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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Why Kathy Griffin Is On My LIst

“I’m sick to death of Jesus. I feel that Jesus and Paris Hilton are both overexposed.” Loud and obnoxious statements like that should offend my Midwestern evangelical sensibilities just enough to make me want to rant about Kathy Griffin, the pseudo-celebrity and stand-up comedienne who these days expresses her snarky “militant atheist” views on her reality series “My Life on the D List.” But I can’t quite bring myself to do that. Even if I am not a big fan of every word that comes out of her mouth, I thoroughly enjoy her show, which recently returned for a second season on Tuesday nights. I’ve decided to give her a new title to add to her “D list” standing–my favorite celebrity atheist. (And we here at Idol Chatter think everyone should have a favorite atheist.)

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Griffin has carved her comedy club career by riffing on the foibles of A-list celebrities, but her reality series is more about poking fun at the flaws in her own nature. While all reality shows may be edited to death in post-production for maximum dramatic impact, I still can’t help but admire the way Griffin–who executive-produces her show–allows some of her most vulnerable and unattractive moments to play out on the camera. When Jay Leno makes a cheap joke about her looks when she appears on “The Tonight Show,” she lets the cameras follow her offstage ,where we see her burst into tears. When she makes a crude joke at movie star Renee Zelleweger’s expense only to have Zelleweger shower Griffin with dozens of roses in response, Griffin turns the entire episode into a mea culpa to Zelleweger for taking the moral low road in her act–again.

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But it is her generosity and loyality that I find most endearing. Her unflagging work for charity was around long before her show came to TV–instead of wedding gifts she aseked her guests to donate to charity instead, for example. No stunt for charity is too crazy, as viewers find out when Griffin ebays a weekend at her house to a complete stranger just to raise some money for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. And even though she is vehemently opposed to the war in Iraq, Griffin goes on a stand-up tour into some of the most dangerous parts of Iraq to entertain the troops–places where other celebrities have never performed. She is also unabashedly emotional when she talks about how much she loves her (now former) husband, Matt, and her desire for them to stay reconciled after they filed for divorce last year. (So far, so good.)

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To be perfectly honest, part of me wants to be a just a little more like Kathy Griffin. I could stand to learn to be a little more transparent about my emotions, a little more outspoken in the face of injustice, and a little more honest when I screw up. In return for what I have gained from watching Griffin, maybe next season she’d let me help her do a little work on re-thinking that whole existence of God thing.

  • Joyce M.

    Why in the world would you, if you believe in God, allow this woman into your home via the tv? Your just supporting her views. Seems to me Christians need to stand up and be counted and this could be the start, by boycotting her show. Look around you and tell me there isn’t a God. America better wake up and smell the roses before God decides we have let one too many atheist’s run the show.>

  • http://www.recdir.com/food/drink/wine/united_states/california/ Dan

    As a Christian, I disagree with this previous harsh comment. Waaaay too judgemental. Relax, church lady. I love Kathy because she’s self-depracating. This is a quality most of my Christian brethren could learn from her. Tune in! Don’t be afraid of people who are different from you. If God is as big as we know He is, He can protect you.>

  • Erik March

    While i can definitively say I believe there is a God, a higher power, I myself am not a Chrsitian – I happened upon this Website and had an immediate preconceived notion about the tone of what I would be reading on it. The “Church Lady” who Blogged In before was what I expected – fearful, judgemental, alienating, threatened and threatening – all very “Un-Chrisitian” qualities, if you ask me. In reading, “Why Kathy Griffin Is On My List”, I was pleasantly surprised at the openness, acceptance, perpsective and balance expressed by Kris Rasmussen – Not only was delighted with the expressed appreciation of Kathy Griffin’s Numerous Gifts, but, I thought to myself – I really like this person (the one who wrote this) – this person is intetelligent, articulate, insightful and above all, this person doesn’t exclude the rest of the world who may not share his or her “exact” beliefs – that as human beings we all have value and ultimately what we ‘believe” is less significant than our “actions” – and indeed, perhaps there is indeed “Christian-like behaviour” , even in self-proclaimed “athiests” like Kathy Griffin. With the exception of our legal system, The Judgement of others should be left to God and not to Man – I think that is MY point. Bravo, Kris Rasmussen!>

  • Kannbrown65

    Sheesh. THere’s like ONE show with a self identified atheist as a focus and all the sudden ‘atheists running the show’? And what? If we were to talk about not watching a show because the host or the subject was Christian, I can just hear the whines of being persecuted. How many atheists do you know of (I mean, call themselves one) on ANY media to be talking about how they ‘run the show’?>

  • Natalie Young

    Why, oh why, do narrow-to-closed-mind people go on blogs, read the newspaper, watch tv or do anything other than preach the word of God on the street corners wearing ashcloth? Don’t they know that wherever they go, people will be different from themselves? Come on! Christians aren’t ‘running the show’ in any area but their individual churches – not the schools, not the government, not other people’s bedrooms! So, why oh why are the Church Ladies of the world always decrying any perceived difference? That ruins the efficacy of true fundamental Christians, Some don’t believe that DIFFERENT from us means LOWER than us or GOING TO HELL!>

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