Why CM Punk's Straightedge Is Walking Too Fine a Line into Christianity
While I was watching Friday Night SmackDown, Saturday morning, seeing as I was busy and wasn't able to see it Friday, I saw CM Punk and Luke Gallows come on the air. The segment with the two seemed to be okay in the beginning.
The segment was one that had CM Punk "save" a member of the audience from their evil ways and convert to a Straightedge life. As we all know, Straightedge is no drinking, no smoking, and no drugs.
It's a good message; I've always been behind that. The issue is that it has been misused greatly in the WWE during Punk's heel run. I have no issues with Punk as a heel, in fact he is great at it. However, the message he sends out while good is being shut out by the crowd.
We all know the WWE is entertainment, at least most of us over the age of 12 years old. The Straightedge lifestyle is a good one, but it comes off as not cool to kids because Punk is saying it in a heel manner.
While kids probably are not going out and lighting up or taking a few drinks back after shows, they don't want to be like Punk because of how he comes off on TV.
With the WWE being PG and especially being programmed for kids to be able to watch, why make the straightedge lifestyle come off bad? Shouldn't it be highlighted as something good, seeing as it really is?
This is what brings me to another point, the way it's used.
Punk started doing many Christian-like mannerisms of which walked a fine line with the religion during his "saving an audience member" segment Friday.
We all know the WWE is trying to get into Christianity as much as possible without diving into the actual religion. I mean they already have "Luke" Gallows as Punk's right hand man.
Luke, who is a very popular figure simply because "Luke" is one of the four gospels in the Bible's New Testament, was an apostle and a very popular one in his time. Many aren't sure which Luke wrote the gospel, but it was obviously one of the Luke's that lived during Jesus' time, it was believed to be the apostle Luke because of his standing in the Christian community however.
As many in the Christian religion know, the four gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These just so happen to be the first four books in the New Testament, and all four tell about Jesus' time on earth and the good works he did along with his death and resurrection.
Punk is also sporting a prominent beard. Which is the popular look you most see for Jesus. Which people should realize is not accurate. Jesus didn't have a prominent beard, especially one like Punk's.
Back in the days of Jesus, only old and/or married men had beards. The single, young guys rarely had them and if they did have one is was really thin, never as prominent as you see on Punk.
Which means that the WWE's use of Punk wearing a beard is not accurate, yet because it is the popular look for Jesus many are going to associate him being like Christ was and be the main man sharing the gospel of Straightedge.
The man Punk saved was named "James", who is another prominent figure in the bible, and was one of the 12 Disciples. While I, again, agree with what Straightedge stands for, I think they may be getting too far into it.
I'm okay with the use of the names, and even somewhat using some things from the Christian world. However, they are walking a fine line, that if crossed could really see backlash from the Christian community.
I'm not one who looks for a reason to attack the WWE or any other organization for using some Christian-like things to make a story or ad work. In fact, it's creative. And it's fine when used properly.
I understand what the WWE is trying to do here with Straightedge. They are trying to pass it this lifestyle off as sort of a religion, of which only "select" and "worthy" people can be a part of. Punk is the savior, similar to Jesus was to Christianity, and he has his disciples, of which started off small and grew.
It makes it a nice heelish faction and makes people hate them, which is kinda the point. This I understand, but you can only go so far.
When you talk of "saving" someone, it starts to dive into a realm of which Christianity is based. I won't talk about the religion too much, seeing as this is not a place to share my religious views.
The segment this past week was the real line crosser. I feel it was poorly done because of how many Christian like mannerisms done in it. It had Punk saving someone similar to what you would see in a Christian church, along with adding a cult like shaving of the head, then telling everyone this man is better than you. I'm fine with the heelish things they do, but this one was one that went too far in my opinion.
When Chris Jericho tried out a Christian throw back in his return to the WWE, he talked of saving the WWE Universe from Orton and others like him. This worked for me, because while it was sort of based from Christianity, it wasn't wrong the way it was being used.
But when you talk of doing it for a lifestyle which, in a way, is being pushed off more so as a religion in this day and age is Straightedge, you start getting too close.
Punk vowed to save one from every audience he goes to, and no one else can be saved that night. He will most likely do the same this week as well. Then, at the end of it all, the people in the ring, of which all are now Straightedge, are "better than you."
For years, Christianity, as well as many other religions, suffered from problems similar to this. That the people in religions thought they were better than all the rest and only wanted your money, things like that.
This is not the case at all, and the fact that Straightedge is showing everything bad about religion is wrong.
While it is a lifestyle, we keep having it pushed off as a religion to us as I said before. I know we are supposed to hate Punk and Straightedge, but you start to dive into another animal entirely here when you mess with religion.
To me, the WWE is going a bit too far with Straightedge. Again, I'm fine with the root message of it and for them to use some religious mannerisms.
But, the WWE is starting to dig even further. The further they dig, eventually they will cross a line, which is not good one bit.
But what do you think, am I getting too worked up about this situation or are you thinking something similar to myself?
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