Friday, April 13, 2007

Rev. "Peacemaker"?

1) Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!!

2) Thanks to the blogger who nominated this site in a few different categories for the “Blogger’s Choice Awards”, and to Kat Mills for letting me know about this. You can go to the voting site and cast a vote for St Andrew’s Q & A (for Best Religion Blog, e.g.) by clicking on the title of this post.
I just returned from a few days of R & R at the beach which were very enjoyable and relaxing. It was good to get away, and enjoy the newness of life that the Easter season brings. I had a ton of fun (and yes, stayed out of trouble, as one parishioner has already asked me!), but also had a little mini-retreat experience. Being able to celebrate Mass and make a Holy Hour with the Blessed Sacrament in the hotel room certainly helps to enter into a prayerful mode!

Nevertheless, I was able to catch up on television after giving it up for Lent. I caught up, and then some! I think it would have been possible, after watching three days of TV this week, to know every possible opinion concerning Don Imus’s remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Every channel, it seemed, had some “expert” repeating and analyzing Imus’s inane and deplorable comments. The interesting thing is is that when Imus made his hateful barb, hardly anyone heard it. It wasn’t until the media got hold of it, and repeated it dozens and dozens of times, that the firestorm began.

As Christians watching all of this unfold, we see it in relation to Christ. When there is a dispute that is bringing a rising amount of tension, Christ calls for peacemakers. As we watch all of the players in this game, how many peacemakers do we see? Are there any? Are there men and women who have stepped forward to work toward reconciliation between the two sides? Working toward peace? Toward forgiveness? We would expect this, especially if the person has “Rev.” in front of his name.

It has been very interesting to hear some major Christian themes to be evoked in this process. One newspaper journalist wrote that an apology is not enough for Don Imus; he needed a full “conversion”. That was the word she used. She was saying that Imus not only should change his manner of speaking, but that he should change his whole life so that he can see others with the dignity they deserve. Wow! Also, I heard one TV analyst saying that Imus should have 1) admitted he was wrong, 2) said he was sorry, and 3) asked for forgiveness. His point was that if Imus had done these three things, he would still have his job and wouldn’t be in the enormous mess he’s in. If each of us did that on a regular basis, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in – individually and collectively.

Finally, there are examples of Christian dignity here. The Rutgers women have shown a class to them, certainly; but, it’s beyond merely presenting themselves well in appearance and speech. They have a spirit about them that shows why they should be respected. They defended their own dignity as women, daughters, and students; I didn’t hear them all, but one of the women said that she is a daughter before anything else. She’s so right. It is because she is a daughter of God that she and the others should always be treated with dignity and respect. That is the line that Don Imus crossed; he lost sight of them as persons. That is the hurtful part. But, with their class and grace, they have restored their dignity as persons. In addition, they are open to engaging in a dialogue with Imus that will hopefully lead to reconciliation and forgiveness. Amid all of the older people involved, they are the Christian examples.

Now, all we need to do is to get them to talk with the hip-hop rappers about THEIR hate-filled words (lyrics)!

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