I hate award shows. I’m not sure why—I just do. However, my lovely Bride seems to thrive on them. That being the case, I was coerced into watching the Golden Globe Awards a few evenings ago.
During the opening monologue, the emcee (Seth Meyers) joked that Oprah Winfrey should run for president. Even though everyone was laughing (including Oprah), there seemed to be a serious tone behind it. The next day, everyone was talking about it—even the newscasters. They were all asking if Oprah would, could, or even should take the plunge.
Not long after all this transpired, a meme emerged with Oprah’s face and a very telling caption. The wording was as follows: “The same people whining about a billionaire reality TV star in the White House want a billionaire reality TV star in the White House.”
I Dont Really Care
Frankly, I could care if Oprah runs for president. In fact, I think it would be really interesting. I felt the same way when The Donald announced he would run. I didn’t figure he had a snowball’s chance, but here we are. Both Oprah and Donald are American Citizens and have attained the age of thirty-five years. So, according to the constitution, they’re eligible.
The thing I find really interesting about all this is that meme. Regardless of the subject, we seem to have an immense propensity for finding fault with anyone or anything we oppose. Then we’ll turn around and defend someone or something with the identical “faults” merely on the basis that we like them. In other words, we’re blatantly inconsistent.
Another word for it is we are good at upholding double standards. An even worse way to put it is we’re two-faced. Like it or not, most of us fall into this trap in one area or another.
The fact is we tend to have biases that override our sense of fairness, neutrality, and sound judgment. Our biases (or dare I say, “prejudices”) cloud our thinking—balanced arguments be damned. Let’s just say, it’s not a pretty picture.
I’m Such a Hypocrite
Jesus had a solid bent against such thinking. In a very famous passage (one used by Christians and non-Christians alike) he asked the question, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” If you read the entire pericope, you’ll see that he calls such behavior hypocritical. I don’t know about you, but I hate being called a hypocrite (but I AM one, of course—we all are to some degree or another).
Sometimes, our way of reasoning is absolutely indefensible. So often, it’s not reasoning at all. Our decisions are often based on feelings, prejudice, and/or wistfulness. Even worse, the way we defend our decisions make little or no sense. As in the meme, we’ll make the very same arguments for our positions and against opposing ones.
In this case, it all seems quite appropriate. The White House makes for great reality TV.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]