Rav Avigdor Miller on When the Christians Are More Sincere Than You

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Q:
The Rav told us last week that having a television in the home is the same as having a sewage pipe leading directly into the living room, depositing the city’s sewage onto your living room floor. If that’s true, what would you compare radio and newspapers to? 

A:
It would be an error on my part to ignore this comment because it just confuses the issue.  Whatever radio and newspapers are, TV is a thousand times more. You’re not going to mitigate a nuisance by pointing out smaller nuisances.

I have a clipping here that was handed to me today. “Officials of ‘The Church of god’ say that they expect one million of their followers to turn off their television sets next week to protest televised violence, immorality and promiscuity. The church spokesman, Karl Richardson said, ‘The networks may not know it yet, but they are about to be hit by a revolution.’ Last year, church leaders decided that television corrupts families by feeding housewives a daily dose of adultery, promoting the use of alcohol, exploiting znus – that’s my word by the way – encouraging homosexuality, showing extensive violence and depicting unnatural family relationships.”

Now there’s a lot more here that I could read to you, but I want to tell you something. This is, chas v’shalom, an accusation against the Jews. If there are still Orthodox Jews who have television sets, and they continue calmly to do this despite what they’ve been hearing here for years and years, that shows that they’re pulling punches; they’re not sincere.

But these goyim, they’re sincere. These goyim have sincerity, whereas these Orthodox Jews don’t. That’s plain talk straight from the shoulder. And I say that the Orthodox Jews who have television sets are not sincere at all! They want to get by with a veneer of Orthodoxy. Some put on black hats, some put on gartelen, some shake more than they used to do. But it’s all fakerei. Because basically they’re no good, they’re no good! You can’t be good if you have that machine in your home!

So you’ll tell me that it’s not you: “I don’t look at it; my wife looks at it.” You know what it means that your wife looks at it?! Your wife is half of you. If your wife is corrupt then you can’t help but be corrupt. You think your wife is going to turn off every bad thing that comes on?! A nechtigeh tog, like the Jewish Press says. If your wife is watching TV, then she is being corrupted by adultery, no question about it. It doesn’t mean that she commits it. It doesn’t mean that she lies drunk on the dining room carpet. But she’s getting into her head every kind of wicked ideas of permissiveness. And you’re just as guilty as she is. There’s no two ways about it.

And I say that if so many goyim can get together and do such a thing then, chas v’shalom,  it’s an accusation against the Jewish People. So Jews, how much longer are you going to fake and deceive Hakodosh Boruch Hu?!

And do you think that if you would throw out your television set then you’re a pious Jew?! No, you’re not a pious Jew yet. You still have a lot of work to do before you become a pious Jew. But you have to be a human being at least. They’re trying to be human beings; they’re not trying to be pious Jews. These gentiles are not trying to be Orthodox Jews. They just want to be decent people. And you can’t be decent if you have a television around. You just can’t.
TAPE # 166 (April 1977)