Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cowards and Bullies

Today is the sixth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York by members of an Islamic terrorist organization, and I did something this morning that I rarely do; I went to the news agencies to remember see if there were any 9/11 memorials going on and what was being said about the event as well as to see what is going on in the world. I read a story on Osama Bin Laden, perused a story about the memorial service in New York, and I was about to abandon my current events investigation when another story at the bottom of the page caught my eye with the tag line, “Griffin to Be Censored. In Emmy speech, Kathy Griffin says 'no one had less to do with this award than Jesus'.”1

She didn’t just stop with announcing that Jesus had nothing to do with her win, but she said “So, all I can say is ‘Suck it, Jesus.’ This award is my god now.”2 There are many offensive and blasphemous things about her comments, but perhaps the worst part of it all is that these comments were, most likely, planned out in advance. The type of speech that one gives when receiving an award is planned out, even if you have only a 20% chance of actually winning, you still want to be ready if you are given the award and of having the platform to make comments.

Was this blasphemy? Absolutely, there is no question that this speech mocks God and uses His name in a shocking exclamation. Does her language show that she hates Christ? I can’t think of any reason to conclude otherwise. At best she thinks that He is so worthless and meaningless that she would use His name as the butt of a joke in order to get a few laughs and a bit of publicity. Was this hate speech? In a technically defined way, I guess that it would be, but I am not one who desires to label pointedly offensive speech as hate speech. I don’t want it legally considered as hate speech because there is too much of a craze, now days, for flinging that description around. And the end goal of those in the hate speech movement is to make it illegal, and therefore punishable by law, to speak hate speech.

Why would I be opposed to legislation like this? Once this lion is let loose, there will be no stopping it. I will be legally culpable for making statements about the sinfulness of homosexuality or any other “sacred cow” type of cultural sin. How soon, in our postmodern world, will it be that simply saying that Christ is the only way of salvation and eternal life will be considered hateful speech? Furthermore, in this era of hate speech it may become intolerant to attempt to persuade anyone of their sinfulness because it is such a hateful thing to be confronted with the fact that “I’m a sinner.” I am deeply fearful that the bandwagon of hate speech will lead to the demise of the freedom to proclaim the gospel, among other things, in public.

"The comedian's remarks were condemned Monday by Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who called them a ‘vulgar, in-your-face brand of hate speech.'

The Catholic League, an anti-defamation group, called on the TV academy to ‘denounce Griffin's obscene and blasphemous comment" at Sunday's ceremony.’"3

Further on in their press release, the Catholic League referenced the reaction and the social outrage to Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, Isaiah Washington, Imus, and Jerry Lewis that followed their offensive statements towards a specific segment of the population and contrasted that to the lack of a reaction to Ms. Griffin’s comments. I would hope that the academy as well as society in general would not be pleased or complacent with comments denigrating the Lord Jesus Christ. I truly hope that Ms Griffin would come to understand her sinful condition before an almighty God who is wrathful at her sin, but would be merciful to her if she would but repent of her sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But I don’t want to have people forced, by the government or by a mob, to be conformed in their speech, beliefs, opinions, or religious activity.

I am not sure what is worse; the refusal by Ms. Griffin or the Emmy people to apologize for the offensive nature of Ms. Griffin’s comments on their program or the knee-jerk reaction by the Catholic League to denounce the statements as hate speech and perusing some sort of retribution. The former is an example of the hardness of their hearts when it comes to any respect at all for God, and that is truly horrible. The latter seems to be an example of zeal without wisdom. I want Christ’s name to be defended, but with the political baggage that “hate speech” carries, that is just not the angle to use.

Finally, I want to put this whole issue into a proper perspective, and ironically enough, it is appropriate for today. Just imagine if Kathy Griffin had made the same comments but only changed one word. If she substituted Mohammad’s name in the place of Jesus’ name, there wouldn’t be enough media outlets or reporters to handle the blushing-falling over themselves-apologizing that would come from Kathy and the Emmy group. Furthermore, the entire entertainment industry would castigate her and probably blackball her from any real future in show business.

So many entertainers think that they are being clever, witty, and edgy by mocking Jesus Christ and Christians. But it is really just cowardice. It is cowardice to mock and taunt Christ and Christians who do not have a blood lust and a desire to put infidels to death. They readily accuse and berate Christians for the crimes of the inquisition (and they were crimes, absolutely) but say nothing of honor killings, suicide bombings, or terrorist attacks as it relates to religion. Christians, particularly those who are most concerned with being biblical, are the people who are maligned for being intolerant, bigoted, condemning, and hate filled followers of a religion. How true is that? We are so intolerant, bigoted, hateful, and condemning that we plead, with our words but without violence, for the salvation of the souls of those who hate us, and all the while we do not seek ways in which to expedite any sinner’s personal trip to meet up with the wrath of God.

If you are a militant atheist, as Ms. Griffin has called herself, then don’t just malign the Christians in the west. But also ruffle the feathers of the Muslims in the Middle East and the Hindus in India. If you are consumed with women’s rights, then don’t just berate pro-life Christian causes in the west. But, with the same force and fervor, condemn the habitual practice of honor killings in the Middle East. If you really believe what you believe, then proclaim it in such a way as to confront and offend all who oppose you, and not just those who will write letters to their congressman and to your boss and not to their religious leader appealing for a fatwa or a death warrant to be issued for you. But Hollywood, western entertainers, and humanists, for the most part, are not speaking out against the mob violence in the name of religion in other countries and instead focus on the passive Christians of the west. Like Nero before them, they have found a palatable scapegoat and whipping boy. Where Nero was a psychopath and a lunatic, modern western entertainers and the Hollywood elite are simply cowards afraid of a reprisal showing that they really only hold the ideals that they espouse when it is safe. They are cowards and bullies, hitting people who won’t hit back.

1 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296382,00.html

2 http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/archives/industry_news/2007_Sep_09_emmy_kathy_griffin_planet_earth

3 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296382,00.html

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