The firing [from the Food Network] came after Deen posted three short apology videos on YouTube.
The first [which has been taken down] was a 46-second video posted Friday afternoon, in which she offered up an apology for using “inappropriate, hurtful language.” In a second video, Deen apologized for failing to show up for a scheduled interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY Friday to discuss her admission. The third was a similar, shorter version apologizing to Lauer.
~ Today.com, “Food Network ‘will not renew Paula Deen’s contract’“
I have some observations about the mostly hypocritical reaction to her apology.
Have people in general become a lot more cyncical as a result of celebrities who act bad and then give a half-hearted apology? I only saw one of Deen’s apology videos, and I have to admit it seemed a bit lame. She apologized for a mostly vague transgression. However, in comparison to “apologies” that blame people for being too sensitive if they were offended by what they said or did, at least she literally went out on a limb to “beg for your forgivneness.”
And, that is what is hypocritical about it. If a “great” sports player engages in horrid behavior or even crimes, then they pretty much get a free pass. If a Hollywood actor is a jerk and uses racial slurs, they blame it upon being drunk and are forgiven. This is pretty much the case as long as they say “I am sorry for offending anyone”. But, if someone begs forgiveness, then they are made fun of and fired.
If you ask me, it is an artifact of a society that has moved so far from Christianity that many people scoff at the very idea of God. No, I don’t mean partly an artifact, but it is caused by that.
True, people have longed used religion as a means of castigating people they don’t like. History is filled with such examples. The religious leaders in Jesus’ day excelled at it, even pointing the accusing finger at the only One Who was ever sinless. Part of what they did not like is that He didn’t go along with their petty rules and traditions. Instead, He upheld His Father’s Law, which included mercy and forgiveness.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
~ Jn 8:10-11
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
~ Mt 9:13
In both of these cases, Jesus showed compassion and mercy without coddling sin.
I guess it is just carnality. This society is becoming less and less forgiving. I think that explains why it is so polarized. There is less middle ground. There is less of an attempt, in fact. People do jail terms, but then they are still marked, sometimes for life. However, that all changes if there is something to gain, doesn’t it? In particular, if they are entertaining, then it is “part of their art” or “all sports players are bad boys” or some other excuse.
Jesus came to forgive sins. As He and the Father are removed from public view, is it any surprise that mercy is also obscured?
Worse, if there is no God, then the whole Paula Deen deal is hypocritical right out of the gate. After all, we are nothing more than fleshly electrochemical processes. Everything we know, everything we are, and everything we will ever be is determined by random chance. It is not our fault. We were born that way. Therefore, why villify Paula Deen? She was just born that way!
Ridiculous? Well, that is standard postmodern, and in particular liberal, thought. Gay people are born that way, don’t you know? They cannot help it. They are just the product of evolution.
As LCG’s Wallace Smith posted in his blog article “Australia’s ‘You’re having a lesbian’ ad versus Logic“, the whole logical argument falls apart because both of the predicates can be shown to be false. Most traditional marriage apologists argue that it is an unproven assertion that homosexuality is genetically determined. However, Smith takes the tack of arguing that even if they were genetically determined and therefore, supposedly, a normal lifestyle is also false. He substitutes violent behavior and alcoholic tendencies for homosexuality to prove the point. I would go further and say just because someone is born with a heart defect, we don’t just throw up our hands and call it “normal” and send the person home with no care.
IOW, if there is no objective standard, even in this it becomes a matter of individual preference, meaning there is no such thing as morality, as it is simply my preferences vs yours.
I believe that even Christian thinking in this nation has become infected with all of this faulty thinking. That is why I just plain became sad to read on NBCNews.com that there are “Mixed reactions to Exodus group leaving ‘gay therapy’“. For those who have not heard of the group, Exodus International was involved in “reparative therapy”, which insists that people can overcome same-sex attraction through prayer and therapy.
It seems that part of the problem may have been a bait and switch, promising a “cure” when in reality it was more like a 12 step program for addictions than a cure. When President Alan Chambers began to publicly state that there was no cure, it signaled the beginning of the end, it would seem.
So, should AA shut down as well? After all, there is no cure for alcoholism. It can only be held in remission. Same with Narcotics Anonymous (NA). The same could be said about any addiction.
According to About.com, 90% of alcholics are likely to relapse within 4 years after treatment. It appears that Spiritual River to Recovery is yet more pessimistic, stating that 95% of alcoholics relapse during their first year of sobriety! They also support what I was told many years that 4 out of 5 alcoholics will drop out of AA within a year, never to return.
