As a Georgia native and automotive enthusiast who enjoys comedy without modern vulgarity, this writer recalls fond moments of watching Bo and Luke climb through the windows of their 1969 Dodge Charger and blast down the dirt roads of “Hazzard County.” The 1979 sitcom is a classic, and its theme song is catchy and recognizable to many. It is my understanding that Waylon Jennings penned “Just the good ol’ boys” specifically for the show, “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
Now, let us be challenged. Bo, Luke, and their family were not good. They would probably “give you the shirt off their back,” show respect to the elderly, help someone in need, and not steal from you. These are good qualities which find their roots in God’s principles of goodness; however, they do not make a person wholly good. The Dukes were “in trouble with the law” for illegal manufacture and transportation of moonshine.
According to God, consumption of intoxicating beverages is not good. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1; cf. 23:29–35). Paul wrote, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Peter said:
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead (1 Peter 4:3–5).
I do not recall if Bo and Luke are ever depicted as consuming alcohol; however, they were “makin’ their way” off of the consumption of intoxicating beverages.
Furthermore, despite their government’s corruption—with which God also would not be pleased (cf. Prov. 14:34; Rom. 13:3–4)—the Dukes’ endeavors were “just a little bit more than the law will allow.” According to God, despising, disrespecting, and disregarding those in authority is not good.
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God (1 Pet. 2:13–15a; cf. 2:15b–17; Rom. 13:1–7; 1 Tim. 2:1–7).
By comparison, classics like “The Dukes of Hazzard” contain far less vulgarity than a great amount of modern offerings [the 2005 film—based on the show—is entirely vulgar]. How often, though, is our depiction of “good” people defined by the world’s standards, rather than God’s standards? How much of our society’s degradation can be attributed to being loose on said standards? Where do we draw the line? When do we let God draw the line?
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/