BILL COSBY: Now That We Know

I need to say this for many reasons and they are by no means offered to justify or otherwise forget what Bill Cosby may be guilty of among the many accusations and now charges that have been filed against him.

But I am curious! Are Bill Cosby’s jokes any less funny now that we have been made aware of his faults and failures? Can we no longer laugh at the hilarious stories he has told to entertain thousands across the land? Did we not feel something good from the clean and non-profane gestures, faces, and one-liners that brought smiles and joy to our hearts? Can we in no way now relate to the common stories of family life that we could say, ‘yeah, I’ve done that,’ and then laugh at him and ourselves?

Does the Cosby Show not carry any moral influence or weight as modeling family values? Now that we all know, do we all agree that the long running and popular family show we all watched and loved without filtering has no value to us or the current generation? Surely there is something to learn that will influence some positive outcomes to children and parents when watching Cosby! And why haven’t other shows whose stars have been found guilty of heinous crimes, faults and failures been met with cancellation?

What about his money?  Is it not still green or does it spend well knowing of his improprieties?  Do the benefits gained from donations mean nothing now . . . Or, has anyone returned his ‘tainted’ money now that we know ‘the whole truth?” Should students return their diplomas, or institutions their scholarship funds, endowments or buildings resulting from his donations?

Should foundations, corporation boards, committees, etc. retract every suggestion, proposal, idea, or influence Dr. Cosby may have contributed toward improving their values, performance, policies, product or presentation?  Surely, if this man is as evil as he is now purported to be, there should be no hint of him or his thought and absolutely no gain to any he may have assisted or worked with in some way.

Is he guiltier than the rest of us and therefore doomed to condemnation without any thought of mercy or forgiveness?  The rest of us, who may not be guilty of executing such horrendous crimes against women, but perhaps used charm, deceit, manipulation, or by some other means achieved the same results, are we less guilty? What about the ones of us who thought about these things but lacked the wherewithal or means to actually carry out the thought?

And what about the rest of us?  Now that we all know, have we become so righteous and without fault or sin that we can erase everything there is to know or recall of Bill Cosby?  Do we all look better in the light of this news about Bill Cosby?  Instead of a ‘scarlet letter,’ shall we act now as though he never lived and made any difference while he lived?  Maybe we ought to ask, ‘are you a Cosby unknown?’ What are we all hiding from view of the world to see? Can we so easily shut down an entire human experience without any thought of ourselves? Surely not?!

I don’t know if Mr. Cosby is guilty or innocent! I do know of my own failures (as you know your own) . . . and we all need mercy. Especially now, that time has accumulated a great number of failures over the years. Somebody needs to write on the ground for a few moments to give time for reasonable and rational consideration to take place on the thought, ‘he that is without sin, cast the first stone.’ The eldest of us may lead a caravan away from this court of condemnation!

Advertisements

WHAT ABOUT RAY RICE?

He should never have hit her.  She should never have hit him.  And just because we all know it (or think we know all of the details) doesn’t justify our punitive condemnations.  It is personal and they must deal with it along with their families and inner circle of supporting allies.  We should consider ourselves, our own failures and disgusting sins and then offer prayer unto God for them, each other and ourselves!

Everybody has a word for Ray Rice.  Everyone has a criticism or some critique of his behavior.  Far too many have reached out to castigate him while others have written him off with their personal condemnations.  Concern is one thing while condemnation is another!  Enough already!

Why have we become so quick to condemn others when we ourselves live no better?  The onslaught of condemning opinions is the evidence.  “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”  James 1:26 NKJV  These rants of self-righteousness and utter disgust are the clues of our own deficiencies.  Every derogatory thought or penned reasoning reveals a deep flaw within.  We easily lose our objectivity as long as it is someone else that we focus upon with harsh scrutiny or close intricate inquiry.  The destructive and abusive behavior witnessed in a video is matched by the harsh and condemning responses of total strangers who are willing to destroy Rice’s reputation, his ability to continue in his livelihood, or hope of experiencing rehabilitation, restoration, or personal growth to deal with his anger and abuse issues.  Calling wrong what it is should be done, but condemning is not our business!  That belongs to God!  “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.”  Leviticus 19:16 NKJV

Is it better to condemn everyone that sins over the airwaves and through social media than to seek to give help, offer assistance, pray, support, find a means to amicable solutions, or options on how to discuss, agree or disagree?  Does everyone have to die when they mess up and not be afforded a chance to get better or do better?

I fear that we will destroy each other with our fingers over an ipad or iphone, a laptop, or by saying too much with our harsh insensitivity with disgust and disdain for others who fail or fall.  It is neither good for us or for those we aim our spewing toward.  It is easy to give aide to shrouding others with our self-righteousness and become an ally to parades of condemnation.  However, the truth will prevail that all of us are covered in shrouds of our own making.  And these self-created shrouds do little but deceive each of us into thinking that we’re better than others, especially those whose business is so obvious and found to be ”newsworthy” by people who are in the business of making money through what they deem as “news.”  

What helps us to come back to some sense of reality and decency, compassion and sensitivity is having our own names run along the news line or the subjects of “breaking news.”  What if your most recent improprieties were put on the airwaves?  And what if every mishap, mistake, or misspoken word was publicized for everyone to read and view?  What if your childhood sins were fodder for news commentators and analysts.  All of a sudden it makes sense that people shouldn’t be talking about this so harshly.  Now, where is prayer, sensitivity, mercy, and love?

Even more sobering for each of us is a personal encounter with God.  We all stand stall with grace and righteousness when we compare ourselves to one another.  However, Isaiah’s reality changed when he says “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne . . . So I said:  ‘Woe is me, for I am undone!  Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.'” Isaiah 6:1, 5 NKJV

Ray, you messed up!  You were wrong to put your strength in a strike upon your ‘then-fiancé.’  You should never do that and you should be held accountable for your errant behavior.  You should also seek help to learn how to manage your anger and channel that energy into something positive.

But I have to apologize to you as well.  I apologize because too many of us are shredding you with such condemning declarations.  I apologize because too many of us want you to not only be held accountable for your actions, but also want to take everything from you and leave you with nothing.  I apologize because total strangers who know you not or have very little information about you have sized you up as an insensitive brut that deserves to be destroyed.  I apologize because too many of us don’t want you to have a chance to try harder, to do better, and to reach higher to the better man that lives within. I’m sorry that so many of us want vengeance without mercy!

Will we ever learn to show mercy toward others that sin grossly and publicly?  Come Lord swiftly, and help us to see and appreciate how You treat us with mercy daily so that we may show the same to others!  

Don’t add to what is already a burden for the Rice family . . . they are victims all over again every time we post our insensitive and condemning thoughts about them!

I will not join the slaughter . . . I will pray for you Ray Rice, your wife and family!  There is still hope for you and yours!!

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5 English Standard Version