I don’t usually talk about current events or things political, and I certainly don’t want to bring up what Kathy Griffin did just to pile on the condemnation already directed her way. I’m sure she realizes that this was a foolish thing to do, even if only for her career. But this is relevant to what I’ve been talking about in my series, “Jesus’ Subversive Kingdom,” so I felt the need to chime in.
Here’s why this discussion matters. Whether she was holding up the head of a President or a homeless person, it’s very wrong. In fact, disturbing. And whether we’re believers or atheists, politically left or right, this should give us pause as a society. It’s revealing something very sick at a systemic level in how we see and choose to relate to one another as human beings. It should be a wake-up call for us.
What we’re seeing is what happens when ideology becomes more important than respect for human life, and when civility and honor have given way to mean-spirited demagoguery. It’s extremely dysfunctional and has even taken on a sociopathic nature.
Griffin revealed this dysfunctional behavior, and now is basically telling us that her apology was bogus with these comments:
“He wants to mess with me?” the comedian said at a press conference in Los Angeles. “He picked the wrong redhead!”(USA Today via MSN.com).
No, Kathy, you were just wrong. You totally missed the point. There is no excuse for your behavior. None. So, please stop talking and realize that the fact you thought this was funny just shows how sick you are. You need professional help.
Jesus brilliantly deals with this relational pathology in His Sermon on the Mount when He said that cultivating anger is the spirit of murder (Matt.5:21-26). I talked about this in my series here so I won’t go over the whole teaching again, but only to make this point.
What we need to see is how this evil trajectory takes us on a path away from valuing human life made in God’s image(Matt.5:45-46; John 3:16) to the point where we think it’s okay to destroy it. It’s cold-hearted and the very opposite of other-centered love.
Again, here how this evil trajectory works:
- Anger (you thwarted my will, so now you will experience my wrath).
- Contempt (I don’t care what happens to you).
- Malice (you are utterly worthless and deserve to be treated like garbage).
- Murder (I’m justified in destroying another human life).
This is why there are few things that Jesus condemned more than this (see Matt.5:22). The English word “fool” is a bad translation. The original word meant something very different; it’s saying that someone is utterly worthless and worthy of killing (malice). Here’s what Dallas Willard said about Jesus’ condemnation of people in this state of uncontrolled hostility:
“To brand someone a “fool” in this biblical sense was a violation of the soul so devastating that, as Jesus saw, it would justify consigning the offender to the smoldering garbage dump of human existence, gehenna.” (The Divine Conspiracy)
Griffin was obviously making the connection to ISIS with her video. But it’s very telling. How is the way she feels about Trump any different than ISIS? While I’m pretty sure this was not her intent, she unwittingly reveals that she is on the same trajectory as those who would feel justified in destroying another human life in the name of their religious ideology.
Is this what our society has come to? We can’t bear to let people who don’t hold our views exist on this planet? Can anybody else see the utter hypocrisy of this vitriolic rant? It’s astounding to me that people will be all about environment, social justice, and political correctness, yet reveal a totally unhinged despotic heart when they don’t get their own way!
Finally, the utter irony to me is that we live in a culture that has basically ignored, dismissed, and even mocked Jesus, yet here is a case in point where He has put His finger right on the pulse of what’s wrong with us. His admonition to us is brilliantly relevant and timeless. Maybe if we listened to what He said, we would all find healing and wholeness as a diverse people that He dearly loves.