The Call for a New Manly Vigilance: King James Version
There is much hysteria regarding the return of one Lebron Raymone James, an NBA basketball player, to play future games in Cleveland for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Of note, the word “hysteria” traces its roots to the Greek, hysterikos, meaning “of the womb” and originally was used to describe a neurotic condition peculiar to women .
Indeed. Hysterics are not manly.
But the other issue worth noting is that somehow, this “fan”, and many others, like to call Mr. James by the title “king”.
Mr. James himself, in what one might guess is a marketing ploy of some sort, likes to portray himself as some kind of royalty:
What is worse than grown males imagining themselves to be kings of something or other (e.g. recall that Elvis was considered to be a king) or other apparently mature males worshiping a celebrity as a king, is the very dangerous trend to idolize mere men (even men who are very, very good at putting a ball in a hoop).
In modern culture, there is an obsession with sports and entertainment celebrities of all ilk. Fans become obsessed with the lives, utterances and facts about celebrities.
This is a form of idolatry.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast” refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.
Another problem is the dumbing down of the concept of “king”. Across history, “kings” were those called to rule, often with a “divine birthright”. While men as kings were often sinful, many were good and ruled nobly.
It is a sign of the decaying cultural times that important words, such as “king”, are used as marketing ploys (recall the recent perversion of “Burger King”) and lose their meaning.
Why does this matter? Because there is only one true King, and that King is Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Divine King.
Mr. James is an outstanding basketball player, but he is no “king”. Sadly, Mr. James, a recipient of a Catholic High School education at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in Akron Ohio, evidently was never taught, or never absorbed, the very first line from Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:3):
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What is apparently missing is “being poor in spirit” (which is humility, the opposite of a pride where one deludes one’s self into thinking they are a “king”) and the realization that there truly is the “kingdom of heaven” (which is the only kingdom worthy of aspiring to…including a fictional basketball kingdom).
Those who honor Mr. James as king, and even Mr. James himself, will likely have some ‘splain’n to do when they inevitably have to meet the Divine King in His Hallowed Kingdom.
Catholic men, you have but one King. Don’t get deceived or distracted by the hysterics of a decaying culture that worships basketball players as kings. And pray for all souls to realize the truth that only Christ is King.