The New Flu

Not feeling too well…feeling a little reckless…perhaps you are coming down with “the flu” – affluenza, that is.  A newly coined term for those who just have too much money.  All of that wealth has prevented them from understanding that actions have consequences.  Everything can be fixed with money, so there’s no need to apologize – there’s no responsibility for reckless behavior.  Ridiculous, you say?

You’ve no doubt heard by now about 16 year old Ethan Couch of Texas. He drove his daddy’s company truck to Wal-Mart; he and his 7 friends stole 2 cases of beer. They drank the beer and took Valium as well.  Ethan sped through the streets and lost control around a turn and struck a disabled vehicle parked off the road with a flat tire.  The collision killed the owner of the vehicle, and three Good Samaritans who stopped to help.  One of the friends in the truck flew through the glass and is paralyzed, only able to blink his eyes.  Ethan Couch’s blood alcohol level was 3 times the legal limit for an adult. Notes from the trial claim the cocky teenager said ‘I’m Ethan Couch, I’ll get you out of this,’ to one of his passengers at the scene.

 Four dead, one left paralyzed for life and many others scarred for life and Ethan Couch will once again experience no serious repercussions. Ethan Couch’s defense team claimed that Ethan was not responsible because he suffered from “affluenza”. The judge listened and gave him no jail time. Zip. Zero. Zilch.  Just 10 years probation and therapy at a high-end, $450,000 a year spa…I mean, treatment center.

 You won’t find “affluenza” in any medical dictionary,.  It is no more a mental illness than is “poor-itus”.   We have reached a sad state of affairs in this incredibly wealthy country.  I thought money was supposed to make us happier, bring us more freedom; at least that is what I have heard.  We are now inventing new diseases to excuse the reckless, inexcusable behavior of a self-centered, spoiled rich kid.   I am angry, but I’m not so much angry as I am sad. Sad that his parents gave him everything he wanted, except boundaries; sad that the judge doesn’t realize that his sentence to a luxurious treatment center (handpicked by the parents) only contributes to the concept of “affluenza”

 I guess Solomon was right – ‘There’s nothing new under the sun.”.   This stuff has been gong on since the Garden of Eden.  Nobody takes responsibility.   All I know is that we can’t keep heading down this road endlessly.  There will be a calamitous end.

 Final thoughtI am responsible for the decisions I make.  No one else.

 But if we think we are not responsible, then we do not need to say, “I’m sorry.” And we have no need of God.

The Good News is that even my worst decision was covered at the Cross.

In His Grip,



About terrylafferty

I am married to a beautiful Christian woman, Jennifer and I have 5 wonderful children. I serve as the minister with the North Hills church of Christ in Pittsburgh,.
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