Apr 24, 2007

The Contretemps of Don Imus: All Of Us Make Mistakes

I say, bring back Don Imus.

According to the definition of contretemps (an embarrassing incident, mishap; minor dispute or small disagreement), Imus is guilty.

However, how many of us have not made a similar mistake at one time or another? Here is just one of my mine. There was a comedian named Rip Taylor who told a religious joke a long time ago that I happened to repeat in a non-religious setting.

In the form of a question, Rip asked, what do you call a nun that has had a sex-change operation? Answer: A tran[sister]. I broke out into laughter, but many of the catholics who up until then liked me who happened to be in the audience, did not laugh. In fact one sweet catholic septuagenarian chastised me in a loving way and said, 'you should not do that'.

My laughter at the joke that I had just repeated turned to chagrin and embarassment. I thought, aren't we overreacting a bit? Then I reconsidered, well, the joke was offensive to some in the audience. And just like I have been offended by stories and jokes in the past myself that were in poor taste, I should have known better.

Should Imus have been fired? In this black minister's opinion, of course not. If that were the case practically everyone that I have ever worked with including myself should have been fired at one time or another, for we have all done or said something that we wish that we could take back.

I like what Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Galatia. He said, 'Brethern, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual should go to him, in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself..., and restore him'.

Not just because I was a listener to the Imus broadcast, which at times, portions of the show could be over the top, but because I believe that Imus is truly a man of character. He made a mistake and he truly regretted it. And what does the scripture say about righteous people falling down? As I read it, each they will get back up after they have taken a fall.

To my brothers in the gospel, Rev. Al and Jessee, who I have been in your presence and worked with on many occasions before, do not step on a man and hold him down when he is trying to get back up.

Why? For we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory at one time or another. Did Imus sin? No, rather his jocularity went too far this time, even though in his heart he meant zero harm. He was simply using expressions and acting in a manner that others before him had done.

Peace & Grace
The Rev

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