Perhaps AA should shut down? In the end, many believe that there is a gene controlling alcoholic tendencies. Therefore, it is logical to assume it is determined by genetics and we cannot make any moral judgments on it, right? That makes it normal behavior, right?
Of course not. People may argue that alcoholics may harm themselves or others, but if evolution is true, then it just becomes survival of the fittest, and trying to help an alcoholic is actually unnatural and therefore wrong.
We have physical laws. Who made those laws? As HWA used to claim, laws require a Lawgiver! Same with spiritual laws. Mankind’s situation of unending war and suffering is the direct result of ignoring those spiritual laws.
HWA believed that when people are born, they are blank slates. It’s a bit more complicated than that, as babies are born with certain temperments, strengths and weaknesses. However, when it comes to things like values, it isn’t far off.
I don’t venture too often into this space, but people are pretty malleable. We often marvel at what children can endure, but in some ways children are stronger and more resilient than adults in the same situation. I believe it is because they are more flexible. They haven’t yet firmly established all things. Obviously, that isn’t true in all cases, as, again, people are different.
We are born with certain needs. We have a need to eat. We are omnivores. Herbivores eat plants, and carnivores eat meat. We eat both. However, what we are fed as children has a lot to do with what our diet will consist of the rest of our lives. Some will be genetic, but that can be overridden unless we have issue with food sensitivities. Why are some dishes “Italian” or “Indian”? Because that is what is often served in those cultures. It is what they have developed a taste for.
That doesn’t mean that God’s Law doesn’t restrict our diet, though, does it? Some meats are deemed “clean” and others “unclean” (Lev 11). God places boundaries upon what we are supposed to eat, and there are scientific studies that back up some of those things. If nothing else, if pigs were not a worldwide staple, swine flu (and frankly, most flu comes from pig farms) would be much less of a concern.
I think sexuality is similar. We are not born with certain tastes, but rather they are shaped by our environment. For lack of a better term, we are born “omnisexual”.
Again, though, what we consume sexually is regulated by God’s Law in several places. Those boundaries are put into place for our good and the good of society. It is not popular to talk about, but sin is what keeps HIV from dying out. It is spread mainly though drug use and non-monogamous sex. When these individuals give blood, it affects innocent people.
I have written before about how sin and addictions are very similar. Of course, all addictions are sin. That’s the point. Even too much of a good thing is harmful. Not only that, but it is idolatry. It is making something or someone more important than God.
Can homosexuals be forgiven? Yes, Jesus died for all people who will repent and claim it. However, without repentance, they will not be saved.
How to deal with that? Like all addictions, it will vary. However, rather than beating themselves up, a simple realization that we often are handed situations and lives we have no control over. However, Jesus had something interesting to say.
12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
~ Mt 19:12
“He that is able to receive it” is particularly interesting. Not all are. Jesus had several hard sayings that caused disciples to walk away (cf. Jn 6:60-66). Not all are called now, and neither is everyone of the elect.
It is not popular. People will tell you that you must “follow your heart” and “do what makes you happy”. Ironically, the unhappiest people are often the ones who pursue it the hardest. They are searching for happiness in all the wrong places. You know those places: Power, money, things, sex, entertainment, etc.
We are all born naked, but most societies believe in wearing clothing. We all are born not communicating with words, but societies require we learn how to communicate. We are all born not eating solid food, but good health requires eating the right things and doing so in moderation. “I was born that way” just does not make sense. It is not a reason; it is an excuse.
This will likely offend some people. That’s OK. The truth, the Gospel truth, is always offensive to those who do not want to believe it.
Can God cure an alcoholic? Sure, but He most often does not. Could God cure same-sex attraction? Sure, but He may not choose to. That does not mean He condones a lifestyle of drunkeness or homosexuality, however. It does mean we must learn to control our thoughts and desires.
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
~ 2Co 10:5
An alcoholic will likely have to abstain from alcohol. A person with same-sex attraction may have to abstain from sexual relationships. There is no one size fits all for the latter, but the struggles of the former do show how easy it is to deceive oneself about what is or is not acceptable behavior.
Jesus died so that the door of forgiveness could be opened for all at their time. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven except for the one for which one refuses to repent of. People in society used to understand that to some degree, but as people have left the religious heritage behind, this becomes another casualty of the dwindling values in the US.
As people become less forgiving but more “me centered”, seeking out pleasure and “happiness” at all costs, the society turns inward. This has a name: narcissism.