9.20.2007

Jesus is just all right. Anything more than that is your issue, not mine.

So a group called The Miracle Theater got upset after Kathy Griffin apparently mocked and/or blasphemed God during an awards presentation. They took out a full page ad in USA Today, to the tune of $90k, to express their displeasure and promote a petition against Griffin's comments on their own website.

I have been around the theater world, loosely, most of my life; my mother has worked in stage theater her entire adult life. My younger sister lives in New York, has landed a few touring gigs in musical theater and is working hard for that break on Broadway (go Jen!). So I say this with some authority on the subject: a theater company that has $90k to spend on one ad, that's a miracle theater. You are indeed well-named.

But now let's look at all this hubbub from a celebrity's point of view. With exceptions for those who prefer notoriety, most people and institutions for whom celebrity is part of their business naturally want the spotlight to be a glowing, positive one. For every David Hasselhoff who wants to be seen when his hair styled, his clothing immaculate, his bronzed chest vital and glowing, there's also a David Hasselhoff who needs to get a burger down next to the dog's dish after an all-week bender. And God help us, for some reason people want to see both images.

So why why why, for the love of God why should Jesus Christ be any different? Because he is revered by some? So is Hasselhoff. Because Christ is the Son of God? People, I have news for you. So is Hasselhoff. So is every one of us. That Christ might, for some, represent someone who is closer to God in some respects, fine. It still doesn't matter. Either you believe God made all people in His image, or you believe that some people might be better copies than others. And if you believe the latter, God have mercy on you.

We are all children of God, or we are all not. The only possible compromise is borne of arrogance, a succumbing to the fearful, desirous voice within that says maybe, just maybe, no really, maybe for you it's different, or it could be. So if you want to believe there is a ladder one must climb to Heaven, that's your endeavor. If you want to imagine the Jesus Christ Bridge must be crossed in order to reach God, that's your toll to get up. But if you think you can expect other people, believers or otherwise, to think the way you do, then friends, you're not much of an American. And if you're really ok with that, then please: get the fuck out. Make room for someone who knows America is a land of opportunity and freedom, based in tolerance for views that were not welcome in their own homes. And that a real America has nothing to do with how or even if you believe in a higher power. That burden you bear for your God? You chose it. You deal with it.

Seriously. Take your own particular brand of intolerance to a religiously-controlled state, and revel with your right-minded brethren. And when the day comes that it happens to turn on you and yours, why don't you come on back? That's what America is for.

I don't say this because I think Griffin was right, or justified. What she said doesn't make me happy or laugh. It's not funny, and that's the disappointing part, really. When a comedian gets the mike, I want her to go to work, doing what she does. Then again, if you were brought up Catholic, knocking Daddy, Junior, or the Spook down a notch can seem funny for the same reason men find the Stooges funny, or women find Meredith Vieira brilliant. It's a thing we Catholic-infused have to work out from time to time. We all have our stuff.

Consider this: Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. If you believe in those words, or the equivalent of your preferred brand, how can you imagine that your God wants you to eat, and no one else? Wants to forgive you, but no one else? Wants you to forgive others, unless of course you've "had enough."

Or do you really think "I" and "me" while you're saying the "we" and "us"? Do you silently edit the disclaimers for your chosen allegiance? "Give us [self-righteous born-agains dabbling in stage theater] this day, our [$90,000 worth of] daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses [never mind that we're judging Kathy Griffin on your behalf] as we forgive those who trespass against us [actually Kathy Griffin didn't do a damn thing to us, but hey! We might be born again, but we're accustomed to privilege and getting our way amd Goddammit! You're the one who made us thin-skinned and righteous! You know we're doing this for You, so You'll thank us later, all right? Amens for now!]".

But frankly, Miracle Theater, your given disclaimer reads pretty hollow:

We at The Miracle Theater consider it an honor to stand for Jesus today. We may never win a national award. We may never be household names. We may never be seen in Hollywood. Although others may choose to use their national platform to slander our God, we are honored as professional entertainers to stand for Christ.

So what does your God have to say about envy, anyway? A theater company in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, resigned to the idea that the nation may not take notice of it? In a full-page, nationwide ad? Do you get it?

No? Jesus.

10 comments:

ttractor said...

No Jesus, know peace.

Skylers Dad said...

As a fellow recovering Catholic, I find Daddy Junior and the Spook to be damn funny Michael. Thanks for the laugh!

I agree that theater company has too much money if they can afford 90 large on ads.

vikkitikkitavi said...

"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn't help me a bit. If it were up to him, Cesar Milano would be up here with that damn dog. So all I can say is suck it, Jesus! This award is my god now!"

Michael, you don't think that's funny? I think that's funny. And for an award show acceptance speech, it's freakin hilarious.

vikkitikkitavi said...

And oh yeah, where the hell DID THEY get 90K, anyway? From fleecing the flock? Maybe their money would be better spent improving that lame-ass thing they call a website.

Michael said...

tt Hey, this is a nerd blog. You take those John Lennon wisecracks outside!

sd: Oh I got a bunch of those. It's funny how you can even get your non-believing mother to shake her heresy-indicating finger with the right line. Hee.

vtt: Ok, "suck it, Jesus." Seemed a bit arbitrary. Maybe H'wood's gotten all intropective after Colbert and Silverman trashed Bush and Hilton to their faces. I dunno, but a slam on someone in the audience, Jeffrey Ross-style! That's all I'm askin'. Now that I'm thinking of it, you'd think a cable gal like Griffin could slam on some sober self-important schmuck like Moonves, mm?

vtt2: Must be one mother of a collection plate they pass around.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I missed it, but I saw Griffin on the Larry King show the other night and caught the clip/jist of it all. Not only do I think that speech was funny, but I admire her for not backing down. Whether you think it was funny or not, she's standing behind its purpose.

Why is it comedians can crack jokes at politics all day long on national TV, but take one shot at Jesusland, and all hell breaks loose?

vikkitikkitavi said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Skylers Dad said...

Hmmm, I fear aliens may have abducted our fearless blogger.

deadspot said...

Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood. Coinkydink? Probably not.

GETkristiLOVE said...

dude... where are you???