Fallon, "Apparently Herman Cain gave his first press conference since the sexual harassment charges. First, he took a bunch of questions and then he took a bunch of phone numbers." "Ha-ha-ha," goes the studio audience and those of us lounging in our lazy-boy with a bowl of Captain Crunch. We take our fingers and point at Herman shaking our heads. Is he guilty or not guilty? I guess that's for the masses, equipped with 'unbiased' information from rating-crazed news programs, comedians, and online tidbits, to decide. I won't defend Cain and I won't condemn him because I have no idea what happened. Guilty or not he isn't alone... Schwarzenegger, Edwards, Clinton, Lohan, Gibson, fill in the ______________ (there are lots to choose from). But, this post isn't about Cain or an other tabloid star or rating magnet. It is about me and perhaps it is about you.
As a human-beings living in an "Under Reconstruction" era we have a capacity to, a tendency toward, a pull toward contributing to brokenness - sin, screw ups, and choosing ourselves over others. When all these celebs and pseudo-celebs (politicians) prove themselves sinners in the public eye, not only does the media highlight their poor choices with florescent lights and a high school marching band, but I have assumed the role of armchair judge and sometimes as armchair God. I not only proclaimed the verdict, "Guilty!" but also somehow knew the heart, mind and character of this individual who I had never met.
It is easy vilify. Sometimes we need someone to vilify. So we take past mistakes of celebs and we destroy their character. Sometimes we take recent mistakes of celebs and strip them of their humanness. We laugh at them; we use them as sermon examples; we boycott their products; we define them by their mistakes. Don't get me wrong. Celebrities make mistakes... sometimes BIG ones with devastating consequences. I think they should take responsibility, seek restoration, tackle the consequences head on with class. Perhaps some even have faulty character...? But whether guilty or not, remorseful or not, character-flawed or not I have taken off the robe and put down the gavel.
I busted the sin pinata this summer; in other words I committed one of the 'big' ones. I wake up every day with regret, not guilt or shame anymore, but regret. I wish people could see my heart and my longings but too often it is overshadowed by the affair. I'm not upset about this reality; it's part of the consequences. That's why I breath-pray, "It is God who justifies; it is God who justifies." But, I have walked in shoes I hadn't worn before and it's changed they way I see celebrity screw ups. My guess is some of them wake up with daily regret too. Some of them try to cover up their mistakes with lies because they are afraid the weight of public scrutiny would crush them (many lay buried below its rubble). Some live in great sorrow and pain knowing history will remember them by their mistakes.
They are not victims but they are also not the sum total of their mistakes. Now. Today. I focus on their humanness: people with legit feelings, people made in the image of God, people in need of redemption, people with the capacity to change, people just like me.