The Bobblefoot Problem

What is happening to us?

Has it always been this way? When precisely did we become a graceless people? Certainly there is the matter of schadenfreude, the frisson of pleasure derived from another person’s pain. We’ve always had that.

But when did we get vicious about that pain? When did the momentary pleasure of seeing someone powerful and/or famous move past the momentary ridicule of late-night comedy cannon fodder into…well…this:

Yes, that’s supposed to be Senator Larry Craig and his infamous “wide stance.”  Now given out as a “bobble-foot” doll at a minor (and I do mean minor) Minnesota baseball team’s games.

I don’t excuse what Senator Craig did, but I understand it. He is a man of a different time than ours. For him, the shame of such acts runs so deep that the mere accusation of homosexual behavior is deeply horrifying. He isn’t to be excused, but neither is he to be mocked. At some level, we need to understand his situation because, I think, it is eventually about grace.

Ask your average ex-/post-/mid-gay man dealing with his faith and his same sex orientations. This is not an easy battle even at the best of times. You may think you have it all down pat, then you’re driving home after work one evening and a five-story billboard with some gym bunny’s underwear ad catches you off guard and pretty soon you’ve committed some serious sin in your heart. It happens to the worst of us and the best of us. It is no greater or lesser sin than any other, but it is a sin and that kind of sin will continue to torment us until the day we die and land at the feet of our Savior. Some men fight that battle every single day of their lives. Some make peace with the torment and understand the grace that covers them. Some men lose that battle and give into the temptations. Some give up so repeatedly that something precious and valuable inside of them dies and they spend the rest of their lives trying to feel right with God, but never do. There are times that I can see the difference between those men who succeed and those who don’t is the amount of grace and mercy they are able to receive into their lives. That grace comes from God via the people who understand the grace they themselves have been given.

As fellow sinners, there is a point where the rightful guilt of our sin moves into a shame that does nothing to move us to repentance. Certainly we need to find a sense of humor and be able to laugh at our own faults and failures; this is nothing like that. Imagine your darkest, deepest sin immortalized into a cheap joke and distributed to stadiums full of people. Meditate on that for a second.

Yeah. Exactly. There is a difference between guilt and shame, shame and whatever intensified emotion must come from this mass joke on a man’s failures.

I guess in all of this, I’m praying for the Senator this morning. That there be grace in his life and that somewhere he’s allowed the space to repent, confess, and get on with his life. And that somewhere in the process, we’d find space to extend him the grace of God that covers our own sins. Because there but for that grace, go we all.

(The rest of the story is here.)


~ by WriterRand on May 24, 2008.

One Response to “The Bobblefoot Problem”

  1. i totally agree man. what is happening to us? it’s disgusting that our society has stooped so low as to create a “toy” of someone’s misfortune as this type of situation. i mean how do you explain the toy to your kids?

    ‘here, johnny, here’s a booblefoot poking fun at some guy who was trying to silicate gay sex in the public restroom’

    ‘wow, dad, just what i always wanted. thanks. can i be like him when i grow up?’

    i mean, this is ridiculous.

    this is what i find confusing about Christians: we’ll boycott a movie because it pokes fun of GOD’S character, but then we’re silent about things like this, which also pokes fun at GOD’S character. if we’re going to stand up for one issue, why not stand up for them all?

    by the way, glad my post about testimony’s ‘kicked your butt’ … GOD works in crazy ways, huh?!

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