Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Who Are You Little Girl? The Judgement of Rod Serling

Rod Serling caricature by Al Hirschfeld
                         Who Are You Little Girl? The Judgement of Rod Serling

                                                                    Jay Agan

      Flashback to the mid-70s. Had recently escaped from (Insert name of a large,ossified, religious denomination of your choice here.) & joined a much smaller fundamentalist bunch (I liked the "dynamics" & yes, found out what salvation is when you take away the ritual & "extraciricular" non-doctrine.). Spiritually, I found things to be much simpler & better. Even in "Eden" however, a "snake" or two can be found & I encountered one hissing  away one night at a youth meeting.

     A few days before, Rod Serling died of a heart attack during surgery. Serling was a producer/writer of several movies & TV shows, one of which was The Twilight Zone, a big favorite of mine.

      Some in this little congregation I attended looked down on such shows as Zone (Nanny & the Professor, Bewitched, etc.). One was an otherwise nice young lady who snarkingly "commented" on as to where Mr. Serling might be spending eternity. I wish I was a little more knowlegable of Mr. Serling, The Twilight Zone & of "theology" at the time. An interesting discussion might have taken place.

      Who are you little girl? And who do you think you are? Your'e in no position to judge this man & know next to nothing about him. All you do know is what you've seen on that "satanic" TV show of his. And what were you doing watching it if it's so bad? (I'm reminded of a pastor commenting on how miserable Vincent Price must have been due to his "reputation" for the macabre. From what I read over the years "Uncle Vince" had a blast! So much for the speculations of the "Godly".)

      Rodman Edward Serling (1924-1975, aged 50). Native of Cayuga County/Rochester, NY (I'm originally from the Chemung County/Elmira area.). World War ll combat vet, wounded, saw more than he cared to. It's thought to have affected him later in life. Workaholic, heavy smoker. Wrote/produced some of the greatest TV shows & movies ever (Requiem For A Heavyweight & Patterns are must sees.) , Twilight Zone included.

      I doubt Zone episodes were intended to be "satanic". Some, (One For the Angels, Nothing In the Dark, & A Nice Place to Visit) could be considered angelic. "Diabolic" or "heavenly", each ep had something thoughtful if not positive in it. I don't think the show was engineered to steer folks toward the devil.

      Only God is the true & fair judge of any & all. For all you know young lady, Mr. Serling is up there "doing TV". Maybe you should be more concerned with working out your own salvation (Phillipians 2:12) instead of condemning others.

                                    Article copyright © 5-4-2011 Jay Agan

A Twilight Zone Moment here.

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  1. Thank you! As a Serling fan, I appreciate to homage. As a believer, I appreciate your "pinning the tail on the donkey" of fundamentalist (I mean the historic theological term) judgmentalism. Jesus made accurate moral assessments of religious posers, being the Son of God and all. Having a less broad database to draw from, all we are authorised to do is A) share the gospel, and 2) warn people of prohibited behaviors and attitudes. "Sheriff of the Kingdom" is not a biblical ministry. Neither is Conductor. We cannot punch anyone's ticket. Well played, sir.