Dr. Laura dropped the F-Bomb on her radio show today. A few days ago, she repetitively used the N-word, so maybe you saw the F-word coming. I didn't. Read on.
My third place title for this blog post is, “Forgiveness 101.” But I decided on, “ Dr. Laura and the F-Bomb,” because that’s the most provocative. The runner-up title is, “Christianity Isn’t for Wimps.”
But, since I want to talk about forgiveness, let me back up to a confession. (Confession and forgiveness go together.)
My confession: When I’m out running errands or visiting people during the day, I sometimes listen to Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s call-in radio show. I know, I know, she’s a pariah among liberals. (I said this is confession which means I’m admitting my sins.) Dr. Laura has made some egregious homophobic remarks. And her latest babble using racially charged words was unconscionable. Moreover, from time to time she offers her callers advice that I think is socially and emotionally harmful.
But she is also entertaining, provocative, shocking. (That’s her business by the way, to attract listeners so they hear ads and buy stuff.) She also has a knack for cutting through callers’ BS that makes me chuckle. As a pastor I spend a lot of time using active listening, “what-I-hear-you-saying-is” responses. Dr. Laura gets to say, “Shut up.” So, I may listen because I’m a little jealous.
Anyway, I’m not supposed to like her. She’s ending her show, so she’s on the way out. And her history of wacko comments justifies reasons why I should change the station and certainly should not expect anything good from her.
So, there I was today, indulging in my secret, drive-time Dr. Laura fix. A caller phones in to her show to describe a personal life that is shaped by Catholic guilt. Dr. Laura listens, cajoles, and badgers for a while. Then she says that she herself was baptized Catholic but has never practiced the faith. (I think she’s Jewish.) She further clarifies that she is not clergy. Then she drops the F-Bomb.
She says, “Your God is a very forgiving God.” (pause) “So, why aren’t you?”
Wow! The F-Bomb from Dr. Laura. Not what I was expecting. Forgiveness.
I don’t know that she herself is able to practice that fully. She seems pretty ticked about the sponsors who’ve dropped her show and the kerfuffle she’s found herself in. There are probably a lot of people out there in radio land who need to forgive Dr. Laura.
But forgiveness is at the core of Christian living. The blustery radio doctor was right. And that’s where the “Christianity is not for wimps” idea comes in. Forgiveness is not all kissy-kissy, huggy-huggy, everybody-hold-hands-and-sing. Forgiveness is hard work. When someone has used racially derogatory terms to refer to you or your family, it’s hard to forgive them. When someone has called your version of the species “sick,” forgiveness is hard to come by.
I had a friend and church member who was prisoner of war during World War II. His living conditions and lack of food were appalling. His ordeal was torment. For the rest of his life, he wrestled with forgiveness.
I struggle with forgiving the people who viciously attacked and robbed my grandfather, an old man who walked with a cane.
No, Christianity isn’t for wimps. Forgiveness is hard work.