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  • Rev. Sam Wyatt

Is Rosanne Barr a bad person?

The short answer is "Yes," Roseanne Barr is a bad person. The long answer is more complicated. What makes someone a "bad person"? Is telling racist jokes enough to qualify someone as bad? Probably not. What about being a bully? Does being a bully make some a bad person? Not really. What about name calling, insulting and belittling anyone who disagrees with you? We are getting closer. What about playing the "victim card" the first time you pay a negative consequence for your bad behavior? Yep! That's it – that's what makes you a bad person. Blaming others for your bad behavior moves you into the "bad person" category. Why?

The racist jokes, the bullying, the lack of basic civility are all terrible behaviors. At times many of us have probably laughed at an inappropriate joke; we may have made crude comments or belittle someone who we believed was beneath us. These things make us "sinners." When we remember those times, the times our behavior caused pain for someone else, we probably feel a sense of shame and guilt. We all misbehave at times. Good people have a sense of remorse for their bad behavior. The theological language for this remorse is "repentance." Here is how it works: We sin by insulting someone or telling a cruel joke at someone's expense. The Holy Spirit will not let this stand. Our hearts are convicted. We feel the full weight of God's judgment against us. We have disappointed our God. We repent and ask God to forgive us. We ask for forgiveness from those who we have hurt. We change our behavior because it hurts deep in our soul to know we have harmed someone. It's called empathy.

There is no evidence that Roseanne Barr feels shame, guilt or remorse. She is void of the human ability to feel empathy. Ms. Barr continues to hurl insults at everyone and anyone offended by her behavior. She views herself as the victim. It’s Roseanne versus the world.

Why do I say Roseanne Barr is a bad person? Because she enjoys behaving badly. It's a choice. She chooses cruelty over kindness. She chooses crudeness over civility. She chooses prejudice and hatred over love and tolerance. She prefers to blame others rather than accept responsibility. Roseanne Barr has decided to remove herself from the community of the good and the descent. It's her choice! Roseanne Barr gets no pity.

We too have a choice. We must choose to reject all the Roseanne Barr's of the world. It's no longer funny. Let's stop excusing bigotry, intolerance, cruelty, and hatred even in the people we love. No more of “she has a big heart…" or "he is just a product of his generation." Our behavior is a choice. It's called freewill.

Our country is going through a dark period. God has called us to be the Light of the World. God's people doing God's work is the antidote for Roseanne Barr.


Sam

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United church of christ

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Cincinnati, OH 45202

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