues God wants to see in men: integrity, commitment, determination, courage, and honesty.

It’s time we started acting like men (1 Cor. 16:13).