The first season of the Jim Gaffigan show concluded yesterday, and I am left feeling decidedly ambivalent. While the show features smart, humorous dialog (with occasional LOL moments and flashes of comedic genius), and while I do appreciate the generally clean nature of the comedy, and even though Gaffigan gets in a few edgy (meaning conservative-leaning) jokes now and then, all of these things are counterbalanced by taking Christ’s name in vain.
Yes, I went there. Yes, I am going to be THAT obnoxious, THAT pedantic, THAT irksome, THAT bothersome, THAT strident. Why? As a Christian, I’m just not down with honoring something that dishonors someone extremely important to me, no matter what else that thing does or doesn’t do. So, why didn’t I get up and leave when I was watching? I should have. I chickened out so as to not cause a scene with my wife. However, I don’t think I can continue to watch. It feels like my heart is turning in on itself, like my stomach before sickness.
It is a question of holiness. Do I give my time and attention to something that serves to dishonor my Lord? I know all the standard arguments: it’s not the main character saying it (so it’s ok?); that’s simply realistic (art is not reality; it is a conscious act, so someone chose to write the dialog and someone chose to act it); how are you being injured (it’s not even a personal impact thing; it’s a matter of reverence). Although I could argue the personal impact angle – I know that what I give myself to rolls around in my head all day. So if I fill myself up with things that dishonor God, then they will be in my heart and they will come out of my mouth. Then I will be saying to others, “Look! This behavior is ok!”
How important is my spirituality, anyways? To me, it is vital. I think a lot of people, specifically Christians, don’t care enough about what they allow inside their minds. They drink from the sewers of the world and wonder why they have such a hard time “bringing every thought into captivity to Christ”. Garbage in, garbage out, guys. Oh! But that means you will have to give up some of your entertainment, make sacrifices, or stand out from your peers! What do you think being a city on a hill means? Such a city can be seen for miles and miles around! It does stick out. It is different.
I think that Gaffigan, a slightly more-than-nominal Catholic, has made some compromises with the powers that be. It says a lot how low and how polluted the culture has become, when the only way a smidgeon of normality and common sense can be tolerated is when it is alloyed to blasphemy. It also says a lot that Christians stand idly by and say nothing, do nothing, and let things happen. If there’s some outcry or backlash against the show, I’ve not heard of it. I do know that TVLand has picked up the show for a second season, though.
Me, I will take my stand now, because I think it is the only morally consistent thing to do, knowing that it is a lonely stand, and knowing that I will face opposition.