September 28, 2007


The power of words

(Listen to this editorial being read)

Words are a powerful weapon, an instrument that can lift someone up one moment or bring them down the next.

Though we’re paraphrasing an adage that has been used in various contexts over the years, we believe whoever coined that line of thinking knew what they were talking about.

And that tidbit of wisdom is as true in today’s politically correct world as it was way back when it was first uttered by someone far wiser than many of us.

From a young age, most people are taught that some language is inappropriate—no matter what your age.

Using the Lord’s name in vain or peppering your speech with certain four-letter words come to mind when forming our litany of no-noes where mastering the English language is concerned—or any language for that matter.

Though the list has been passed on for decades, many parents continue to face an uphill battle with children and young people because our latest generation is being led to believe that using foul language is cool and hip—and the norm.

Use your remote control to zip through network and cable TV channels or cruise your FM radio dial, and you’ll soon be immersed in the salty language and lyrics that have become the norm of so many TV programs and “hip” songs.

It doesn’t help when our young people hear or see destructive language on display from older adults who should know better.

One of the latest examples involves comedian Kathy Griffin, who decided to throw good taste to the wind when she recently accepted an Emmy for her Bravo reality show, “My Life on the D-List.”

In accepting the award earlier this month, Griffin said that “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.”

She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark using a four-letter word in relation to Jesus and add, “This award is my god now!”

Thankfully, the E! channel chose to edit Griffin’s speech when it aired the taped event on Sept. 15, but word soon spread about the comedian’s less than flattering acceptance speech.

If this was meant to be a comedic moment, it failed miserably. Instead, it justifiably angered Catholics and many people across faith lines.

While the Catholic League was one of the first to come out and condemn Griffin’s remarks, saying they were an “obscene and blasphemous comment,” it didn’t end there.

Members of the Miracle Theater, a Christian theater troupe in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., spent $90,440 on a full-page advertisement in USA Today that ran nationally on Sept. 17, proclaiming “enough is enough.”

“We at The Miracle Theater consider it an honor to stand for Jesus today,” the ad said. “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.”

The theater group is sponsoring a petition on its Web site,, to let others who are upset with the comedian’s poor choice of words make their displeasure known.

“When word reached our cast that a Hollywood celebrity had stood before TV cameras and said such vulgar things about Christ, they were incensed,” said Russ Hollingsworth, general manager of The Miracle Theater. “It’s just not OK anymore to mock Christians and Jesus with impunity.”

The theater members and Catholic League are to be applauded for their criticism. And even though there is a segment of society that will stand up for Griffin and her off-color remarks, we know as people of faith that doesn’t make her choice of words right.

When it comes to Jesus, we have a right to cringe, be offended and take a stand when someone doesn’t give him the respect he deserves. And in today’s politically correct world, don’t let anyone tell you any differently.

—Mike Krokos

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