Scorsese knew it thirty years ago. And he used it.
I wasn’t planning on seeing The Last Temptation Of Christ. But then the protests started. And they led the evening news. And my interest honestly got piqued. There was so much hubbub (I think that’s an actual, technical term) surrounding the film, I simply HAD to see what it was all about. And if Christians were this up in arms about something …well, then …there must be something about it worth seeing.
Sorry, Christians …we tend to bring it on ourselves.
Then, after seeing the film, I realized if everyone had just been cool and let it go, not only would I not have seen it, but millions of other people wouldn’t have seen it either. And it would’ve died a quiet death at the box office. It just wasn’t one of Martin’s greatest offerings.
But people (particularly religious folk) can’t let things go. We always feel the need to stand up and fight for our side. But all it does, in the long run, is add oxygen to smoldering flames.
I literally JUST read a meme that has offered a reward for Kathy Griffin’s head. And I’m just shaking mine in disgust. THIS is how she becomes a sympathetic character. THIS is how she ends up being re-embraced by the entertainment community. We’re already seeing it happen. Comedians are coming to her defense. And as anger and hatred rise up against her, she will become what she says she is …a victim.
My opinion is, the best response to all of this might be to simply offer our prayers and love. Smile and say “I understand.” The best tweet Donald Trump could send right now is one that reads, “Our entire family forgives Kathy Griffin for her misguided photo and we accept her apology.”
If he did that …the story would be over. If WE stopped posting angry things about her and simply yawned and moved on …the story would be over.
But better yet, what if Christians (the people she has impugned the most) embraced her and showered her with love, asking for nothing in return? What might that look like? And what if we did it without being smug or trying to appear morally superior?
What if we actually said, “Kathy, we love you …no matter what. That’s all.”
I don’t know …that just sounds like something Jesus might do.
But as it stands, people are doing what they always do …overreaching. Even while being on the correct side of an argument, you can be wrong in your response. And it creates a moral high ground for the other side.
My only tweet about Kathy Griffin was a prediction that she would be a presenter at a major award show next year and that she would come out to a standing ovation. And I’ve had several detractors to that tweet. “How on earth can that happen? She’s done. She’s finished. She will not recover from this!” are some favorite retorts.
But I stand by my tweet. Because I remember those Last Temptation protests. And I know all to well how giving in to your anger and disgust can fan flames.
The way someone recovers from something like this is by being threatened over and over again. The way they become a “truth teller” is when what they say is happening to them …starts actually happening to them.
Well, I would like to be the first to say that I pray for Kathy Griffin. I said it in my first blog and I reiterate it in this one. I really did pray for her today. And I want good things for her. In fact, I prayed for better things for her than I want for myself. I don’t want her to suffer because of a mistake. God knows I’ve made plenty of them. And there are many more to come. Trust me.
I may choose not to watch her but that doesn’t mean I want her to starve or go without. To the contrary …I wish her great blessing. I hope that through all of this, she finds redemptive love and true forgiveness instead of hate and retribution.
And I hope that if (and when) I do something incredibly ill-advised, I find someone out there who will still love and forgive me as well. I promise you I will do it …and I will need it.
This is where Jesus gets real. And, ironically, it was the whole point of the Last Temptation. The “temptation” was to give in to his humanity and act on his baser instincts instead of forgiving all of us.
I’m glad he didn’t do that. Because it’s the only thing that keeps me hanging on.
So I’m trying to follow suit.
Kathy …I love you no matter what. That’s all.