Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jesus loves Kathy Griffin anyway

After a year of scandals in which celebrities such as Mel Gibson, Don Imus, and Isaiah Washington have reminded us that fame does not cancel out bigotry, Kathy Griffin last week became the latest public figure to make such headlines with her Creative Arts Emmy acceptance speech. Referring to the tendency of some of her colleagues to invoke divine sanction for their success, she said, among other things, that "no one had less to do with this award than Jesus." Her remarks were censored on the telecast, and at least one Christian public figure has since implied on CNN that her words were more offensive than Imus' racist comments about the Rutgers basketball players, or Washington’s homophobic remarks about Grey’s Anatomy co-star T.R. Knight. The questionable logic that led to this assertion is that "85% of Americans believe in Jesus," while only a minority are black, and a much smaller number are gay. First of all, the suggestion that only the groups who are targeted in dehumanising rhetoric should be offended by them is absurd -- of course you don't have to be the victim of prejudice to be offended by it. It's understandable that people get offended when the names of religious figures are used in a derogatory fashion. It is also true to say that today it is more publicly acceptable to criticize Christianity than most other faiths. And sometimes it may be appropriate to protest this.

Continue reading this post on the Gods Politics blog


Frederick Buechner's Lovechild said...

I can see what she was up to, though. The irony of these mega-rich superstars invoking Christ, when he'd probably have had a thing or to to say about their wealth is pretty clear.

Loudon Wainwright III (one of my favourite songwriters) lampoons this tendency in "The Grammy Song" where he croons "I'd like to thank my producer" (and then by way of an afterthought) "and Jesus Christ". It's almost like pressing the 'Jesus' button makes it ok to have those ten cars and five houses and private jet.... or am I too cynical?!


The Mzungus said...

At first I was shocked and offended by Kathy's comments but then I saw her on larry King and now I have changed my mind. I think that she is "right on" when she said that Jesus has more important stuff to do like Darfur, HIV/AIDS etc... than helping spoiled, rich and ungrateful people win emmys or oscars. And she is right--he did have nothing to do with it! I think she did us all a huge favor but reminding us of this.