Most mornings I try to catch a few minutes of Morning Joe on MSNBC before leaving for work. I watch less and less television these days, but this remains a favorite. In my opinion, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist host the best and most lively hard news show around. Pat Buchanan, Mike Barnacle, Dillon Ratigan rotate as semi-regulars and the guest line-up is A-list all the way.
This morning, Joe Scarborough, while ruminating on the dire headlines in The Washington Post, made a passing reference to Sodom and Gomorrah and noted "We are all piles of salt now."
Sensing perhaps that nobody caught the reference (for Pat and Mika were not there--they would have certainly known), Joe asked if anyone knew who was turned into a pillar of salt....blank looks all around. First Willie admitted he had no idea, then Dillon, then the female economist guest. He turned to Chris the producer, who was equally clueless....as was the crew standing nearby. Joe plaintively asked "Is there not a Baptist amongst us?" Finally, he informed everyone that the answer was "Lot's wife."
I am no longer easily shocked, but I have to admit that this caught my attention. Whether you were taught these Bible stories growing up in Sunday School or not--such stories were once part and parcel of our cultural narrative. Not so long ago, most everyone would have known what was meant by a reference to Lot's wife or a pillar of salt. The story that our society is adrift from its cultural moorings is hardly news. Still, one doesn't like to be reminded of it before their second cup of morning coffee. Yes, it may indeed be time to start "collecting books."