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Every denomination needs one of these...

Don Imus and the Two Faces of John Thomas

Friday, April 13, 2007

Although not asked for an opinion, United Church of Christ President, John Thomas, has offered his wisdom about Don Imus's racist comments:
Don Imus is the latest media star to be caught up in the ugly excess of his own self-importance. His racist remarks, like the anti-semitism of Mel Gibson, have no place in public or private discourse and cannot be expunged with a simple apology and a brief leave of absence or stay at a rehabilitation center.

Imus should express his profound regret to the Rutgers team, resign, and use the next months to determine how he might use his talents to contribute to a culture no longer awash in the racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic rhetoric of radio and cable talk show hosts.
It's amusing that John Thomas would reflect on Imus's "ugly excess of his own self-importance" with his own brand of self-importance. Why should anyone really care what John Thomas thinks about Don Imus?

It's also amusing how Thomas doles out his judgment.

While Imus' apology wasn't good enough for Thomas, he had no problem showering praise on Alejandrina Torres - a convicted terrorist who was video taped building bombs. Torres, as far I can tell after searching the internet, has never apologized to the victims who were maimed and killed by her group.

Thomas's judgment of Imus is not only hypocritical, it demonstrates again that his clouded discernment ultimately makes him irrelevant to any discussion about justice. Rightly, the media has ignored Thomas's comments.

This doesn't justify what Imus did at all. In effect, his firing demonstrates that the free market is working pretty well: people were offended and responded to the stations that broadcast his show (as well as their advertisers) and ultimately CBS and MSNBC fired him.

Thomas's response also highlights the hypocrisy of the UCC's "extravagant welcome". While Thomas was busy drafting his unsolicited response to the controversy, an African American Baptist Minister, Rev. DeForest Soaries, was living out the slogan. As minister to Rutgers basketball coach coach Vivian Stringer, Soaries helped facilitate a meeting between the team and Imus. Soaries, an early critic of Imus and one of the first to call for his firing, found himself ministering to Imus just minutes after he was fired. From the New York Daily News:
"I became more of a pastor to him than the facilitator of the meeting," [Soaries] said.

"We didn't even talk about what I was supposed to be there for. I needed to be with him spiritually. This was a man who'd just got big, bad news and he needed me to listen to him."
The lesson of this "extravagant welcome" will undoubtedly be lost on Thomas.
posted by UCCtruths, Friday, April 13, 2007


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