Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jesus Plays Sports: Imus:Wrong::Me and Us:?

Jesus makes his return to the MCBias blog. It's time for a post where I freely admit that this is a Christian perspective on a sporting issue. We all have biases. When they truly are the source of a post, I think it's best to say so clearly. Maybe some other time I'll mix in Republican "Tear Down this Offensive Line" or Democratic "It's about the Defense, Stupid" taglines, too.

There are very few circumstances and actions that our culture universally deplores, but Don Imus made a great attempt at attaining complete revilement. Let's check the profile:
1. Celebrity (and as a bonus, white, rich, old, male, AND unsexy! yes!)
2. Action done in a public place with no shortage of witnesses, instead of at some private location among friends or sycophants.
3. Action is a sexual or racial remark aimed at innocent targets, instead of making fun of accepted targets in creative ways.

Definitely wrong and evil according to our culture. (And I do believe Jesus would think the same). And a quick aside; why is no one focusing on the misogyny, and everyone is focusing on the racism? Is it because there is no feminine spokesman to match Sharpton? Sadly, yes.

So ok, let's judge him already and condemn him. Fine. What I'm more worried about is, what about the rest of us who aren't celebrities? What about the hypocrisy? Let's look at 2. and 3. on society's sin list.

If Don Imus had thought "nappy-headed hos" instead of saying it, he wouldn't have gotten in trouble. And that's too bad. Sadly, I'm sure that other people were thinking similar thoughts, and they will get off without any reprimand. That's what I hate about this press coverage. I feel like bigoted reporters are rushing to pile on Imus so they have some defense for their own past mistakes. The people throwing stones are not sinless. The hypocrisy here is so deep, we're talking Marinas Trench here.

I sympathized with her on this topic; really, does this change the way blacks or women will be treated in our society? The guilty will say "Well, at least I don't SAY nappy-headed hos to that one co-worker." But they think it, don't they? What do the white players think when the black man comes into their gym looking for a game? It's the 00's, so no one fights or makes comments. But you can bet on plenty of frowns, sighs, and turned heads when he comes in the gym. (Speaking of what I've seen here, not hypotheticals). One thing I both love and hate about Jesus's teachings is his emphasis on sins of thought, not just action crimes. Just because you're too much of a wuss to act on your thoughts doesn't make you innocent. You know there are people out there who are an easily procured gun or knife away from doing something about their hate; are they that much better than the ones who did find a gun or knife?

Moving past racism and sexism, I dislike that we like to condemn what we are least likely to do. I don't like thinking of myself as a sinner, a bad person. I have a decent command over my tongue in public situations. So it's tempting for me to blast Imus on this topic. But, what if we expand our definition of sin? What about my command over my hands when I type? Do I manage to avoid slandering and accusing people there? Eek. Thankfully I've been on the web long enough to make smaller mistakes in less visible areas most of the time...and that one forum is thankfully no longer around...but, um, see, there's this post on here labeled "apology" that you can find...yeah, not a good thing.

Bottom line is, we all sin in many ways. This isn't where I mimic the movie "Crash" and try to tell you "Everyone's a racist! It's just how much or how visible it is!" No, that's nonsense. I know people who I'm pretty sure don't have a racist bone in their bodies. We don't all have the same sins; blame genetics, brain type, or upbringing, but they differ.

Some judgment should occur in society, else our prisons are empty and our morgues are full. But let's drop the pretense that Imus is somehow a supreme sinner, just because those of us under 30 are a little more trained in diversity or in spitting hate only among our same race/gender friends (ahem). Plenty of sin to go around, and we all need forgiveness for what we do on a daily basis.

1 comment:

  1. Another Christian perspective on this issue: if somebody wrongs me, and then says he/she is sorry, I'm supposed to forgive that person. That's it, no questions asked, even, as Christ says, seven times seventy times. From a Christian perspective, Imus's repentent, (seemingly) sincere apology would be all that is required for him to be forgiven (though Catholic theology would probably require penance, too).

    I'm not sure how the forgiveness at the root of Christianity fits into social policy, however.