Day 14: And the Beat Goes On…
I am always amazed that when someone admits doing something wrong and apologizes, there is a segment in the world that doesn’t accept either the acknowledgement of wrongdoing or the apology. The endless idiocy that surrounds Rush Limbaugh and his comments about a liberal activist just makes me scratch my head. Let me say:
1. Rush was just plain wrong in calling a liberal activist/30-year old Georgetown Law student the terrible things that he did. He also spent time on his radio show discussing what he deemed to be her active sex life, once again demeaning Sandra Fluke.
2. The media, who has no love for Limbaugh and his top-rated show, has failed in its obligation to balance its news reporting as they have singularly focused on this story when they failed to even mention a left-wing HBO host Bill Maher previously describing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann in a rather reprehensible manner. Additionally, when a host on MSNBC called conservative talk host Laura Ingraham one of the same words that Rush used to describe Fluke, liberal commentators on ABC’s “The View” made fun of the topic, yet when the Limbaugh-Fluke matter was discussed, they treated it like Limbaugh was evil incarnate. (Note – said MSNBC host Ed Schultz was suspended for a week without pay for making those comments).
3. Rush admitted he was wrong and apologized for the language he used.
Where this issue has gone off the rails, at least in a spiritual sense, is the inability for people to accept an apology and move on. A central core of our lives as Christians is not to judge, but when one repents of a wrongdoing, a Christian is to accept it. If we were forgiving others like God forgives us, then we would forgive and forget the wrongdoing and move on.
However, this has not been the case. Liberal activists have continuously attacked Limbaugh for what they describe as an insincere apology and are going after sponsors of Limbaugh’s show. Already, dozens have dropped buying ads on the nation’s most listened to talk show. Liberal columnists like Maureen Dowd have continued to ridicule and attack Limbaugh after his apology. The liberal blogosphere has been ripe with vitriol and hatred towards Limbaugh, dredging up his pain killer addiction and his multiple marriages as they mercilessly ridicule him.
But the man has apologized.
He admitted he was wrong is saying what he did.
Aren’t we Christians supposed to forgive?
A Bigger Spiritual Issue
At least for this pastor, there is a deeper cultural issue at play here — our society is more and more accepting of viciousness and vileness and it now is crossing over into our media. It is crossing over into all areas of our culture — whether it is political talk shows, variety mash-up shows like “The View,” music, movies, books, etc. — and we, as Christians, just accept it. Granted, I fall into this category, as well. The television shows I watch regularly use words that were once unacceptable on television. Scenes in movies I watch at the Garden State Plaza AMC theater could be equated to soft-porn. And music — Cee Lo Green’s big hit? “F*** You,” minus the stars.
This culture of ours is more accepting of using horrific language and sexually explicit situations in our media; and because of it, we are less likely to fight back since we see it everywhere. Back in the 1980s when Tipper Gore appeared before Congress to complain about music lyrics, people laughed at her, claiming that she wanted to censor the industry. But Gore feared a coarsening of society where ugliness would become the norm. Tipper Gore was right.
As Christians, we need to challenge ourselves not to act as our society does — we need to battle the sinfulness in our hearts and minds and the world with the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We need to be the examples of what we want all people to strive for — peace, love, and mercy.