Almost all of us have seen the sickening internet image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding the gory, severed head of Donald Trump. The same internet that flashed the image has the potential to carry this commentary to the perpetrator of this act. If any reader has the wherewithal to make this happen, please do so!
There come times in all of our lives where we say and do things that we later regret. Sometimes it's premeditated and other times it's not.
Last evening at a baseball game, I sat behind friends planning to be married soon. As the game concluded, the lady said she needed to get home. I bid them goodbye and threw in, "Get her to bed quickly!"
"Ahh ... I mean ... drop her off."
People laughed as I feebly tried to reel it back, but it was too late. What redeemed me was our group knows my heart that I hadn't meant anything inappropriate by my miscue.
Kathy, your recent ISIS-type decapitation image that exploded across the internet doesn't fit into this innocent category. Although we don't know you or the motivations of your heart, please understand that we can't remain silent, brushing it off as an insignificant mistake.
Scores were appalled by your actions, including the President and the First Lady, who said, "As a mother, a wife and human being, that photo is disturbing." Even liberal personalities like Chelsea Clinton and Anderson Cooper issued strong statements critical of your conduct.
I use the word "appalling" from "apalair" meaning "to make pale," because that's the cruel effect it had on scores of Americans. Imagine if you were in the room with Trump's 11-year-old, Baron, who witnessed the bloody image on the screen and screamed "Mommy, Mommy!" He thought his dad was dead.
When the avalanche of reaction hit you like a tsunami, apparently you scrambled to extricate yourself. Soon your Albuquerque show was cancelled. CNN terminated your 10-year New Year's Eve hosting. A major ad campaign was cancelled by Squatty Potty. The Secret Service is getting involved in this potential "threat to the president". All this jolted you that this was no laughing matter.
You tried to pull the image, but it had gone viral.
You hastily sat down to video an apology. Were you sorry you got caught and might lose income or were you genuinely contrite recognizing the gravity of what you did?
You often joke about your multiple plastic surgeries and project a cutesy-cool image even at fifty-six. Yet it was obvious to all watching your mea-culpa video this persona was gone amidst damage control.
Rolling your eyes while speaking didn't help your credibility. You didn't directly address President Trump or his family in your statement. After all, he was the target of your stunt.
As a divorced and childless woman living in Bel Air next door to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, your lifestyle insulates you from what millions of Americans value. As a former Catholic and now ordained minister in the Universal One Church, do you subscribe to any code of basic respect for others?
Hammer or Honor our President?
Kathy, has this most revolting occurrence humbled you? In a time where celebrities are in nonstop competition mocking and attacking President Trump, are you willing to separate yourself from the pack and do something redemptive?
Snoop Dogg depicted shooting Trump in a music video. Madonna mentioned "blowing up the White House" in January's Women's March. After Carrie Fisher died, Charlie Sheen begged God that "Trump be next, please!" while Mickey Rourke threatened to "beat Trump up with a baseball bat".
This violent and hateful speech is downright evil. It is damaging to our psyche as a nation and to our children. It needs to stop and I appeal to you, in light of what happened, lead the way!
As an ordained minister, I don't know how you view the Bible, but would you consider direction it gives us regarding our elected officials? This doesn't mean blanket endorsement or slavish obedience. It's okay to disagree with governing authorities, but we're called to honor, pray for, influence and communicate with them in a respectful way.
- "My son, fear the Lord and the king ..." (Prov. 24:21).
- "Even in your mind do not curse the king ..." (Eccl.10:20).
- "As free people, do not use your liberty as a covering for evil ... Fear God. Honor the king" (1 Pet. 2:16-17). This was written during the reign of Nero!
- "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities ... Render to all what is due them ... respect to whom respect is due, fear to whom fear is due, and honor to whom honor is due" (Rom. 13:1,7).
Kathy, God has blessed you richly. Even though you've made a major mistake, you can turn it around for good.
After initially making allowance for slavery and suggesting freed slaves be deported back to Africa, President Lincoln rectified his erroneous actions. In 1863, as he looked over the Gettysburg battlefield where 6,650 soldiers died and more than 29,000 were wounded, he challenged us to use our freedom for good in light of their sacrifice. Will you?
"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain—this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Kathy Griffin, this is a defining moment. Use your God-given freedom by leading onlookers on a new path that honors our public servants for the common good.
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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