I’ll admit it – I love Keeping up with the Kardashians. It’s the ultimate reality show – eight bizarre people go around doing bizarre things with tons of money. What’s not to love?
But here’s the thing about the Kardashians that most people don’t understand – they’re a family that draws really heavily on religion. And religious America, which reveres things like family values and self-control, shouldn’t be afraid of the Kardashians. The Kardashians are, after all, slowly becoming them. Khloe has been a Christian ever since she married Lamar Odom, and they pray together every night. And Kim tweets about how she wants to start a bible study!
The Kardashians even invented a whole new use for the word bible. Urbandictionary defines “Bible” as, “a slang term used quite often by the Kardashian family, used instead of “i swear” or “i promise” or “im not joking”” (sic, sic, etc.)
Slang terms like “bible” are just one of the ways religion keeps itself around, and why its not going anywhere fast – it becomes the language with which we speak. When we (or the Kardashians) use the word “Bible” as a synonym for truth, it subliminally furthers the notion that the bible is permanent, immutable truth.
But even before the Kardashians became explicitly Christian, they accepted a lot of the values of contemporary Christianity – they just made them their own. Evangelical Christianity emphasizes personal morality, defining it in terms of chastity before marriage. The Kardashians may not share that moral code, but they have their own – they don’t sleep around, and Kim doesn’t even drink. But what they really share with Christianity is its most important value – family. The four older Kardashians all live within a short distance of their mother (who is Kim’s manager) and stepfather, and they spend tons of time together. Hell, what defines them is their family – they are the Kardashians.
Watching Keeping up with the Kardashians is watching the new American family being shaped – in all its awesomeness and horribleness. The Kardashians represent a synthesis of the evangelical ideology of the family and the practical realities of today’s world. It may be an exaggerated, sickeningly wealthy synthesis, but it is one nonetheless.
By the way, my least favorite Kardashian is either Kris Jenner or Rob.