With the passing of Dick Clark, people my age are reminiscing over his popular dance show “American Bandstand.” I was not allowed to watch it. Dancing was sinful. But it wasn’t just Baptist fundamentalists that feared gyrating rock ‘n rollers; many conservative people resisted it. But Dick Clark made it acceptable by bringing a clean-cut, non-threatening image into American living rooms; girls on the show couldn't wear slacks or tight sweaters, and boys had to wear jackets and ties.
Dick Clark knew how to change a culture: it's called normalizing the abnormal. Traditionalists are threatened by new ideas. Just look at the resistance in countries under Islamic Law—Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan.
In our society, on the other hand, "change" is normal. Unfortunately, all too many believers are ignorant or ambivalent about the impact of change. Things once considered immoral are being normalized. Couples cohabitating, even having children, without marriage, “hooking up”—the new phrase for promiscuity, and same-sex relationships are the norm. Looking back, dancing doesn't seem so bad after all. God forbid we should ever reach the point where we say that about today's cultural changes!