Why would actor Jamie Foxx startle the Soul Train Music Award audience over the Thanksgiving weekend by urging them to “first of all, give an honor to God — and our Lord and Savior, Barack Obama!”
Why would a stand-up comedian commit what until recently over the last 2,000 years was regarded as “blasphemy” – and on national TV? Well, for one thing, shock works so well on TV. Viewers aren’t startled anymore by any of the old cuss words — all that’s left is “the F-bomb” and it’s been used far too often by those desperate for attention.
So, let’s try blasphemy! Don’t restrict it just to muttering “Jesus Christ” derisively. No, your acting career is spiraling downward. You’re not such a big name on the Hollywood party circuit anymore with no big hit in years. Your last films have tanked. Directors’ worries about your fading talent have reduced you to accepting roles in forgettable sequels and hosting a radio show. So, what do you do?
Hey, suggests your agent, what if I can get you on nationwide TV? What if you do something so outrageous that nobody can ignore you? How about nudity? Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” on the Super Bowl breathed brief life back into her lackluster career!
What about blasphemy! Hey, yeah! The conservatives and religious right will go nuts!
In Hollywood, the unpardonable sin is to be boring. So, if you’re frantic to scratch your way back onto the A list, you do something outrageous: something so offensive that it guarantees your face on the front page of the tabloid websites and your name trending on Twitter and Yahoo – and, even better, a viral YouTube video with millions of movie-attending kids laughing at how hilarious you are. It’s even better if their parents are disgusted and infuriated.
That’s the apparent strategy last weekend of Eric Marlon Bishop – that’s Jamie Foxx’s real name. His acting career peaked in 2004 with
the big hit “Ray” in which he earned an Oscar as tragic singer Ray Charles. Foxx’s last TV show was cancelled in 2001. His forays into music recording have been less than memorable.
The last time he was in the headlines, it was for making several sexually disparaging jokes about teenage singer Miley Cyrus on what’s left of Foxx’s TV show – now a local radio program. Foxx issued a public apology after being denounced by Cyrus’s furious father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
So, now he’s back! But apparently it didn’t make as big a ripple as Janet’s public exposure. The video hasn’t gone viral. Vimeo actually pulled it. Foxx isn’t trending, either. Here’s a sampling of comments about the incident on Twitter:
Donna Horowitz disgusting.
Lora Corrado blasphemy. As a Christian, I am deeply offended.
FedUpReport 1John 2:22 (NKJV) Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son
Keith Garrison obeezy is the most popular prez ever, the hip hop prez
Christina Lichtsinn this is sickening, we have one true God…it will never be Obama. Give me liberty or give me death…
Pat Patriot Pathetic. They’re blind and stupid. The epitome of sheeple.
One Twitter subscriber, Lesley Guzman, went further in a private email: Jamie Foxx is not saying anything many followers of Obama don’t already believe. I’m sure the arrogant Narcissist-in-Chief loves it. Seems to me that the first Commandment says that we should have no other god before God. Wikipedia says Jamie was raised in Texas as a strict Baptist. Ergo, he certainly knows better. The other empty-headed idiots who support Obama’s god-like delusions have now been given permission and validation.
On Facebook, the comments were much along the same lines:
Stephen Vickers With out seeing move of the clip it’s hard to really grasp what Mr. Foxx is trying to get at. Is he serious, is this a joke, where does it go from here? On the other hand, what he said is quite offensive and high strung to deify the man, but there are people on both sides of the political spectrum that do the same thing with their favorite candidates. The Bible talks about how everyone is given a measure of faith, it just depends what they decide to do with that faith that sets us all apart.
Scott Naas Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: We ask you, brothers, not to be easily
upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of The Lord has come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 HCSB)
Alan Glasco I’m waiting for him to tell us to drink the Kool-aid. The more he hears people claim he’s the ‘chosen one’ the more he believes it.
Franklin Champlin After eight years of unpaid premptive wars in countries that were either no threat, or eventually no threat to us, unpaid modifications to Medicare Part D, tax decreases for people who least needed them,and so on, I do consider President Obama to be a savior in that I feel we are back on track to the peace and prosperity of the Clinton Administration. As for being our Lord and Savior (note the caps), I will save that title for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Cris Richardson It is dangerous to call anybody Lord and Savior except Jesus Christ. There is the possibility that Foxx, a comedian, was making a joke amd we are missing the rest. If so, it is not funny. Still, I am concerned that he labeled the president, Lord and Savior.
Shari Jo Humphries Watson I have always said [Obama] is the man to help usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ because he is just wicked enough to destroy our nation. He is the perfect anti-Christ. Get prepared younger generation Obumer is helping to cause the divisions between wickedness and righteousness, Christian and non-Christian.
Lori Conner Finch You can’t fix stupid, but you can read the Bible.
Aaron Mullins I know who my Lord and Savior is and it isn’t Obama. The Word does tell me to pray for those who lead and to have respect for authority. This whole administration is allowing me to rely on the grace of God and His goodness.
Susan Brown Well, I hope for his sake Mr. Obama doesn’t accept those blasphemous words as truth. The same thing happened to Herod. He made such a stirring oration that the people said, “He’s a god!” Because he didn’t refute it and give God the glory, he was eaten with worms and died. (Acts. 12:21-23) We ought to respect our president, whether we agree with him or not, but I think this story shows what God feels about looking to people as if they were gods!
Elsewhere on the Internet, Foxx’s comments haven’t provoked the desired firestorm. The actor’s stunt was blasted by Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who said, “Foxx’s epiphany is startling. It just goes to show that even though Obama did not succeed in stopping the oceans from rising (as he promised to do in 2008), he did succeed in convincing Jamie Foxx, and no doubt legions of others, that God exists. Whether God can
survive an ACLU lawsuit accusing him of violating church and state grounds remains to be seen.”
Donohue pointed out a Christian Post report in 2011 in which the comedian was asked what God is to him. His response was, “What does God mean to me? I don’t know.”
Today, Christians and their faith are easy targets. Followers of Jesus Christ have been insulted so much these days that they just turn the other cheek. If Foxx was really brave, he should take on a group that would give him a dramatic, headline-grabbing response. Perhaps he should offend a more militant faith group or insult one of their revered figures. That might get his name trending on Twitter.
It seems disrespecting Christians is politically correct these days, even considered funny. Somehow all the lectures about celebrating diversity don’t apply – the feelings of Christians don’t matter.
And insulting Hindus, Muslims or even atheists isn’t cool. After all, that’s too dangerous.
And Foxx wasn't trying to prove he was brave. He was just after headlines and a cheap laugh.